Scientific Publications

It’s not all in your car: functional and structural correlates of exceptional driving skills in professional racers
G. Bernardi, L. Cecchetti, G. Handjaras, L. Sani, A. Gaglianese, R. Ceccarelli, F. Franzoni, F. Galetta, G. Santoro, R. Goebel, E. Ricciardi and P. Pietrini

Driving is a complex behavior that requires the integration of multiple cognitive functions. While many studies have investigated brain activity related to driving simulation under distinct conditions, little is known about the brain morphological and functional architecture in professional competitive driving, which requires exceptional motor and navigational skills. Here, 11 professional racing-car drivers and 11 “naïve” volunteers underwent both structural and functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

How Skill Expertise Shapes the Brain Functional Architecture: An fMRI Study of Visuo-Spatial and Motor Processing in Professional Racing-Car and Naïve Drivers
G. Bernardi, E. Ricciardi, L. Sani, A. Gaglianese, A. Papasogli, R. Ceccarelli, F. Franzoni, F. Galetta, G. Santoro, R. Goebel, P. Pietrini

The present study was designed to investigate the brain functional architecture that subserves visuo-spatial and motor processing in highly skilled individuals. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity while eleven Formula racing-car drivers and eleven ‘naïve’ volunteers performed a motor reaction and a visuo-spatial task.

PLoS ONE 8(10): e77764

Expertise modulates brain activity during passive driving: a study in professional and naïve drivers
G. Bernardi, E. Ricciardi, G. Handjaras, A. Gaglianese, L. Sani, A. Papasogli, R. Ceccarelli, F. Franzoni, F. Galetta, G. Santoro, R. Goebel, P. Pietrini

Here we used fMRI to examine functional brain activity in professional car racers as compared to naïve drivers while they watched a 'camera-car' driving of a Formula One race car.

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Functional reorganization of visuo-motor cortical networks in Formula 1 pilots versus naive drivers
G. Bernardi, E. Ricciardi, L. Sani, A. Gaglianese, A. Papasogli, R. Ceccarelli, F. Franzoni, F. Galetta, G. Santoro, R. Goebel, P. Pietrini

Here we examined whether professional racers would show distinctive patterns of task-related functional brain regional correlations as compared to naive drivers and whether such distinctive networks would be engaged even for simple tasks that do not require any particular skill.

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A High-Resolution MRI Study of Regional Cortical Thickness in Professional Racing and Naïve Drivers
G. Bernardi, L. Sani, E. Ricciardi, J. Reithler, A. Papasogli, R. Ceccarelli, F. Franzoni, G. Santoro, R. Goebel, P. Pietrini

A High-Resolution MRI Study of Regional Cortical Thickness in Professional Racing and Naïve Drivers

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