Dr Samuele Contemori

Research Officer

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


A well-presented, self-motivated and professional MSc graduate in sport sciences with a strong passion for human sensorimotor control and kinesiology of musculoskeletal system. Samuele conducted research about neurological impairments of upper limb sensorimotor control, together with investigations of sport/rehab exercise biomechanics. His current research is focusing on context-dependent modulation of rapid visuomotor responses of plausible subcortical origin. His research has showed that there are meaningful subcortical contributions to human reaching behavior.

Research Interests

  • Sensorimotor control of human movement
    My primary research interest is investigating how the human central nervous system transforms sensory inputs into motor outputs either to control interactions with the surrounding environment, acquire motor skills, or deal with sensorimotor impairments.

Research Impacts

Subcortical contribution to human reaching control:

Work produced during my PhD is aligned with mounting evidence showing that the earliest response of human limb muscles during target-directed reaches initiates at latencies (~80ms) that limit cortical processing of the visual input, thus suggesting a subcortical origin for these express visuomotor responses to targets for reaching. My work on this topic highlighted that express visuomotor responses are modulated compatibly with overt expectations about the target to reach (e.g. target presentation time, location, distance). This raises important challenges for theories of how the human brain controls target-directed reaching as it suggests that there are meaningful subcortical sensorimotor circuits contributing to this visuospatial behaviour in humans. The work was selected for a poster (2020) and an oral (2021) presentation at the prestigious Society for the Neural Control of Movement Conference, led to 3 peer-reviewed papers published on The Journal of Neurophysiology and one pre-print paper that is currently under review for publication.

Shoulder sensorimotor impairment associated with muscle hypotrophy:

The topic of how the CNS controls the motor function human upper limb represents a core of my research. My initial work on this topic was focused on studying the relationship between the volitional control of the shoulder and the (plausibly subcortically driven) automatic control of the scapula-on-thorax motion. My earliest works (3 papers) highlighted previously unappreciated sensorimotor impairments of the shoulder function, including altered patterns of automatic arm-scapula coordination, in overhead athletes suffering from infraspinatus muscle atrophy due to suprascapular nerve neuropathy. My subsequent work (2 papers) revealed that the automatic patterns of coordination between the arm and the scapula are modulated appropriately to support the upper limb motor function as a function of the shoulder posture.

Technical Contributions

During my PhD, I have developed and validated a new method to identify the earliest muscle responses to visual stimuli from single trials.


View all Publications


Journal Article

Other Outputs