A Person like you… Disabled but able
My name is Michael Tarsitano, and I
was an academic doctor, working in the fields of animal behaviour and sensory
integration (e.g. Cognitive – Neurobiology). Now I am a brain cancer victim,
suffering from the effects of the removal of a medulloblastoma while conducting
research at the Department of Integrated Zoology at the
Since my initial release from the hospital, I have been using whatever knowledge and skills I have to build a set of computer rehabilitation exercises similar to those used in the rehabilitation clinics I have been in. I want to create something that patients can use at home outside of treatment. Such “Home Versions” of these commercial rehabilitation games already exist, but their cost is usually too high for most patients to afford, and NOT covered by any Health Insurance. This creates a lack, and limits their effectiveness as a therapeutic tool. In order to eliminate this lack and improve this form of therapy, my “Homework” exercises are free.
January, 1997: Doctor of
Philosophy in Animal Behaviour,
Thesis: "Examination of the mechanisms used by Portia to complete detours."
May, 1992: Masters of Science in Animal Behaviour,
Thesis: "Comparative study of the abilities of jumping spiders to solve problems."
1988: Bachelor of Arts in Classics,
1996 –1997: University Konstanz, Lehrstuhl für Verhaltensbiologie
Research topic: „Examination of the vibration signals used by Portia,
a web-invading jumping spider, in order to deceive its prey."
1999 – 2000:
Research topic: "Olfactory and Visual Sensory Integration in Drosophila melanogaster.
2000 – Today: Undergoing rehabilitation after suffering from a medulloblastoma removed at end of 2000.
Tarsitano, M. S. (2006) Route selection by a jumping spider (Portia labiata) during the locomotory
phase of a detour. Animal Behaviour, 2008, 72,1437-1442
Frye, M. A., Tarsitano M.S. & Dickinson, M.H. (2003) Oder Location requires visual
feedback during free flight in Drosophila melanogaster Journal of Experimental Biology, 843-845
Tarsitano, M. S. & Kirchner, W. H.(2001) Vibration courtship signals of Zygiella x-notata (Clerck)
(Araneae: Araneidae), Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 12 (1), 26-32
Problem by a jumping spider, Portia Fimbriata Behaviour,138,1215-1234
Photos (left to right) My sister and I sharing a watermelon; myself at my brother in-law’s wedding;
my brother and I sharing a laugh; relaxing on the sofa watching TV
(If you want to help with this project, go back to the start page, then click on the “Donate” button)