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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Dr Laura Crucianelli

Dr Laura

Lecturer in Psychology (T&R)

Room Number: Fogg 2.01, Mile End Campus
Twitter: @lauracrucianel1
Office Hours: Please email to arrange a meeting.


Laura Crucianelli is a Lecturer in the Department of Biological & Experimental Psychology, School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, where she coordinates the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience module. Until August 2023, she was a Research Fellow at the Brain, Body, and Self Lab (Ehrsson lab) in the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) funded by a Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie European Fellowship. Laura is also an affiliated member of the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London.

She completed her PhD in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the Department of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, and in collaboration with University College London. Between 2016 and 2018, she worked as a Research Fellow at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, as part of Katerina Fotopoulou’s lab. Her project investigated affective touch, interoception, and sense of body ownership in healthy and clinical populations (e.g., anorexia nervosa, functional motor disorders). She also investigated mother-infant tactile interactions and the effect of intranasal oxytocin in multisensory integration and interoceptive perception in healthy women and women with Anorexia Nervosa.

Laura’s background is in Experimental Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology. She holds a BSc in Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, and a MSc in Neuroscience and Neuropsychology from University of Bologna, Italy. Before starting her PhD, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, conducting research about awareness of illness following right-hemisphere stroke.



Undergraduate Teaching

PSY100 - Essential Skills for Psychologists

PSY323 - Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience


Research Interests:

How do we integrate signals coming from inside our body (i.e., interoception) with signals coming from outside the body (i.e., exteroception) to create a coherent sense of self? And how do we combine signals from different senses to perceive the world around us, that is constantly changing? My research combines behavioural, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods to shed new light on the relationship between mind, brain, and body. I am particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying the perception of skin-mediated signals (i.e., touch, temperature, pain) and how these contribute to the perception of our body as our own, and by implication to our sense of self. 

To address these research questions, I take advantage of a variety of methods, such as bodily illusions, multisensory integration, somatosensory tasks, interoceptive accuracy tasks, virtual reality, and self-reported questionnaires in both healthy and clinical populations. I also conduct studies with sub-clinical psychiatric populations to identify behavioural biomarkers of people at risk of developing mental health conditions. I am interested in investigating somatosensory and body perception across the lifespan, with a particular focus on infants, children, and adults. 

My priority is to conduct fundamental experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience research with a strong translational potential to tackle mental health and societal challenges (e.g., climate change). Working in both clinical and research environments has provided me with a unique appreciation of the importance of bridging cognitive research and clinical practice, and how they can inform each other giving rise to a fruitful dialogue across disciplines. 



Crucianelli, L., Reader, A. T., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2024). Subcortical contributions to the sense of body ownership. Brain, 147(2), 390-405.

Crucianelli, L., Radziun, D., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2024). Thermosensation and emotion: Thermosensory accuracy in a dynamic thermal matching task is linked to depression and anxiety symptomatology. Physiology & Behavior273, 114407.


Cook, C., Crucianelli, L., & Filippetti, M. L. (2023). Changes in self-other boundaries modulate children’s body image attitudes. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17.  

Radziun, D., Korczyk, M., Crucianelli, L., Szwed, M., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2023). Heartbeat counting accuracy is enhanced in blind individuals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 152(7), 2026–2039.

Crucianelli, L., & Morrison, I. (2023). Skin-Mediated Interoception: The Perception of Affective Touch and Cutaneous Pain. In: Holmes, N.P. (eds) Somatosensory Research Methods. Neuromethods, vol 196. Humana, New York, NY.  

Radziun, D., Crucianelli, L., Korczyk, M., Szwed, M., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2023). The perception of affective and discriminative touch in blind individuals. Behavioural Brain Research.  

Navas-León, S., Márquez, L. M., Sánchez-Martín, M., Crucianelli, L., Bianchi-Berthouze, N., Borda-Mas, M., & Tajadura-Jiménez, A. (2023). Exploring multisensory integration of non‑naturalistic sounds on body perception in young females with eating disorders symptomatology: a study protocol. Journal of Eating Disorders, 11, 28.

Crucianelli, L., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2023). The role of the skin in interoception: A neglected organ? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 18(1), 224–238. 


Tajadura-Jiménez, A.*, Crucianelli, L.*, Zheng, R. et al. (2022). Body weight distortions in an auditory-driven body illusion in subclinical and clinical eating disorders. Scientific Report, 12, 20031.  

Crucianelli, L.*, Chancel, M*., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2022). Modeling affective touch pleasantness across skin types at the individual level reveals a reliable and stable basic function. Journal of Neurophysiology, 128(6), 1435-1452.

Crucianelli, L., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2022). Visuo-thermal congruency modulates the sense of body ownership. Communications Biology, 5: 731.  

Crucianelli, L., Enmalm, A., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2022). Interoception as independent cardiac, thermosensory, nociceptive, and affective touch perceptual submodalities. Biological Psychology, 108355.  

Saramandi, A., Crucianelli, L., Koukoutsakis, A., Nisticò, V., Baiza, A., Goeta, D., … & Fotopoulou, A. (2022). Belief updating about Interoception and Body Size Estimation in Anorexia Nervosa. PsyArXiv, 10.31234/  

Crucianelli, L., Cascio, C. J., Salomon, R., & Salvato, G. (2022). When the Body Feels Like Mine: Constructing and Deconstructing the Sense of Body Ownership Through the Lifespan. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 116.  

Panagiotopoulou, E., Crucianelli, L., Lemma, A., & Fotopoulou, A. (2022). Identifying with the beautiful: Facial attractiveness effects on unisensory and multisensory self–other distinction. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 75(7), 1314-1329.  

