Project Proposal

“Department of Psychology”
Expertise in the design of technologies developed with attention to end-users (co-design) focused on optimizing well-being. Development of devices in co-design and real-time settings to promote physical activity and socialization and for better health and well-being or care provision.
Predispostion and promotion of appropriate physical activity protocols for children. Such protocols were studied for being specifically effective in improving cognitive abilities and fostering health outcomes. Combination of research using behavioural, psychosocial, cognitive, neuropsychological, and psychophysiological methodologies.
Development of communication, language, cognitive, learning, motor, socio-emotional skills and parent-infant relationships in typical and atypical populations (e.g., born preterm, language/cognitive delayed, socio-culturally disadvantaged) from infancy up to school age and adolescence using a multi-method approach, that combines standardized and observational tools with experimental tasks in cross-population and cross-cultural studies.
Evidence-based, innovative, cost-effective interventions supporting child communication, language, cognitive, socio-emotional learning; preventing language/ learning delays, bullying/cyberbullying; promoting psychological and physical well-being, with support of Digital tools.
Extensive experience in studying and promoting positive mental health and well-being in individuals, groups and institutions , by adopting a life-span perspective. “Well-being Therapy” developed and validated as specific psychological intervention for promoting positive emotions and psychological well-being in children. This intervention has been largely applied in schools and clinical settings, with beneficial outcomes for participants. The group is working on developing Virtual Reality software to be integrated in psychological intervention for promoting personal resources and well-being.

Deep knowledge of the functioning of the Italian National Health Service and development of econometric techniques to assess the effects on citizens, with a focus on children and adolescents, of the changes of public health policies.

“Department of Electric, Electronic and Information Engineering”
The group has developed an easy-to-use sensor-based method for ambulatory quantitative assessment of motor control and performance in the developing population, from childhood, to adolescents, to adulthood. The proposed method allows to quantify biomarkers for the characterization and longitudinal monitoring of motor development to analyze the influence of intrinsic (e.g. age, sex, anthropometric characteristics) and extrinsic (e.g. environment, motor activity, socio-economical aspects) factors. We have quantified reference trajectories of longitudinal development of gross and fine motor control in a large typical developing (TD) population of Italian children (from the first week of gait initiation to adulthood, to old age). In TD we characterized biomarkers specific behaviors associated to age and maturation, as well as anthropometry and sudden anthropometric changes, overweight, and sex. Ongoing analysis is investigating the effect of motor activity and socioeconomical condition on larger populations.
The extensive data-base for typical developing population is complemented (thanks to the collaboration of clinical partners) by data-sets and corresponding biomarker alterations associated to specific conditions such as preterm birth, minor skeletal deformities, congenital neurological pathologies.
The developed methodology (TRL 5-6) comprises protocol and set-up (independent on the specific sensor used) for easy to use, low-cost, clinical and/or ambulatory assessment (e.g. for home, school, open-air assessment by non-technical users), tools for data processing and motor biomarkers calculation, and reference development maturation trajectories of said biomarkers.
The set-up and protocol allow assessment of motor control biomarkers in daily living environment. The method can be applied for continuous monitoring of the motor development of individual children, for analysis of the impact of environmental and or socio/economic factors on children populations, and/or analysis of differences among populations (e.g. impact of socio-cultural differences).

“Department of Translation and Interpretation”
Creation of sustainable and inclusive language communication services that contribute to the success of the medical project activities.
Mapping and analyzing language communication and information needs within the medical research projects; documenting and analyzing health, disease and treatment related narratives, images and perceptions from an comparative, intra- and intercultural perspective; identification of efficient communication practices.

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637e153b447dc_Draft work programme 2023-2024 'Health'.pdf