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Results: 14


Valentina Bambini
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: neurolinguistics, psicolinguitics

Keywords: communication, language

Region: Lombardy


Position/Role

Full Professor in Linguistics at University School for Advanced Studies Pavia

Professional career

She trained in linguistics at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. During her PhD, also obtained in 2007 at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, she undertook studies in neurolinguistics, conducting functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography experiments on the understanding of verbal metaphor. In 2009, thanks to a grant obtained from the Region of Tuscany for the creation of a test to evaluate communicative disorders in pathology, she became a junior researcher. In 2011 she moved to the IUSS University School of Advanced Studies in Pavia, first as a senior researcher, then as an Associate Professor and, since 1st November 2022 Full Professor. As an adjunct or visiting lecturer, she has taught experimental neurolinguistics and pragmatics in various universities in Italy and abroad, including the University Vita-Salute S. Raffaele in Milan, the University of Pisa, the University of Verona, the University of Zurich, the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, and the University of Trondheim. At the IUSS School he coordinates the PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy of Mind, jointly with the University Vita-Salute S. Raffaele of Milan.

Scientific results

She works in the field of neuro-linguistics, with a focus on so-called 'pragmatic' communication skills, which enable us to communicate effectively and go beyond the literal meaning of words. Her scientific achievements mainly concern two main lines of research. The first one is focused on the neurophysiological mechanisms that allow the understanding of linguistic implicits, such as metaphors, irony and humorous jokes. These are very frequent phenomena, which on the one hand benefit communication (e.g. by making it more effective), but on the other hand increase the processing costs in our brains. In this area, he has carried out a neuroimaging study on the understanding of metaphors and several studies with electroencephalogram recording.

The second line of research concerns language disorders, in particular pragmatic language disorder. This disorder can occur in neurodevelopment (e.g. in the autistic spectrum) but also in adults suffering from neurological or psychiatric disorders. It leads to difficulties in having conversations that are appropriate to the context and in grasping the more colourful and emotional aspects of language, thus seriously affecting the individual's social sphere. In this research field, she coordinated a project funded by the Tuscany Region (2010-2013), which led to the creation of the APACS test ('Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates'). APACS has been used to describe pragmatic language disorder in various populations, including schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, dyslexia, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson's disease. The APACS test is currently being adapted from Italian to other languages.

Since 2017, she has been coordinating the project "The interpretative brain", funded by MIUR and aimed at the creation of tools for the rehabilitation and promotion of pragmatic skills in pathology and across the lifespan. The project also deals with the study of the relationships between communication skills and social cognition skills (theory of mind), through behavioural and neurophysiological studies.

In 2017 she founded (together with F. Domaneschi) the network XPRAG.it (Experimental Pragmatics in Italy), which aims at providing an Italian forum to discuss - at an international level - pragmatics issues from an experimental perspective.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of numerous scientific publications in national and international journals and volumes, including:

In Italian with a didactic/divulgative character:

[2017] Bambini V. Il cervello pragmatico. Carocci.

[2017] Bambini V. Dove risiede il linguaggio? Linguaggio, cervello e neurolinguistica.In Masini F, Grandi N (a cura di), Tutto ciò che hai sempre voluto sapere sul linguaggio e sulle lingue, Caissa Italia, 113-116.

[2013] Bambini V. La lingua di Dante entra in risonanza: contributi italiani allo studio dei correlati neurobiologici del linguaggio. In Maraschio N, De Martino D (a cura di), L’italiano dei saperi. Ricerca, scoperta, innovazione, Le Lettere, 7-23.

In English and of a specialised nature:

[2019] Canal P, Bischetti L, Di Paola S, Bertini C, Ricci I, Bambini V.  ‘Honey, shall I change the baby? – Well done, choose another one’: ERP and time-frequency correlates of humor processing.Brain and Cognition.

