History Committee member - Best graduated of the year. Catholic University of Rome, cum laude. Course: Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, July One month travel and staying award to conduct historical research on animal electricity at the Library of the "Bakken" institution of Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Present position. Experimental science. In the first of my scientific life, my main research interests are in the study of synaptic transmission mechanisms in the vertebrate retina and their functional consequences for vision. In the past I have investigated the mechanism of both forward and feedback transmission from photoreceptors to horizontal cells of the turtle retina in collaboration with Luigi Cervetto at the Institute of Neurophysiology of the C.
In Paris I have also worked with Gerschenfeld, Jacques Neyton and Paul Witkovsky from the New York University on the role of dopamine in modulating the permeability of gap junctions among retinal horizontal cells. I have also collaborated with Masao Tachibana, at the Department of Psychology of the University of Tokyo, in the study of the mechanism of release of synaptic transmitter from retinal bipolar cells. Subsequently my research work has been focussed on the investigation of the effect of divalent cations on synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to horizontal cells in turtle and salamander retina.
This is because the retina is superfused with solutions containing nominally very low concentrations of calcium, the calcium-concentration in the extracellular space of the retina is reduced only by a modest amount, and surprisingly calcium entry into synaptic terminals of photoreceptors can even increase. The results of my studies on the retina have been published in the most important scientific journals, as for instance Nature , Science , The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Science of the U.
Teaching experience. Staring from and ending in I have been teaching General Physiology to the students of the Course of Natural Sciences of the University of Ferrara Italy in quality of Full Professor of this discipline. From the start, because of my strong interest for the wide cultural and historical aspect of science, my teaching was largely based on historical annotations and I tried to avoid that science could be felt by students as a pure accumulation of technical notion, exclusively pertaining to a specialist and narrowly-minded education.
My teaching was largely based on the research that I was carrying out personally, particularly in the field of the history of electrophysiology and in the study of Galileo and his interest in vision. I enjoyed very much teaching in this course and in I published a book largely based on the lectures that I was giving to my students Lo Zufolo e la cicala A leitmotif of this book is the need to put together science, its history and all its cultural dimension, an attitude that I have constantly pursued in my teaching activity.
Main Publications. Piccolino, M. Pisa, Edizioni ETS in the press. Shocking frogs: Galvani, volta, and the electric origins of neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press. Finger, S. The shocking history of electric fishes: From ancient epochs to the birth of modern neurophysiology. Meulders, M. Pisa: ETS. Beyond promoting ethical communication, the communication contract clarifies how individual discursive behaviour can be constructively and ethically monitored by group leaders in business meetings.
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A case study which shows what may happen when ground clauses of ethical communication are violated is presented. The conclusions of the study highlights why attempting to respect the communication contract is in the best interest of all partners at all levels within any group or organization. Business Ethics. Evidence against their view of the brain and an ecologically plausible, alternative model of cognition are brought forward. Apparent brightness enhancement in the Kanizsa square with and without illusory contours with Jean Lorenceau. The perceived strength of darkness enhancement in the centre of surfaces surrounded or not surrounded by illusory contours was investigated as a function of proximity of the constituent elements of the display and their angular size.
Magnitude estimation was used to measure the perception of the darkness phenomenon in white-on-grey stimuli. Darkness enhancement was perceived in both types of the stimuli used, but more strongly in the presence of illusory contours. In both cases, perceived darkne… Read more The perceived strength of darkness enhancement in the centre of surfaces surrounded or not surrounded by illusory contours was investigated as a function of proximity of the constituent elements of the display and their angular size.
In both cases, perceived darkness enhancement increased with increasing proximity of the constituent parts of the display and with their angular size.
Interaction of color and geometric cues in depth perception: When does red mean "near"? Luminance and color are strong and self-sufficient cues to pictorial depth in visual scenes and images. The present study investigates the conditions Under which luminance or color either strengthens or overrides geometric depth cues.
watch Figures in a pair were supported by luminance contrast or isoluminant color contrast and combined with one of the three geometric cues. Partial occlusion is found to be a strong enough pictorial cue to support a weaker red luminance contrast. Interposition cues lose out against cues of spatial position and partial occlusion. The results of Experiment 2, with isoluminant displays of varying color contrast, reveal that red color contrast on a light background supported by any of the three geometric cues wins over green or white supported by any of the three geometric cues.
On a dark background, red color contrast supported by the interposition cue loses out against green or white color contrast supported by partial occlusion. These findings reveal that color is not an independent depth cue, but is strongly influenced by luminance contrast and stimulus geometry. Psychology Science of Perception.
Psychophysical measures of illusory form: Further evidence for local mechanisms with Claude Bonnet. Detection thresholds for a small light spot were measured at various distances from the colinear inucer edges of white inducing elements on a dark background. The data show that thresholds are elevated when the target is located close to one or more inducing element s.
