Research


Dr. Cacciamani's Multisensory Perception Lab

How do we perceive the world around us? 
It seems easy, right? We simply open our eyes and effortlessly perceive the objects around us, even to the extent of accessing memories and information pertaining to those objects. 

For instance, since I obtained my Ph.D. in Arizona, I could go on a hike and easily perceive a tall, green, prickly object, and subsequently identify that object as a cactus. Moreover, I am able to access memories and information pertaining to cacti (i.e., they are sharp) so that I can respond accordingly to this situation (don't touch it!). I am also able to use my spatial perception abilities to successfully navigate around the cactus without bumping into it (hopefully). And all of this processing occurs within the blink of an eye, without even thinking about it.

The above anecdotal example demonstrates the importance of perception and memory in our daily lives. But how do these processes work? How do we unconsciously perform these complex tasks so quickly and easily? How does information from the various senses (not just vision) come together to produce one coherent percept? What about in those who are blind or visually impaired who are unable to use vision to perceive the world around them? My research has focused on answering these intriguing questions.

To do so, I have employed a variety of methodologies, including behavioral measures, eye-tracking, neuroimaging (such as fMRI), and neurostimulation (specifically, transcranial direct current stimulation). 



  


Interested in getting involved in the lab?

A research internship in the Multisensory Perception lab is a two-quarter commitment (at least) often through PSY 448/449 for Cal Poly psychology majors. Please contact me for more information on current projects and how to apply.