Multisensory brain mechanisms of bodily self-consciousness
MetaBody technology is powered by neuroscience algorithms based on Prof. Blanke’s (co-founder and chairman of Metaphysiks) neurobiological model of subjectivity and self-consciousness. In this article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Prof. Blanke discusses the brain mechanisms involved in multisensory own body perception and argues why these bodily signals are essential for self-consciousness. (Science – Part I).
A flexible multimodal tactile display for delivering shape and material information
In this article published within a collaboration between Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Swiss Federal institute of Technology (EPFL), Dr. Gallo, co-founder and Head of Technology of Metaphysiks, lays the foundation for MetaBody unique tactile interfaces. This is the first successful development of a multimodal tactile technology providing pressure and temperature on a flexible substrate. (Technology – Part I).
Assimilation of virtual legs and perception of floor texture by complete paraplegic patients receiving artificial tactile feedback
In this pioneering work published in Nature Scientific Reports, missing haptic sensations from the lower body of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients were remapped on their upper limbs using a wearable haptic interface. Dr. Gallo, Metaphysiks’s co-founder, developed the haptic interface and greatly contributed to the experiential paradigm that induced in patients the unique sensation of walking on different ground types, from sand to concrete. This research was part of the Walk Again Project and was show-cased in the open ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2014 where one of the patients, Juliano Pinto, clad in an exoskeleton gave the ceremonial kick-off of the World Cup (Experience Engineering – Part I).
Behavioral, neural, and computational principle of bodily self-consciousness
In the article, published in the prestigious journal Neuron, Prof. Blanke extends is theory on bodily signals and self-consciousness, by highlighting the behavioral, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and computational laws that subtend bodily self-consciousness in humans and non-human primates. (Science Part II).
Design and Control of a novel Thermo-tactile Multimodal Display
Using a fluidic actuation to remotely control flexible interfaces in contact with the user, Metaphysiks co-founder, Dr. Gallo, developed a novel solution compensating for the main shortcomings of previous multimodal technologies: limited thermal performance and lack of scalability to different body parts. This solution, the first embodiment of the MetaBody technology, has an extremely fast and repetitive thermal response coupled with strong pressure stimulations, and can be easily scaled to stimulate larger, changing body areas. (Technology – Part II)
Multisensory bionic limb to achieve prosthesis embodiment and reduce distorted phantom limb perceptions
In a breakthrough approach that combines virtual reality and artificial tactile sensations, two amputees feel as though their prosthetic hand belongs to their own body. Moreover, the scientists lead by Metaphysiks co-founders Dr. Rognini and Prof. Blanke show that the phantom limb actually grows into the prosthetic hand. This work was published in a clinical journal of the prestigious British Medical Association: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (Experience Engineering – Part II).
Cognetics: Robotics interfaces for the conscious mind
In this article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Metaphysiks’s co-founders Dr. Rognini and Prof. Blanke, sketch out how robotics and neuroscience may work together to shape the future of human enhancement. Metaphysiks is following this path. (Science – Part III).
Encoded and crossmodal thermal stimulation through a fingertip-sized haptic display
In this article, Metaphysiks co-founders, Dr. Gallo and Dr. Rognini, and colleagues study human thermal resolution and investigate the influence of skin temperature on the perception of other tactile features, specifically on stiffness perception. Understanding and exploiting crossmodal interactions between thermal and tactile receptors in the skin is what allows the MetaBody technology to recreate unique tactile experiences, such as wetness. (Technology – Part III)
Neurological and Robot-controlled induction of an apparition
Metaphysiks co-founders Dr. Rognini and Prof. Blanke led the team that showed how it is possible to use robotic technology to induce and investigate the neural underpinnings of the feeling of a presence, the uncanny sensation that someone is closed by when no one is present. The research was published in Current Biology and received vast media coverage, such as The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, BBC, Le Monde, National Geographic, Wired and more. (Experience Engineering – Part III).
What is a conscious self?
Starting with the neurology of out-of-body experiences and the breakdown of bodily mechanisms of self-consciousness, Prof. Blanke, co-founder and chairman of Metaphysiks, presents neuroscience data on self-consciousness and subjectivity in healthy subjects and patients populations using techniques from cognitive neuroscience and engineering-based technologies such as virtual reality and robotics. (Science – Part IV).