[2019] Bambini V, Canal P, Resta D, Grimaldi M. Time-course and neurophysiological underpinnings of metaphor in literary context. Discourse Processes, 56:77-97.

[2018] Lecce S, Ronchi L, Del Sette P, Bischetti L, Bambini V. Interpreting physical and mental metaphors: Is Theory of Mind associated with pragmatics in middle childhood?. Journal of Child Language.

[2018] Schaeken W, Van Haeren M, Bambini V. The understanding of scalar implicatures in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Dichotomized responses to violations of informativeness.Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1266.

[2016] Bambini V, Arcara G, Martinelli I, Bernini S, Alvisi E, Moro A, Cappa S, Ceroni M. Communication and pragmatic breakdowns in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. Brain and Language, 153–154:1–12 .

[2016] Arcara G, Bambini V. A test for the Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates (APACS): Normative data and psychometric properties. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:70 

[2016] Bambini V, Bertini C, Schaeken W, Stella A, Di Russo F. Disentangling metaphor from context: An ERP study.Frontiers in Psychology, 7:559.

[2016] Bambini V, Arcara G, Bechi M, Buonocore M, Cavallaro R, Bosia M. The communicative impairment as a core feature of schizophrenia: Frequency of pragmatic deficit, cognitive substrates, and relation with quality of life. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 71:106-120.

[2014] Catani M, Bambini V. A model for Social Communication And Language Evolution and Development (SCALED).Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28:165-171.

[2014] Weiland H, Bambini V, Schumacher P. The role of literal meaning in figurative language comprehension: evidence from masked priming ERP. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8:583.

[2011] Bambini V, Gentili C, Ricciardi E, Bertinetto PM, Pietrini P. Decomposing metaphor processing at the cognitive and neural level through functional magnetic resonance imaging, Brain Research Bulletin 86(3-4):203-216.

Maria Rosaria Cadinu
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: social psychology

Keywords: gender, sexual harrassment, stereotypes

Region: Veneto


Position/Role

Full professor of Social Psychology at the University of Padua

Professional career

After graduating in Philosophy at the University of Trieste (1988) she received a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Oregon in 1996. In 1996, she began her career as a researcher at the University of Padua, where she is currently a full professor.

Scientific results

Research activity on gender issues. Among these, the problem of sexual objectification of women and sexual harassment and the way in which the media, for example the Italian TV, support these phenomena have been investigated. This line of research has shown that viewing Italian TV clips with a representation of sexually objectified women increases adherence to traditional gender norms, which in turn increases the propensity to sexual harassment. Within the construction of a media literacy program, it has also been shown how watching complaint videos of female sexual objectification increases the intention to take collective actions, such as signing a petition against sexist and objectifying media, but only by women participants. Furthermore, the viewing of a complaint video by a group of male participants was effective in reducing their sexual harassment actions, such as sending sexist jokes to an unknown woman, and their intention to engage in more serious sexual harassment such as blackmail and qui pro quo.

Editorial work and publications

Associate Editor for the European Journal of Social Psychology from 2001 to 2004.
Ad-hoc reviewer for the following journals: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Social Cognition, Group processes and Intergroup relations, British Journal of Social Psychology, Social Psychology and Personality Science, European Journal.

International publications:

(2017) Fasoli, F., Cadinu, M., Carnaghi, A., Galdi, S., Guizzo, F., & Tassara, L. How do you self-categorize? Gender and sexual orientation self-categorization in homosexual/heterosexual men and women. Personality and Individual Differences. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.11.011

(2017) Galdi, S., Maass, A., & Cadinu, M. Defending the Victim of Sexual Harassment: The Influence of Civil Courage and Media Exposure. Psychology of Women Quarterly, doi: 0361684317709770.