Radziun, D., Crucianelli, L., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2022). Limits of cross-modal plasticity? Short-term visual deprivation does not enhance cardiac interoception, thermosensation, or tactile spatial acuity. Biological Psychology, 108248.  


Crucianelli, L., Demartini, B., Goeta, D., Nisticò, V., Saramandi, A., Bertelli, S., … & Fotopoulou, A. (2021). The anticipation and perception of affective touch in women with and recovered from Anorexia Nervosa. Neuroscience.  

Ricciardi, L., Nisticò, V., Andrenelli, E., Cunha, J. M., Demartini, B., Kirsch, L. P., Crucianelli, L., et al. (2021). Exploring three levels of interoception in people with Functional Motor Disorders. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders.  

Carey, M., Crucianelli, L., Preston, C., & Fotopoulou, A. (2021). The role of affective touch in whole-body embodiment remains equivocal. Consciousness and Cognition, 87, 103059. 


Jenkinson, P. M., Papadaki, C., Besharati, S., Moro, V., Gobbetto, V., Crucianelli, L., … & Fotopoulou, A. (2020). Welcoming back my arm: Affective touch increases body ownership following right hemisphere stroke. Brain Communications.  

Kirsch, L.P., Besharati, S., Papadaki, C., Crucianelli, L., Bertagnoli, S., Ward, N., Moro, V., Jenkinson, P.M. & Fotopoulou, A. (2020). Damage to the Right Insula Disrupts the Perception of Affective Touch. eLife, 9, e47895.  

Crucianelli, L., & Filippetti, M. L. (2020). Developmental perspectives on interpersonal affective touch. Topoi, 39(3), 575-586. 


Reader, A*. & Crucianelli, L.* (2019). A Multisensory Perspective on the Role of the Amygdala in Body Ownership. The Journal of Neuroscience, 39(39), 7645-7647.  

Filippetti, M.L., & Crucianelli, L. (2019).If I were a grown-up: Children’s response to the rubber hand illusion with different hand sizes. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 185, 191-205.  

Crucianelli, L., Paloyelis, Y., Ricciardi, L., Jenkinson, P.M. & Fotopoulou, A. (2019). Embodied precision: Intranasal oxytocin modulates multisensory integration. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 31(4), 592-606.  

Crucianelli, L., Serpell, L., Paloyelis, Y., Ricciardi, L., Robinson, P., Jenkinson, P. & Fotopoulou, A. (2019). The effect of intranasal oxytocin on the perception of affective touch and multisensory integration in anorexia nervosa: protocol for a double-blind placebo-controlled study. BMJ Open, 9 (3), e024913.  

Carey, M., Crucianelli, L., Preston, C. & Fotopoulou, A. (2019). The Effect of Visual Capture Towards Subjective Embodiment Within the Full Body Illusion. Scientific Reports, 9 (1), 2889.  

Filippetti, M.L., Kirsch, L.P., Crucianelli, L. & Fotopoulou, A. (2019). Affective certainty and congruency of touch modulate the experience of the rubber hand illusion. Scientific Reports, 9 (1), 2635.  

Ciaunica, A. & Crucianelli, L. (2019). Minimal self-awareness from within: A developmental perspective. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 26 (3-4), 207-226. 


Crucianelli, L., Wheatley, L., Filippetti, M. L., Jenkinson, P. M., Kirk, E., & Fotopoulou, A. (2018). The Mindedness of Maternal Touch: A longitudinal Investigation of Maternal Mind-Mindedness and Mother-Infant Touch Interactions. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 35, 47-56.  

Kirsch, L., Krahé, C., Blom, N., Crucianelli, L., Moro, V., Jenkinson, P.M., Fotopoulou, A. (2018). Reading the Mind in the Touch: Neurophysiological Specificity in the Communication of Emotions by Touch. Neuropsychologia, 116, 136-149. 


Crucianelli, L., Krahé, C., Jenkinson, P. & Fotopoulou, A. (2017). Interoceptive Ingredients of Body Ownership: Affective Touch and Cardiac Awareness in the Rubber Hand Illusion. Cortex, 104, 180-192. 


Crucianelli, L., Cardi, V., Treasure, J., Jenkinson, P. & Fotopoulou, A. (2016). The perception of affective touch in Anorexia Nervosa. Psychiatry Research, 239, 72-78.  

Demartini,B., Ricciardi, L., Crucianelli, L., Fotopoulou, A & Edwards, M. J. (2016) Sense of body ownership in patients affected by functional motor symptoms (conversion disorder). Consciousness and Cognition, 39: 70-76.  

Gentsch, A., Crucianelli, L., Jenkinson, P. & Fotopoulou, A. (2016). The Touched Self: Affective Touch and Body Awareness in Health and Disease. In H. Olausson, J. Wessberg, I. Morrison, F. McGlone (Eds.), Affective Touch and the Neurophysiology of CT Afferents. Springer New York.  

Ricciardi, L., Demartini,B., Crucianelli, L., Krahe’, C., Edwards, M. J. & Fotopoulou, A. (2016) Interoceptive awareness in patients with functional neurological symptoms. Biological Psychology, 113, 68-74. 


Ricciardi, L., Demartini, B., Crucianelli, L., Edwards, M. J., & Fotopoulou, A. (2014). Interoceptive sensitivity and sense of body ownership in patients with functional neurological symptoms. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 85(8), e3-e3.  

Besharati, S., Crucianelli, L. & Fotopoulou, A. (2014). Restoring awareness: a review of rehabilitation in anosognosia for hemiplegia. Revista Chilena de Neuropsicologia, 9(1E): 31-37. 


Crucianelli, L., Metcalf, N.K., Fotopoulou, A. & Jenkinson, P.M. (2013). Bodily pleasure matters: velocity of touch modulates body ownership during the rubber hand illusion. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 703.  

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