Research doctor and psychologist-psychotherapist. Lecturer in the Brain and Behavioural Sciences Department at University of Pavia. He has been involved for several years in the development of new and innovative methodologies for the treatment of addiction in a resilience-oriented perspective. He is the author of numerous scientific publications in national and international journals, books and book-chapters, particularly concerning addiction and resilience. Many of the scientific works focus on the use of neural network models.
Treating addiction through BCI. The “Be your brain” project
This work explores the ability of subjects with addiction problems to activate coping strategies and resources after training with the use of BCI.
The literature highlighted that the Training for the Improvement of Coping Strategies (CST) and Treatment with Cue Exposure (CET) represent two approaches recognized as effective in the treatment of addiction, based on these assumptions we developed a research design.
Two groups of subjects divided into two groups; the subjects in the experimental group attended five weeks of training consisting of the exposure, through the use of software specifically created and connected to a BCI helmet, to 30 images that recall the substance. The images were chosen by each subject himself, together with the experimenter, in order to identify those images that had a greater salience for the person. The task was to manipulate the images moving them on a computer screen, using the BCI system.
The first results show how, thanks to the training, the experimental subjects developed a good self-efficacy and decreased the use of avoidance strategies, unlike the control subjects.
These results demonstrate how new technologies can make a significant contribution to health interventions.
The training proposed could be implemented on other devices becoming more “user friendly”; it could become a smartphone app, and be used by the subject even outside the care service and independently during the day.