(2017) Guizzo, F., Cadinu, M. Galdi, S., Maass, A., Latrofa, M. Objecting to Objectification: Women's Collective Action Against Sexual Objectification on Television. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-016-0725-8

(2016) Guizzo, F., & Cadinu, M. Effects of Objectifying Gaze on Women’s Cognitive Performance: the Role of Flow Experience and Internalization of Beauty Ideals. British Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjso.1217

(2016) Pacilli, M.G., Tomasetto, C. & Cadinu, M. Exposure to Sexualized Advertisements Disrupts Children’s Math Performance by Reducing Working Memory.Sex roles: A Journal of Research.DOI: 10.1007/s11199-016-0581-6.

(2015) Hunt, C. J., Fasoli, F., Carnaghi, A., & Cadinu, M. Masculine Self-Presentation and Distancing From Femininity in Gay Men: An Experimental Examination of the Role of Masculinity Threat. Psychology of Men & Masculinity. doi:10.1037/a0039545..

(2014) Galdi, S., Maass, A., & Cadinu, M. Objectifying media: Their effect on gender role norms and sexual harassment of women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 398-413. doi: 10.1177/0361684313515185.

(2013) Cadinu, M., Galdi, S., &Maass, A. Chameleonic social identities: Context induces shifts in homosexuals’ self-categorization and self-stereotyping. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 474-481. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1957

(2013) Galdi, S. Cadinu, M., & Tomasetto, C. In Search of the Roots of Stereotype Threat: The Activation of Math-gender Stereotypes Disrupts Girls’ Performance in Absence of Stereotype Awareness. Child Development. doi:10.1111/cdev.12128

(2013) Maass, A., Cadinu, M., Galdi, S. Sexual Harassment: Motivations and consequences. In M.K. Ryan &N.R. Branscombe (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Gender and Psychology (cap. 21, pp. 341-358). London: Sage.

(2013) Cadinu, M., Latrofa, M., &Carnaghi, A. Comparing Self-Stereotyping with Ingroup- Stereotyping and Outgroup-Stereotyping in Unequal Group Contexts: the case of Gender. Self and Identity, 12, 582-596. Taylor and Francis online. doi:10.1080/15298868.2012.712753.

(2006) Maass, A., & Cadinu, M. Protecting a threatened identity through sexual harassment: A social identity interpretation. In R. Brown &D. Capozza (Eds.). Social Identities: Motivational, emotional, cultural influences (pp. 109-131). Hove, England. Hove, England: Psychology Press/Taylor &Francis (UK).

Awards and prizes

Member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Social Psychology - 6-year term of office (2011-2017).

Florinda Ferreri
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: clinical neurophysiology, neurology

Keywords: brain aging, brain plasticity, dementia, neuromodulation, neuroscience

Region: Veneto


Position/Role

Associate Professor of Neurology in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Padua, Italy.

Professional career

Dr. Florinda Ferreri received honors in Medicine in 2001 and certification in Neurology in 2006 from the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome-Italy, and PhD in Clinical Neurophysiology in 2012 from the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio-Finland. In 2006 she was Research Assistant at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. From 2007 to 2016 Dr. Ferreri was Neurologist Consultant with expertise in Neurophysiology, teaching and research duties at the University Hospital Campus Bio-Medico of Rome and in 2016 she was appointed Assistant Professor. As of April 2018, Dr. Ferreri is Associate Professor of Neurology in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Padua, Italy.

Scientific results

Dr. Florinda Ferreri research activities focus on the study of the physiology of human motor cortex and its pathophysiology in neurodegenerative disorders by using highly innovative neurophysiological techniques and multimodal data collection. In 2008 Dr. Ferreri worked in an international research group that obtained the first direct control of a biomechatronic prosthetic hand via neural interfaces implanted in the peripheral nerves of an amputated patient. In recent years, Dr Ferreri’s commitment has been focused on the technological transfer towards the early diagnosis of neurological diseases and towards rehabilitation procedures with non-invasive electromagnetic stimulations of the brain.

