SCI-Research Group

The International Group for Research into Spinal Cord Injury (SCI-Research Group) aims to provide a way of linking the various Italian and European centres devoted to research into SCI and rehabilitation for SCI patients.

This consortium is the result of a long term experience involving research and cooperation between the NPSY.Lab-VR of the Department of Human Sciences at the University of Verona and two other institutions in the Verona area: the Spinal Unit of the Department of Rehabilitation at the “Sacro Cuore” Hospital in Negrar and GALM (the Entertainment Group for people with Spinal Cord Injury).

The SCI-Research Group promotes highly ethical scientific research aimed at a better comprehension of the functional, psychological and social changes following spinal cord injury. Particular attention is paid to neuroplasticity mechanisms and rehabilitative potentialities. Furthermore, the group is interested in social reintegration issues and more generally in rebuilding normal daily life after SCI.

To this end we use methods and instrumentation ranging from experimental psychology to neurophysiology and from social psychology to ethnography. The ultimate goal of this research is to improve our understanding of the changes caused by SC lesions and to improve methods of re-education for people with spinal cord lesions.

Some of the main areas of study are:

  • Body representation and awareness
  • The role of interoceptive perception in the absence of somatic and proprioceptive sensitivity
  • The role of the vestibular system in equilibrium
  • Modifications in action representation
  • The representation of the space around the body
  • Body, space and action representation in the designing of mechanical and electronic tools for environmental control (BCI)

The SCI-Research Group is a platform for meeting and sharing among research groups. It consists of members from Italian and other European laboratories and rehabilitative centres guaranteeing the provision of documented evidence resulting from top quality research and/or re-education.

This group is coordinated by prof. Valentina Moro and dr. Michele Scandola

To apply for membership, please contact the laboratory at this email address:

or call (+39)0458028370 (prof. Valentina Moro) (+39)0458028407 (dr. Michele Scandola)


  • NPSY.Lab-VR, Department of Philosophy, Education and Psychology at the University of Verona (contact person: Prof. Valentina Moro and Dr. Michele Scandola)
  • Spinal Unit of the Department of Rehabilitation at the “Sacro Cuore” Hospital in Negrar (contact person: Dr Elena Rossato, MD)
  • Spinal Unit at the “Azienda Ospedaliera della Valtellina e della Valchiavenna” Hospital in Sondalo (contact person: Dr Rossella Togni, MD)
  • AgliotiLAB (SCNL – Social and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory), Department of Psychology, “La Sapienza” University of Rome (contact person: Prof. Salvatore M. Aglioti)
  • GALM (the Entertainment Group for people with Spinal Cord Injury), via Camacici, 4, 37057, Pozzo di San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR) (contact person: Gabriella Fermanti)
  • LNCO (Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience), Brain-Mind Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne  (contact person: Prof. Olaf Blanke)
  • LINE  (Laboratory for Investigative Neurophysiology), Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudios (CHUV) (contact person: Dr. Silvio Ionta)
  • PERCRO (Perceptual Robotics Laboratory), Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies (TECIP) of the Scuola  Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy (contact person: Prof. Silvestro Micera and clinical ref: Prof. Del Popolo, la Dr. Pfanner, il Dr. Righi)
  • SpinalCord-ItalianLab, composed by the Unipolar Spinal Unit (USU) of the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure and the Department of Computer Science, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering (DIBRIS) of the University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy (contact person: Prof. Maura Casadio and Dr. Antonino Massone)
  • FENNSI (Functional Exploration and Neuromodulation of the CNS), Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos, Toledo, Spain (contact person: Prof. Antonio Oliviero)
  • HES-SO Valais Wallis, Institute of Health; The Sense – Innovation & Research Center Lausanne & Sion (contact person: Prof. Michela Bassolino)
  • Advanced Imaging Research (AIR) Group – Swiss Paraplegic Research at Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
    6207 Nottwil, Switzerland (contact person: Group Leader Dr. Giuseppe Angelo Zito)



Moro, V., Beccherle, M., Scandola, M., & Aglioti, S. M. (2023). Massive body-brain disconnection consequent to spinal cord injuries drives profound changes in higher-order cognitive and emotional functions: A PRISMA scoping review. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews154, 105395.


Scandola, M. (2022). Body, action, and space representations in people affected by spinal cord injuries. In R. Rajendram, V. Preedy, & C. Martin (Eds.), Diagnosis and Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury (1st ed., pp. 27–39). Elsevier.

Moro, V., Scandola, M., & Aglioti, S. M. (2022). What the study of spinal cord injured patients can tell us about the significance of the body in cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.


Moro, V., Corbella, M., Ionta, S., Ferrari, F., & Scandola, M. (2021). Cognitive Training Improves Disconnected Limbs’ Mental Representation and Peripersonal Space after Spinal Cord Injury. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Visuo-motor and interoceptive influences on peripersonal space representation following spinal cord injury

Michele ScandolaSalvatore Maria AgliotiGiovanna LazzeriRenato AvesaniSilvio IontaValentina Moro

Scientific Reports

Pubmed link


Embodying their own wheelchair modifies extrapersonal space perception in people with spinal cord injury.
Scandola MTogni RTieri GAvesani RBrambilla MAglioti SMMoro V
Experimental Brain Research
Pubmed link

Anticipation of wheelchair and rollerblade actions in spinal cord injured people, rollerbladers, and physiotherapists.
Scandola MAglioti SMAvesani RBertagnoni GMarangoni AMoro V.
PLoS One
Pubmed link

Neurocognitive benefits of physiotherapy for spinal cord injury
Scandola MDodoni LLazzeri GArcangeli CA Avesani RMoro VIonta S.
Journal of Neurotrauma
Pubmed link


Corporeal illusions in chronic spinal cord injuries
Scandola M, Aglioti SM, Avesani R, Bertagnoni G, Marangoni A, Moro V.
Consiousness and Cognition
Pubmed link

Motor imagery in spinal cord injured people is modulated by somatotopic coding, perspective taking, and post-lesional chronic pain.
Scandola M, Aglioti SM, Pozeg P, Avesani R, Moro V
Journal of neuropsychology
Pubmed link


Spinal cord lesions shrink peripersonal space around the feet, passive mobilization of paraplegic limbs restores it.
Scandola M, Aglioti SM, Bonente C, Avesani R, Moro V.
Nature Scientific Reports
Pubmed link


La reinvenzione del quotidiano nei tetraplegici
Moro V, Dall’Ora C, Scandola M, Piasere L.
Antropologia Medica
Rubber hand illusion induced by touching the face ipsilaterally to a deprived hand: evidence for plastic ‘somatotopic’ remapping in tetraplegics
Scandola MTidoni EAvesani RBrunelli GAglioti SMMoro V.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Jun 10;8:404
Pubmed link


Massive somatic deafferentation and motor deefferentation of the lower part of the body impair its visual recognition: a psychophysical study of patients with spinal cord injury.
Pernigo SMoro VAvesani RMiatello CUrgesi CAglioti SM.
Eur J Neurosci.2012 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08266.x. [Epub ahead of print]
Pubmed link