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Dr. Dalila Burin
Research Fellow, ADAPT
Research Fellow, School Office - Computer Science & Stats
Research Fellow, Trinity Long Room Hub


I got my PhD in Neuroscience at University of Turin (Italy): main goal of my research was to understand the normal cognitive functioning, starting from a neuropsychological approach; I investigated bodily self identity and body awareness with different paradigms, including subjective, behavioural (e.g., the rubber hand illusion) and physiological measurements (e.g., motor evoked potential), mostly on healthy subjects and also on neurological patients. I spent a period abroad, where I learned the technique of Immersive Virtual Reality. Then, I combined my background on cognitive neuropsychology with this new technique: I mainly explored rehabilitative solutions for motor disorders exploiting the possibilities offered by immersive virtual reality. I have worked at the Smart Aging research Center (IDAC, Tohoku University, Japan) where I developed protocols to improve physical and cognitive functions, on young people as well as elderly, using immersive virtual reality and other ICT based solutions. Currently, I am a MSCA Research Fellow at the Trinity College Dublin: here I expand my project on cognitive and social effects following the somatic manipulation of the virtual body.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Dalila Burin, Gabriele Cavanna, Daniela Rabellino, Yuka Kotozaki, Ryuta Kawashima, Neuroendocrine Response and State Anxiety Due to Psychosocial Stress Decrease after a Training with Subject"s Own (but Not Another) Virtual Body: An RCT Study, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, (10), 2022, p6340 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Dalila Burin, Adriana Salatino, Mounia Ziat, Editorial: Virtual, mixed, and augmented reality in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology, Frontiers in Psychology, 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Riccardo Tambone, Giulia Poggio, Maria Pyasik, Dalila Burin, Olga Dal Monte, Selene Schintu, Tommaso Ciorli, Laura Lucà, Maria Vittoria Semino, Fabrizio Doricchi, Lorenzo Pia, Changing your body changes your eating attitudes: embodiment of a slim virtual avatar induces avoidance of high-calorie food, Heliyon, 7, (7), 2021, pe07515 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Riccardo Tambone and Alberto Giachero and Melanie Calati and Maria Teresa Molo and Dalila Burin and Maria Pyasik and Francesca Cabria and Lorenzo Pia, Using Body Ownership to Modulate the Motor System in Stroke Patients, Psychological Science, 32, (5), 2021, p655--667 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Innocenzo Rainero and Mathew J Summers and Michaela Monter and Marco Bazzani and Eleftheria Giannouli and Georg Aumayr and Dalila Burin and Paolo Provero and Alessandro E Vercelli and, The My Active and Healthy Aging ICT platform prevents quality of life decline in older adults: a randomised controlled study, Age and Ageing, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Dalila Burin and Ryuta Kawashima, Repeated Exposure to Illusory Sense of Body Ownership and Agency Over a Moving Virtual Body Improves Executive Functioning and Increases Prefrontal Cortex Activity in the Elderly, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 15, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Maria Pyasik, Irene Ronga, Dalila Burin, Adriana Salatino, Pietro Sarasso, Francesca Garbarini, Raffaella Ricci, Lorenzo Pia, I'm a believer: Illusory self-generated touch elicits sensory attenuation and somatosensory evoked potentials similar to the real self-touch, NeuroImage, 229, 2021, p117727 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Lorenzo Pia, Carlotta Fossataro, Dalila Burin, Valentina Bruno, Lucia Spinazzola, Patrizia Gindri, Katerina Fotopoulou, Anna Berti, Francesca Garbarini, The anatomo-clinical picture of the pathological embodiment over someone else's body part after stroke, Cortex, 130, 2020, p203--219 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

C. Fossataro and D. Burin and I. Ronga and M. Galigani and A. Rossi Sebastiano and L. Pia and F. Garbarini, Agent-dependent modulation of corticospinal excitability during painful transcutaneous electrical stimulation, NeuroImage, 217, 2020, p116897 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Dalila Burin, Noriki Yamaya, Rie Ogitsu, Ryuta Kawashima, Virtual training leads to real acute physical, cognitive and neural benefits on healthy adults: study protocol for a randomized-controlled trial, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Dalila Burin, Noriki Yamaya, Rie Ogitsu, Ryuta Kawashima, Virtual training leads to real acute physical, cognitive and neural benefits on healthy adults: study protocol for a randomized-controlled trial, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

