Dr. Francesco Bavato has been awarded with the “Postdoc.Mobility” Fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation for the project “A virtual reality approach to investigate disturbed self-experience and its neural correlates in psychiatry”. This grant enables outstanding young researchers to complete a research stay abroad over a period of two years.
For this project, Dr. Bavato will join the Lab of Consciousness and Self, headed by Prof. Roy Salomon, Haifa University, Israel, a world-leading lab in the field of VR methods and self-awareness. Here, he will use innovative virtual reality (VR) based methods to study disturbed self-experience in the continuum of physiological to psychopathological conditions.
During his stay in Israel, Dr. Bavato will first test whether VR measures of body agency and self-in-world awareness hold diagnostic validity in psychiatric populations. In a second step, he will use pharmaco-challenge studies to characterize the pharmacological regulation of these markers. This research endeavor aims at improving our diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities by identifying specific dysfunctions in psychiatric disorders that can be targeted by personalized interventions. This study will also support the translation of this novel VR methods into clinically relevant tools for psychiatry.
Dr. Bavato is currently a clinical scientist in the research group Experimental and Clinical Pharmacopsychology headed by Prof Boris Quednow and an attending physician in the PUK outpatient center. We congratulate Francesco Bavato to this great success.