Silvio Ionta

| Research Interests

Ionta2.jpgSwiss National Science Foundation, Assistant Professor

Ophthalmology Service, Fondation Asie des Aveulges
Lausanne, Switzerland

email: ionta.silvio @

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Research Interests

  • Sensorimotor interactions
  • Body Representation – I aim at understanding the neurophysiological correlates of how the brain creates a coherent representation of the body. I investigate both bottom-up (sensory) and top-down (cognitive) influences on the interplay between sensorimotor and visual aspects of the body representation. For example, I have demonstrated the close relationship between vision and touch for bodily self-consciousness. I applied similar approaches to several movement disorders and showed that physical impairments are reflected in the characteristics of body representation.
  • Motor Control – Once the body is well represented, it has to move. In this vein, I used several techniques to address different aspects of motor control. By means of transcranial magnetic stimulation, I segregated the brain mechanisms encoding e.g. body identity, action discrimination, and movement monitoring. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, I identified the neural substrates of novel versus skilled movements, the neural substrates of full versus partial human body representations, and the brain activity and functional connectivity associated with sensorimotor integration. With electrocorticography, I recently demonstrated the multimodality of movement representation.
  • Neural Modelling and Rehabilitation – My main target is to produce computational models of neural functioning to be translated into clinically relevant assessment and rehabilitation tools. For instance, I nurture a strong interest in closing the loop between the understanding of neural mechanisms and the development of biomedical technology. Thus, for example, I proposed models of healthy and pathological sensorimotor integration, with evident fallouts for treatment.


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