To be honest, I really don’t give a damn about the brain. I care about the human soul. However, I happen to believe that the soul is in the mind, and that the mind is a functional process instantiated by the brain with its interactions with the body and the environment. Hence, I study the human brain. I have always been interested in how we put together perception and action. Why? Because we do it all the time, because I can’t think of a functioning life without the ability to integrate our percepts with our actions. Even when we are engaged in activities in which the integration of perception and action is almost an afterthought (for instance what I am doing now, typing on my computer this little blurb), we need to integrate perception and action to function properly.
My interest in perception-action coupling led me to the study, among other things, of mirror neurons. In science, as in life, one thing leads to another, and from mirror neurons I went to study human imitation, empathy, and more generally what is called social cognition. As a neurologist, however, I also have a strong interest in the neurobiological mechanisms of neuropsychiatric conditions and how to intervene on those mechanisms.