Editorial work and publications

She has signed numerous international scientific publications including:

[2016] Ferreri F, Vecchio F, Vollero L, Guerra A, Petrichella S, Ponzo D, Määtta S, Mervaala E, Könönen M, Ursini F, Pasqualetti P, Iannello G, Rossini PM, Di Lazzaro V. Sensorimotor cortex excitability and connectivity in Alzheimer’s disease: A TMS-EEG Co-registration study. Human Brain Mapping, 37[6):2083-96. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23158.

[2016] Guerra A, Pogosyan A, Nowak M, Tan H, Ferreri F, Di Lazzaro V, Brown P. Phase Dependency of the Human Primary Motor Cortex and Cholinergic Inhibition Cancelation During Beta tACS. Cerebral Cortex, 26(10):3977-90. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw245.

[2015] Rossini PM, Burke D, Chen R, Cohen LG, Daskalakis Z, Di Iorio R, Di Lazzaro V, Ferreri F, Fitzgerald PB, George MS, Hallett M, Lefaucheur JP, Langguth B, Matsumoto H, Miniussi C, Nitsche MA, Pascual-Leone A, Paulus W, Rossi S, Rothwell JC, Siebner HR, Ugawa Y, Walsh V, Ziemann U. Non-invasive electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain, spinal cord, roots and peripheral nerves: Basic principles and procedures for routine clinical and research application. An updated report from an I.F.C.N. Committee. Clinical Neurophysiology Journal,. Feb 10. Review.

[2014] Di Pino G, Pellegrino G, Assenza G, Capone F, Ferreri F, Formica D, Ranieri F, Tombini M, Ziemann U, Rothwell JC, Di Lazzaro V. Modulation of brain plasticity in stroke: a novel model for neurorehabilitation. Nature Reviews Neurology, 10(10):597-608.

[2014] Ferreri F, Vecchio F, Ponzo D, Rossini PM. Time-varying coupling of EEG oscillations of primary motor cortex predicts excitability fluctuations as reflected by motor evoked potentials amplitude: an EEG-TMS study. Human Brain Mapping, 35(5):1969-80.

[2013] Ferreri F, Rossini PM. TMS and TMS-EEG techniques in the study of the excitability, connectivity, and plasticity of the human motor cortex. Reviews Neuroscience, 24(4):431-42. Review.

[2011] Ferreri F, Pasqualetti P, Määttä S, Ponzo D, Ferrarelli F, Tononi G, Mervaala E, Miniussi C and Rossini PM. Imaging human brain cortical effective connectivity during single and paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Neuroimage, 1;54(1):90-102.

[2006] Ferreri F. Curcio G. Patrizio P. De Gennaro L. Fini R. and Rossini PM. Mobile phone emission and human brain excitability. Annals of Neurology, 60(2):188-96.

[2006] Babiloni C, Benussi L, Binetti G, Cassetta E, Dal Forno G, Del Percio C, Ferreri F, Ferri R, Frisoni G, Guidoni R, Miniussi C, Rodriguez G, Romani GL, Squitti R, Ventriglia MC and Rossini PM. Apolipoprotein e and alpha brain rhythms in mild cognitive impairment: a multicentric eeg study. Annals of Neurology, 59(2):323-34.

[2003] Ferreri F, Pauri F, Pasqualetti P, Fini R, Dal Forno G, PM Rossini. Motor cortex excitability in Alzheimer Disease. Annals of Neurology, 53(1):102-8.

Monica Gori
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: experimental psychology

Keywords: bracelet, learning, low vision, motor system, perception, rihabilitation, sensory system, visual disabilities, visually impaired children, visual perception

Region: Liguria


Position/Role

Senior Researcher Tenured - Principal Investigator at U-Vip Unit Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (ITT) Genova

Professional career

Monica Gori graduated in Psychology at the University of Florence in 2004 (cum laude). From 2002 to 2006 she worked at the within the VisionLab of the CNR of Pisa in David Burr’s Laboratory. In 2008 she worked in Martin Banks lab (Berkeley, California). She did her PhD in January 2009 at University of Genoa on Humanoid Technologies supervised by David Burr and Giulio Sandini. Currently Monica Gori is Tenure Track Researcher, leading the Unit for people with visual disabilities (U-Vip Unit) at the Italian Institute of Technology of Genoa.

