I am Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at Bologna University and head of the Non-invasive brain stimulation section of the Center for studies and research in Cognitive Neuroscience at Bologna University, Cesena Campus. My research interests include the investigation of brain mechanisms of social perception, action and plasticity.
I began my research activity in 2000 at the Cognitive and Social Neuroscience lab, Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Rome "La Sapienza" headed by Salvatore M. Aglioti. In 2001-2006 I worked at the: 1) Cognitive and Social Neuroscience lab, Univ. of Rome "La Sapienza"; 2) Neuropsychology and Transcanial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) lab at the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation of Rome. During this period of time I conducted research on i) the neurophysiological correlates of empathic processes with a special interest in empathy for pain; ii) action perception and iii) motor imagery, by means of TMS, LEPs, somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), and behavioural techniques.
In 2005-2006, I conducted TMS experiments on empathy for pain and action simulation in healthy subjects and autistic patients in UK in collaboration with Prof. Patrick Haggard, Prof. Vincent Walsh (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Univ. College of London) and Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen (Autism Research Centre and Univ. of Cambridge).
In 2006, I began an appointment as an Assistant Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Bologna. I am affiliated with the Centre for studies and research in Cognitive Neuroscience where I lead the section of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation and carry out research with TMS and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on healthy subjects and brain damage patients. Since 2012 I am also affiliated with the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome.
In 2014 I was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2018 I became Coordinator of the Master degree in Neuroscience and neuropsychological rehabilitation at the University of Bologna. I am still pursuing my interests in social cognition (empathy, emotion, action perception) and have started new lines of research, including the exploration of resting-state and task-related neural connectivity and plasticity, both in healthy individuals and stroke patients,
Currently, I am conducting new research combining causative and correlational TMS approaches (at Univ. of Bologna) with EEG and fMRI (also in collaboration with national and internationals institutes), thus extending the use of classical primate neurophysiology ‘perturb and measure’ paradigms to non-invasively investigate causal influence in the human brain.