In approaching the era of commercial spaceflight and deep-space exploration to Mars we need to understand how the brain represents gravity. To clarify whether the assumptions we make on gravity are innate or built on experience, we will study early gravity representations in young domestic chicks – a model for cognitive predispositions – and humans. We will investigate terrestrial and non-terrestrial gravities. Tailoring the project on the student’s interests, our interdisciplinary approach in cognitive neuroscience, comparative and developmental psychology combines virtual reality, electrophysiology and controlled-rearing studies. The implications of this project span from fundamental neuroscience and biology to space exploration sector.
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