Massimiliano Di Luca

Alumni of the Department Human Perception, Cognition & Action
Alumni of the Research Group Multisensory Perception & Action

Main Focus


  • 04/05/2011: Personal website:
  • 03/05/2011: From 01/08/2011 I will be lecturer at the University of Birmingham in the (center for Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics). I will leave the Max Planck in Tüebingen during the summer.

The goal of my research is to understand perceptual processing of multiple sources of sensory information. In particular, I investigate what are the temporal properties of multisensory perception.

Perceptual theories usually consider a steady-state situation, but in reality the information we pick up from the environment is continuously varying: objects move unpredictably, signals appear and disappear, sensory noise changes, and our sensory system adapts to the sensory stimuli. Nevertheless, the perceptual system can combine information even when the conditions of stimulation are not stable over time, but it is not clear whether this makes a difference for the theoretical accounts of perception. One can discover what are the characteristics of the perceptual system only by using stimuli that contain such natural-occurring changes.

Subjective timing is also an open window from which to investigate perception. Perceptual time is subject to distortion and seldom corresponds to objective time. For example, event timing is not perceived consistently across modalities, it is influenced by our actions, it changes depending on previous stimulation, and it is also affected by the status of the observer. These influences can be exploited to investigate how multimodal percepts are created and what are the temporal constraints in the integration mechanism.

2010 - 2011      7th FP IP 248587 “THE” ()

Apr-Jun 2010   HFSP grant RPG 2006/3 ()

2006 - 2010      6th FP IP 27141 “ImmerSence” ()

Curriculum Vitae

01/06/2006 - 31/09/2011  Postdoctoral fellow, MPI 

01/09/2001 - 28/05/2006  PhD in Cognitive science, Brown Universtity

14/09/1994 - 11/12/2000  Laurea in psicologia, Universitá degli studi di Trieste


Sheridan teaching certificate, Brown University

Electronics officer navy training

CAD-CAM course: 3D and electronic circuit design

Technical high school in telecommunication


2005  Corinna Borden Keen research fellowship

2001  Brown University fellowship

2000  Summa cum Laude, Universitá di Trieste

Courses taught

04/2009 Blockpraktikum (2-week behavioral laboratory course), MPI

Su 2005 CG044/PY044 Perception and Mind, Brown University

Su 2003 One-day course on simultaneous contrast, Summer@Brown

Su 1999 150 hours course on Windows NT and Office, Italian public administration

Sp 1999 150 hours course on Windows NT and Office, Italian public administration

Other teaching experience at Brown University

Sp 2005 Teaching Fellow: CG144 Visualizing Vision, Michael Tarr & Fulvio Domini

Fa 2004 TA: CG001 Approaches to the Mind, Sheila Blumstein

Sp 2004 TA: CG011 Perception, Illusion, and the Visual Arts, William Warren

Sp 2003 TA: CG011 Perception, Illusion, and the Visual Arts, William Warren

Fa 2002 Teaching Fellow: CG144 Visualizing Vision, Michael Tarr & Fulvio Domini


02/2009 - present  Jessica Harcther-O’brian (University of Oxford), PhD project

06/2006 - present  Tonja-Kathryn Machulla (MPI, Tübingen), PhD dissertation

09/2010 - 11/2010 Ellen Brölz (MPI, Tübingen), Internship, with Harcther-O’brian

02/2010 - 10/2010 Cesare Parise (University of Oxford), PhD project

12/2009 - 02/2010 Vera Mönter (MPI, Tübingen), Lab rotation

02/2009 - 09/2009 Devika Narain (LMU, Munich), Master dissertation

07/2008 - 08/2008 Lubov Zeifman (Penn State), Internship

06/2007 - 06/2008 Eva Frolich (University of Tübingen), Internship, with Machulla

08/2008 - 10/2008 Devika Narain (LMU, Munich), Internship

04/2008 - 08/2008 Rachel Foster (Brown University), Internship

06/2007 - 08/2007 Dana Darmohray (Mercer College), Internship, with Machulla

02/2007 - 10/2007 Katja Martina Mayer (University of Tübingen), Master dissertation

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