De Pasquale, G., Mastrototaro, L., Pia, L., Burin, D., Wearable system with embedded force sensors for neurologic rehabilitation trainings, Symposium on Design, Test, Integration and Packaging of MEMS/MOEMS, DTIP 2018, 2018, p1-4 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Dell'Anna A, Fossataro C, Burin D, Bruno V, Salatino A, Garbarini F, Pia L, Ricci R, Leman M, Berti A, Entrainment beyond embodiment., Neuropsychologia, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Francesco Ianì, Dalila Burin, Adriana Salatino, Lorenzo Pia, Raffaella Ricci, Monica Bucciarelli, The beneficial effect of a speaker"s gestures on the listener"s memory for action phrases: The pivotal role of the listener"s premotor cortex, Brain and Language, 180-182, 2018, p8--13 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Pyasik M, Burin D, Pia L, On the relation between body ownership and sense of agency: A link at the level of sensory-related signals., Acta psychologica, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Rabellino D, Burin D, Harricharan S, Lloyd C, Frewen PA, McKinnon MC, Lanius RA, Altered Sense of Body Ownership and Agency in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Its Dissociative Subtype: A Rubber Hand Illusion Study., Frontiers in human neuroscience, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Summers MJ, Rainero I, Vercelli AE, Aumayr G, de Rosario H, Mönter M, Kawashima R, My-AHA Consortium, The My Active and Healthy Aging (My-AHA) ICT platform to detect and prevent frailty in older adults: Randomized control trial design and protocol., Alzheimer's & dementia (New York, N. Y.), 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Dalila Burin, Alvise Battaglini, Lorenzo Pia, Giusy Falvo, Mattia Palombella, Adriana Salatino, Comparing intensities and modalities within the sensory attenuation paradigm: Preliminary evidence, Journal of Advanced Research, 8, (6), 2017, p649--653 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

, That's my hand! Therefore, that's my willed action: How body ownership acts upon conscious awareness of willed actions., Cognition, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

, Movements and body ownership: Evidence from the rubber hand illusion after mechanical limb immobilization., Neuropsychologia, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

, Sensing the body, representing the body: Evidence from a neurologically based delusion of body ownership., Cognitive neuropsychology, 2016 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

, "I can't tell whether it's my hand": a pilot study of the neurophenomenology of body representation during the rubber hand illusion in trauma-related disorders., European journal of psychotraumatology, 2016 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

, A predictive nature for tactile awareness? Insights from damaged and intact central-nervous-system functioning., Frontiers in human neuroscience, 2015 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

, Are movements necessary for the sense of body ownership? Evidence from the rubber hand illusion in pure hemiplegic patients., PloS one, 2015 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Research Expertise


How does the brain represent the body and its movements? What technological tools can we use to explore bodily and motor consciousness? How these motor and cognitive processes can be exploited for health, well-being, and clinical purposes? The focus of my work is to understand the processes behind the bodily self-identity, using different measurements, from behavioral (multisensory illusions) to subjective (cognitive/neuropsychological test and questionnaires), from physiological (e.g., electromyography, skin conductance, heart rate) to brain imaging/stimulation (electroencephalography, infrared near spectroscopy, transcranial magnetic stimulation) methods. In the last years, I have included in my research immersive virtual reality (IVR) as a technique that allows the display of a realistic virtual body, inducing the illusory sense of ownership and agency over it. In my current project, the idea is that visuo-motor manipulations of the virtual avatar can have beneficial effects on physiological (muscle volume and activation) and cognitive (body-related social biases) functions in healthy individuals. I want to propose a novel form of training, entirely implemented in the IVR system, performed exclusively by the virtual body (while the real person's body is still), that directly manipulates morphological aspects of the moving virtual body but positively affects different person's bodily and mental functions.