Threshold elevations diminish with increasing distance of the target from colinear edges and decreasing surface size of the inducing elements. Tbe present observations add empirical support to … Read more Detection thresholds for a small light spot were measured at various distances from the colinear inucer edges of white inducing elements on a dark background. Tbe present observations add empirical support to the idea that illusory figures are determined by local mechanisms that operate at early stages of perceptual information processing and decision.
Double, double, toil and trouble — fire burn, and theory bubble! Lehar's Gestalt Bubble model introduces a computational approach to holistic aspects of three-dimensional scene perception. The model as such has merit because it manages to translate certain Gestalt principles of perceptual organization into formal codes or algorithms. The mistake made in this target article is to present the model within the theoretical framework of the question of consciousness. As a scientific approach to the problem of consciousness, the Gestalt Bubble fails for several rea… Read more Lehar's Gestalt Bubble model introduces a computational approach to holistic aspects of three-dimensional scene perception.
As a scientific approach to the problem of consciousness, the Gestalt Bubble fails for several reasons. Footnotes1 After Shakespeare, Macbeth. This bookreview discusses Piccolino and Wades' book on Galileo's impact on contemporary perception science. Science of Perception, Misc. The cognitive impenetrability hypothesis: Doomsday for the unity of the cognitive neurosciences?
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The heuristic value of Pylyshyn's cognitive impenetrability theory is questioned in this commentary, mainly because, as it stands, the key argument cannot be challenged empirically. Pylyshyn requires unambiguous evidence for an effect of cognitive states on early perceptual mechanisms, which is impossible to provide because we can only infer what might happen at these earlier levels of processing on the basis of evidence collected at the post-perceptual stage.
Furthermore, the theory that early … Read more The heuristic value of Pylyshyn's cognitive impenetrability theory is questioned in this commentary, mainly because, as it stands, the key argument cannot be challenged empirically. Furthermore, the theory that early visual processes cannot be modified by cognitive states implies that it is totally pointless to try to investigate interactions between consciousness and neurosensory processes.
Reduction in Cognitive Science. Isoluminant color contrast does not fill in surfaces with C. In Enrique Villanueva ed. Results from a brightness matching procedure lead to suggest that green color Kanizsa square inducers placed on isoluminant red color backgrounds do not produce phenomenal surface enhancement. Color Cognitive Sciences Perception. Consciousness is known to be limited in processing capacity and often described in terms of a unique processing stream across a single dimension: time.
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In this paper, we discuss a purely temporal pattern code, functionally decoupled from spatial signals, for conscious state generation in the brain. Arguments in favour of such a code include Dehaene et al.
A time-bin resonance model is developed, where temporal signatures of conscious states are generated on the basis of signal reverberation across large distances in highly plastic neural circuits. The temporal signatures are delivered by neural activity patterns which, beyond a certain statistical threshold, activate, maintain, and terminate a conscious brain state like a bar code would activate, maintain, or inactivate the electronic locks of a safe. Such temporal resonance would reflect a higher level of neural processing, one that is independent from sensorial or perceptual brain mechanisms.
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Visual spatial learning of complex object structures through virtual and real-world data with Chiara Silvestri, Rene Motro, and Bernard Maurin. Conceptual and Nonconceptual Content. Cognitive Sciences. Depth perception from pairs of overlapping cues in pictorial displays with Severine Durand and Stephen Grossberg. The experiments reported herein probe the visual cortical mechanisms that control near—far percepts in response to two-dimensional stimuli.
Figural contrast is found to be a principal factor for the emergence of percepts of near versus far in pictorial stimuli, especially when stimulus duration is brief. Pictorial factors such as interposition Experiment 1 and partial occlusion Experiments 2 and 3 may cooperate, as generally predicted by cue combination models, or compete with contrast factor… Read more The experiments reported herein probe the visual cortical mechanisms that control near—far percepts in response to two-dimensional stimuli.
Pictorial factors such as interposition Experiment 1 and partial occlusion Experiments 2 and 3 may cooperate, as generally predicted by cue combination models, or compete with contrast factors in the manner predicted by the FACADE model. Varying the exposure duration of the stimuli shows that the more balanced bipole competition in the X-junction case takes longer exposure times to resolve than the bipole competition in the T-junction case Experiment 3.
Simultaneous brightness and apparent depth from true colors on grey: Chevreul revisited with Adam Reeves. We show that true colors as defined by Chevreul produce unsuspected simultaneous brightness induction effects on their immediate grey backgrounds when these are placed on a darker black general background surrounding two spatially separated configurations. Assimilation and apparent contrast may occur in one and the same stimulus display. Attributed to Kepler in some sources though more recent sources often attribute it to Euclid , such as Mathematically Speaking: A Dictionary of Quotations edited by Carl C.
Gaither and Alma E.