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The NeuroDante project presented to the President of the Republic

On 17 June at the Library of the Accademia dei Lincei, the NeuroDante project of the Sapienza University was illustrated to the President of the Republic. The project, realised by BrainSigns using the Mindtooth system, was described by Prof. Fabio Babiloni and Dr. Giulia Cartocci, from the Department of Molecular Medicine at Sapienza University of Rome.

In particular, the Mindtooth system, developed by BrainSigns with the European Commission funding over the last two years, has measured the degree of emotional and cognitive involvement of two hundred visitors to the exhibition "The Reception of the Comedy" while reading and listening to the Divine Comedy at the Library of the Accademia dei Lincei, during three continuous months of experimentation.

Future developments of these studies aim to extend the application of Mindtooth technology, so far validated in experiments on pilots and flight controllers, also in real-time measurement of the efficiency of cooperation between crew members in upcoming space missions on the orbital station. A first use of the Mindtooth system in space is planned for December 2022 in Virgin Galactic's suborbital flight conducted by the Air Force in collaboration with Sapienza.


The NeuroDante project at the Accademia dei Lincei

The NeuroDante project, led by the team of Prof. Fabio Babiloni of the Sapienza University of Rome in collaboration with BrainSigns, is reported by Rai Cultura.

The report features the President of the Accademia dei Lincei Prof. Roberto Antonelli, the Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi and Dr Giulia Cartocci, a researcher at the Sapienza University of Rome.

This project is being carried out as part of the exhibition "The Reception of the Comedy from Manuscripts to the Media" at the Library of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome and it studies the cognitive and emotional activity during the fruition of passages and images related to the Divine Comedy.

For the acquisition of biometric data and the measurement of cognitive states, the research uses the Mindtooth system developed by BrainSigns as part of a European Fast Track to Innovation project.

The NeuroDante project includes several experimental stations: through 'emozIonDAnte' and 'Dante everGreen', respectively, the degree of acceptance of artificial intelligence in the creation of literary texts and the objective concern for the environment and sustainable consumption are measured. Through the 'TramanDante' station, on the other hand, the neural correlates of the individual and possible synergy between reading and video enjoyment are studied, aiming to identify the best ways of learning a literary text.

The activities also make use of the collaboration of actress Lucilla Giagnoni, who interpreted the dantesque passages used in the study.

Those interested can participate at the Library of the Accademia dei Lincei, Via della Lungara 10, Rome:

  • EmozIonDAnte and Dante everGreen until 25 June 2022 every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • TramanDante on 24,25 and 27 May 2022 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. by appointment at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BrainSigns for a Neuroaesthetics research at MAXXI- National Museum of XXI Century Arts

BrainSigns together with Numero Cromatico, a collective of artists and neuroscientists, is conducting a new research of Neuroaesthetics within the exhibition "SUPERSTIMOLO" at MAXXI- National Museum of XXI Century Arts until 8 May 2022.

Inside the museum, a project room has been created to show the public a particular approach to artistic research. The objective is to create an immersive and introspective space, an environment built to trigger an intense reaction in the user and to outline a new way of coexistence between human beings, artificial intelligences and apparently opposing elements, trying to unravel the idea of distance and diversity.

The research seeks to corrobate the hypothesis that art itself can be defined as something that activates the visitor in more complex and diversified ways with respect to the normal. The project will investigate the emotional and cognitive response of users during the viewing of artworks. Visitors' instinctive responses have already been recorded in collaboration with BrainSigns using the Revive headset, winner of the 2021 ADI Design Index Innovation Award.


Neuroscience and virtual reality: an innovative approach to study scents

More and more companies are paying attention to the new frontier of the study of scents, a field that is spreading intensively and creating new strategies. Seeing and touching is no longer enough, the smell becomes an exciting nectar. There is a relationship between olfaction and brain, in fact scents are able to affect our cognitive functions and mental states. Scents have the ability to stimulate several areas of the brain, generating emotions and memories.

In this regard, a study was conducted to investigate, through the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and virtual reality (VR), the impact of the scent of lavender and lemon, associated respectively with relaxation and activation, on the mental effort of participants when listening to two messages: one generic (welcome message) and one informative (slowdown message). These messages were heard during a train journey from Rome to Milan, simulated with VR.

VR allowed to design a highly immersive environment reducing complications such as: the excessive cost of the real journey, the impossibility to control environmental variables (background noises, distracting elements, etc), limiting the times. The EEG was important for analysing the participants' mental effort.

Results showed a significant increment of mental effort for subjects exposed to lavender in comparison to those exposed to lemon scent when listening to the slowdown message. Considering the relaxing properties of lavender, the results seem to indicate that a calm state creates the condition for better elaboration of the information provided by slowdown message. The impact of the smell also acts even if people are not always aware of it. Despite the fact that all subjects were exposed to a specific smell (lemon or lavender) during the experiment, more than half of the sample (57%) they were unaware of the presence of a smell and only 21% correctly recognised the specific fragrance to which were exposed.

This research shows how the use of the EEG has been important to understand the cognitive effects of scents impossible to observe verbally. The combined approach of neuroscience and virtual reality has been useful and may pave the way for other applications to measure the impact of olfactory stimuli in marketing and communication activities.

Article written in collaboration with: Simona Ceccarelli, Valeria Mantelli and Olivia Ramdin.
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