MIRROR is a project funded by the  Future and Emerging Technology arm of the IST program of the EU and, more specifically under the proactive initiative Neuroinformatics for "Living-Artefacts".

MIRROR is now completed. If you are interested in the latest development of our research, then please visit the website. This is an exciting follow-up project where many of the topics of MIRROR are and will be investigated.


The logo of the Mirror project includes all the essential scientific aspects addressed. First of all we are interested in sensorimotor development in humans and in particular how visual and motor representations are learned and used to control complex motor acts such as grasping. We intend to do that by designing and performing behavioral experiments on infants of different age. Secondly we are interested in testing our ideas by implementing artifacts in the shape of behaving robots learning to perform and recognize actions. Finally the "Mirror" points to the idea of studying the representation of grasping within the framework of the so called "mirror neurons". Mirror neurons were discovered in the monkey's brain and have the unique property of being activated not only when the monkey performs specific grasping actions (not strange for a motor neuron!)  but also when the monkey sees the same grasping action performed by someone else (i.e. the mirror image of its own body). In the framework of the project each mirror neuron represent a living example of the existence of visuomotor representations in the brain of monkeys (and most probably in the brain of humans too) .

In order to investigate how this representation is learned and used, besides experiments with infants and robots, experiments with monkeys and adult humans will also be performed within the project.


Click here for a one-page summary of the project or a longer document extracted from the technical annex.

Click here for documents produced by the project

The Team

University of Genova
Giulio Sandini, Giorgio Metta, Lorenzo Natale, Sajit Rao,
Department of Biomedical Sciences
University of Ferrara
Luciano Fadiga
Instituto Supériore Tecnico - Lisbon
Josè Santos-Victor, Alexandre Bernardino
Department of Psychology
University of Uppsala
Claes von Hofsten, Kerstin Rosander

 Contacts Information

For more information contact any member of the team or:

Prof. Giulio Sandini
Viale F. Causa, 13 - 16145 Genova - Italy
Phone: +39 010 353.2779  - Fax: +39 010 353.2948

... from that gluey mess that filled their heads anything could have come out, and a photosensitive mechanism doesn't take all that much trouble to put together. But when it comes to perfecting it, that's another story!

From "The Spiral"
Cosmicomics - Italo Calvino