Dr Massimiliano (Max) Di Luca

Massimiliano (Max) Di Luca

School of Psychology
Associate Professor

Contact details

School of Psychology
Gisbert Kapp
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Max Di Luca - Research in 60 seconds videoDr Di Luca investigates the mechanisms of human perception using psychophysical methods and computational modeling. The goal of his research is to understand how the brain progressively builds the perception of the environment by picking up information through actions and by integrating sensations over time.

Personal website: http://massimilianodiluca.info/
Lab website: https://virtualrealitylab.netlify.app



  • 2000, Laurea in Psychology, Università di Trieste, Italy
  • 2006, PhD in Cognitive Science, Brown University, USA


  • since 2019 Mind, Brain, and Models
  • 2016-2017 Mind, Brain, and Models 
  • 2014-2015 Mind, Brain, and Models
  • 2014-2015 Foundations of CNCR 
  • 2013-2014 Mind, Brain, and Models
  • 2013-2014 Foundations of CNCR 
  • 2012-2013 Mind, Brain, and Models

Postgraduate supervision

Max Di Luca’s research interests are within the field of human perception with the goal of understanding how the brain combines multisensory information for perception and action. Dr Di Luca is especially interested in capturing the temporal properties of multisensory processing and to model the computations performed in obtaining a percept. For this, Dr Di Luca uses psychophysical methods, signal processing, Bayesian modeling, and a wide range of technological tools. Current research covers several areas of perception and action:

Perception of temporal properties
Temporal factors in multisensory integration
Visual-haptic interaction
Perceptual recalibration
3D shape perception


Highlight publications

Di Luca, M, Seifi, H, Egan, S & Gonzalez-Franco, M 2021, Locomotion vault: the extra mile in analyzing VR locomotion techniques. in CHI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems., 128, CHI: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), CHI '21: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Virtual, Online, Japan, 8/05/21. https://doi.org/10.1145/3411764.3445319

Di Luca, M & Rhodes, D 2016, 'Optimal perceived timing: integrating sensory information with dynamically updated expectations', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, 28563. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28563

Di Luca, M, Ernst, MO & Backus, BT 2010, 'Learning to use an invisible visual signal for perception', Current Biology, vol. 20, no. 20, pp. 1860-1863. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2010.09.047

Di Luca, M, Machulla, T-K & Ernst, MO 2009, 'Recalibration of multisensory simultaneity: cross-modal transfer coincides with a change in perceptual latency', Journal of Vision, vol. 9, no. 12, pp. 7.1-16. https://doi.org/10.1167/9.12.7

Sun, H-C, Welchman, AE, Chang, DHF & Di Luca, M 2016, 'Look but don't touch: Visual cues to surface structure drive somatosensory cortex', NeuroImage, vol. 128, pp. 353-361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.054

Recent publications


Abdlkarim, D, Di Luca, M, Aves, P, Maaroufi, M, Yeo, SH, Miall, RC, Holland, P & Galea, JM 2023, 'A methodological framework to assess the accuracy of virtual reality hand-tracking systems: A case study with the Meta Quest 2', Behavior Research Methods. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-022-02051-8

Adkins, A, Normoyle, A, Lin, L, Sun, Y, Ye, Y, Di Luca, M & Joerg, S 2023, 'How important are detailed hand motions for communication for a virtual character through the lens of charades?', ACM Transactions on Graphics. https://doi.org/10.1145/3578575

Cataldo, A, Di Luca, M, Deroy, O & Hayward, V 2023, 'Touching with the eyes: oculomotor self-touch induces illusory body ownership', iScience, vol. 26, no. 3, 106180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.106180

Deflorio, D, Di Luca, M & Wing, AM 2022, 'Skin properties and afferent density in the deterioration of tactile spatial acuity with age', The Journal of Physiology, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP283174

Van Beek, FE, King, RJ, Brown, C, Di Luca, M & Keller, S 2021, 'Static weight perception through skin stretch and kinesthetic information: detection thresholds, JNDs, and PSEs', IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 20-31. https://doi.org/10.1109/TOH.2020.3009599

Conference contribution

Ortenzi, V, Filipovica, M, Abdlkarim, D, Pardi, T, Takahashi, C, Wing, A, Di Luca, M & Kuchenbecker, KJ 2022, Robot, pass me the tool: handle visibility facilitates task-oriented handovers. in HRI '22: Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, ACM/IEEE, pp. 256–264, HRI '22, 7/03/22. https://doi.org/10.5555/3523760.3523797

Abdlkarim, D, Ortenzi, V, Pardi, T, Filipovica, M, Wing, A, Kuchenbecker, KJ & Di Luca, M 2021, PrendoSim: proxy-hand-based robot grasp generator. in O Gusikhin, H Nijmeijer & K Madani (eds), Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics. SciTePress Digital Library, pp. 60-68, 18th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics, 6/07/21. https://doi.org/10.5220/0010549800600068


Sarac, M, Huh, TM, Choi, H, Cutkosky, M, Di Luca, M & Okamura, AM 2022, 'Perceived intensities of normal and shear skin stimuli using a wearable haptic bracelet', IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 6099-6106. https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2021.3140132


Di Luca, M, Liu, T & Israr, A, Systems and methods for delivering a plurality of haptic effects, Patent No. 11030865. <https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/3e/4f/b0/3f56a980bc0f10/US11030865.pdf>


Tomczak, M, Li, MS, Bradbury, A, Elliott, M, Stables, R, Witek, M, Goodman, T, Abdlkarim, D, Luca, MD, Wing, A & Hockman, J 2022 'Annotation of soft onsets in string ensemble recordings' arXiv. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2211.08848

Sarac, M, Okamura, AM & Luca, MD 2022 'Effects of haptic feedback on the wrist during virtual manipulation' arXiv. <https://arxiv.org/abs/2204.05830>

Sarac, M, Luca, MD & Okamura, AM 2022 'Perception of mechanical properties via wrist haptics: effects of feedback congruence' arXiv. <https://arxiv.org/abs/2204.05550>

Review article

Deflorio, D, Di Luca, M & Wing, A 2022, 'Skin and mechanoreceptor contribution to tactile input for perception: a review of simulation models', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 16, 862344. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2022.862344


Seifi, H, Di Luca, M & Gonzalez-Franco, M, Locomotion vault, 2021, Software. <https://locomotionvault.github.io>

Abdlkarim, D, Filipovica, M, Pardi, T, Ortenzi, V, Wing, A, Kuchenbecker, KJ & Di Luca, M, PrendoSim, 2021, Software. <https://prendosim.github.io>

View all publications in research portal