Arts, Aesthetic and Cultural Heritage

Arts and Neuroscience have been intertwined for centuries. Both fields offer perspectives on how people perceive, think and act, as the study of perception has long characterized their interaction: to what extent the characteristics present in a painting, such as colors, subject, shapes, and light-shadow effect, are related to the sense of gratification, pleasure or distress? How does the observer live and experience the artist's emotional message and its power of transmitting through the perceptual use of the work of art? Although they have their theoretical structures, evolving techniques, and different schools of thought, in recent years the possibility offered by modern methodologies of brain’s functional exploration has favored a more intense dialogue between neuroscience and visual arts, aesthetics, and cultural heritage. This dialogue triggers a better understanding of the neurobiological correlates of artistic experience and of the affective and behavioral response that follows from the interaction with the work of art.

Finance and Investments

Applied Neuroscience allows for the identification of biological conditions, which influence the decisions and automatic mechanisms activated throughout the investment choices, further in conditions of risk, uncertainty, ambiguity, or in strict time intervals. Research in behavioral finance shows how emotions or the socio-economic context influence decisional processes, among which the financial decisions. Today, we can better describe the decision-making fundaments in the allocation of resources thanks to a multidisciplinary approach, by integrating the most innovative discoveries in applied neuroscience and experimental psychology.

Health and Safety

Neuroscience and the comprehension of how the development of the brain influences behavioral models and decisional processes cover an increasingly important role in safety and health management. Understanding how the brain influences our actions can help the adoption of lower risks rules and behaviors towards health. Social neurosciences are relevant for the concept of safety – the way we relate to others and how the relationship affects our behavior. Relations between individuals and fundamental social needs are potential predictors of behavior and can have an impact on the decision-making process, on assuming risks on judgment, and attention in the most delicate aspects. Emotion is the driving engine of behavior. When we are in a more positive emotional state we can better elaborate information and make more informed decisions.

Human Resources

Business strategy studies have highlighted the role of dynamic capabilities - intended as the ability of an organization to integrate, build and reconfigure its resources in response to environmental changes - in achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Each organizational response to changing conditions within the context underlies a decision-making process that determines the choice between different and diverse lines of action. Decision-making processes are the result of complex interactions between cognitive and emotional processes, which involve the interested individual in both her singularity and as a constitutional element of a coordinated and intertwined system that is a company. In such a perspective, applied neurosciences configure themselves as an innovative approach for the comprehension of decisional processes within economic organizations.

Learning and Training

Applied Neuroscience contributes to the valorization of human capital within businesses and supporting individual and organizational learning strategies. Learning styles, which are the cognitive processes through which humans acquire and elaborate new knowledge, are characterized and differentiated among individuals. Neuroscience shows how training personalized and adapted to learning styles has a positive effect on neural efficiency, that is, the level of effectiveness in learning by reducing the acquisition effort for the individual, thus improving their performance. Virtual and immersive environments will increasingly reframe our society, reverberating in e-learning systems and their functioning models. Virtual environments and platforms are nowadays new places of interaction between human beings and virtual humans. Neuroscience allows for the best valorization of, among the other applications, interaction and virtual learning, measuring and optimizing the grade of immersion and embodiment of an individual in the virtual environment, enhancing the learning capacity.

Marketing & Communication

An increasing number of businesses focus their interest on consumer and market analysis based on the perspective of neuroscience applied to marketing. The level of attention to a message, retention capacity, in short, medium, or long-term memory, and the association of content by the subject with positive or negative emotion, become neurometric parameters that help to get to know and serve better the final consumer. Applying neuroscience to marketing means questioning from a new perspective on the business model and commercial strategies and, more generally, the market.

Our approach to research

Neuroscience Lab develops innovative approaches to conduct surveys, lab, and field experiments by integrating the detection of psychometric, behavioral, and psycho-physiologic data to answer questions related to economics, management, and business strategy through the perspective of neuroscience.

The IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca - scientific partner of Neuroscience Lab of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center - has tools such as electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, eye-tracking systems, virtual reality headsets, stress-bracelets, and other sensors to measure physiological, peripheral, and neural indexes.

Our goal is to constantly improve the understanding of the cognitive dynamics that underlie human behavior in the life of social and organizational interaction.