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Pierfilippo De Sanctis, Ph.D

Project Director, Cognitive Aging & Research
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology

Dr. Pierfilippo De Sanctis is interested in how aging and neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, affect cognition and locomotion. In order to investigate brain functions during active walking in humans, Dr. De Sanctis and his team designed and established the feasibility of a novel Mobile Brain-Body Imaging (MOBI) system. The system employs 3D infra-red camera technology in order to monitor gait, posture, stride-length and foot-falls during ambulation on a treadmill, while high-density electrophysiology is simultaneously recorded. Concurrently, participants are exposed to full-field optical flow stimulation to manipulate visuo-vestibular inputs and/or are engaged in performing cognitive tasks to mimic walking in a complex environment. Their goal is to further understanding of sensory-motor and cognitive impairments to enhance mobility in individuals of advanced age and with neurological disorders.

Recent publications

Malcolm, B.R., Foxe, J.J., Butler, J.S., Molholm, S., De Sanctis, P. (2018). Cognitive load reduces the effects of optic flow on gait and electrocortical dynamics during treadmill walking. Journal of neurophysiology 120 (5). 2246-2259.

Malcolm B.R., Foxe J.J., Butler J.S., Mowrey W.B., Molholm S., De Sanctis P. (2017). Long term test-retest reliability of event-related potential (ERP) recordings during treadmill walking using the mobile brain/body imaging (MoBI) approach. Brain Res. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2017.05.021.

Del Bene, V.A., Foxe, J.J., Ross, L.A., Krakowski, M.I., Czobor, P., De Sanctis, P. (2016). Neuroanatomical Abnormalities in Violent Individuals with and without a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia. PLoS one 11 (12), e0168100.

Morie, K.P., De Sanctis, P., Garavan, H., Foxe, J.J. (2016). Regulating task-monitoring systems in response to variable reward contingencies and outcomes in cocaine addicts. Psychopharmacology 233 (6), 1105-1118.

Krakowski, M.I., De Sanctis, P., Foxe, J.J., Hoptman, M.J., Nolan, K., Kamiel, S., Czobor, P. (2016). Disturbances in response inhibition and emotional processing as potential pathways to violence in schizophrenia: a high-density event-related potential study. Schizophrenia bulletin 42 (4), 963-974.

Krakowski, M.I., Foxe, J.J., De Sanctis, P., Nolan, K., Hoptman, M.J., Shope, C., Kamiel, S., Czobor, P. (2015). Aberrant response inhibition and task switching in psychopathic individuals. Psychiatry research 229 (3), 1017-1023. 

Foxe, J.J., Malcolm, B.R., Butler, J.S., De Sanctis, P. (2015). Reallocating Cognitive Resources During Dual-Task Walking in Aging: A Mobile Brain/Body Imaging (MOBI) Study. Psychophysiology 52, S10-S10.

Malcolm, B.R., Foxe, J.J., Butler, J.S., De Sanctis, P. (2015). The aging brain shows less flexibile reallocation of cognitive resources during dual-task walking: a mobile brain/body imaging (MoBI) study. Neuroimage 117, 230-242.

Morie, K.P., De Sanctis, P., Garavan, H., Foxe, J.J. (2014). Executive dysfunction and reward dysregulation: a high density electrical mapping study in cocaine abusers. Neuroscience 273, 100-117.


Morie, K.P., De Sanctis, P., Foxe, J.J. (2014). Reward contingencies and the recalibration of task monitoring and reward systems: A high-density electrical mapping study.

Morie, K.P., Garavan, H., Bell, R.P., De Sanctis, P., Krakowski, M.I., Foxe, J.J. (2014). Intact inhibitory control processes in abstinent drug abusers (II): a high-density electrical mapping study in former cocaine and heroine addicts. Neuropharmacology 82, 151-160.

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