Scientific results

Monica Gori is expert of development, multisensory integration, sensorial-motor perception and visual disability. Through her research, she studies how the sensory and multi-sensorial perception skills interact during development in children with and without disabilities. The aim of her study is to exploit this knowledge to better understand brain functions, create new rehabilitation programs and to develop new technological solutions to improve the perceptual, motor and social skills of children with sensory disabilities. From 2014 to 2017 she coordinated the European ABBI project (www.abbi.eu), whose aim is precisely the development of a new technology based on sensory-motor rehabilitation for blind and low vision children. The project involves the study and creation of a wearable sound device, similar to a bracelet, also useful for creating sound networks to be placed in environments where the blind are living, thus allowing the hearing, and not the sight, to create a spatial map in which the person can move. From 2017 to 2018 she coordinated the weDRAW European project (www.wedraw.eu) in which she proposed to develop a multisensory approach and technology for learning mathematical skills at the elementary school. weDRAW involved children and teachers in Italy, UK and Ireland. WeDraw is highly interdisciplinary,  involving engineers, psychologists, pedagogics, and industrial links. The project exploits knowledge of multisensory integration in the teaching activity of elementary schools.

Editorial work and publications

Monica Gori is the author of book chapters and numerous scientific articles in international journals, including:

(2018) Gori, Amadeo, Campus Temporal cues influence space estimations in visually impaired individuals. iScience, vol. 6, pp. 319-326.

(2018)Campus, Sandini, Concetta Morrone, & Gori. Spatial localization of sound elicits early responses from occipital visual cortex in humans. Scientific Report.

(2017) Gori, Cappagli, Tonelli, Baud-Bovy, Finocchietti. Devices for visually impaired people: high technological devices with low user acceptance and no adaptability for children Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.

(2017) Gori, Cappagli, Baud-Bovy, & Finocchietti. Shape Perception and Navigation in Blind Adults.Frontiers  in Psychology.

(2017)Cappagli, Cocchi, & Gori. Auditory and proprioceptive spatial impairments in blind children and adults. Developmental Science, 2017.

(2016)  Cuturi, Aggius-Vella, Campus, Parmiggiani, and Gori. From science to technology: orientation and mobility in blind children and adults. Neurosci and Biobe. Reviews 2016, impact factor 10.5 citations 2 (2016) Cappagli G, Gori M. Auditory spatial localization: Developmental delay in children with visual impairments. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 53-54:391-8. 

(2016) Tonelli A, Brayda L, Gori M. Depth echolocation learnt by novice sighted people. PLoS ONE, 11(6):e0156654. 

(2016) Vercillo T, Burr D, Gori M. Early visual deprivation severely compromises the auditory sense of space in congenitally blind children. Developmental Psychology, 52(6):847-53. 

(2015) Finocchietti S, Cappagli G, Porquis LB, [...], Cocchi E, Gori M. Evaluation of the Audio Bracelet for Blind Interaction for improving mobility and spatial cognition in early blind children - A pilot study. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS. 

(2015) Magnusson C, Rydeman B, Finocchietti S, [...], Baud-Bovy G, Gori M. Co-located games created by children with visual impairments. MobileHCI 2015, Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct. 

(2015) Tinelli F, Anobile G, Gori M, [...], Cioni G, Concetta Morrone M. Time, number and attention in very low birth weight children. Neuropsychologia, 73:60-9.

Awards and prizes

(2008) F1000 with the article "Gori et al. 2008; Young children do not integrate visual and haptic form information. Curr Biol, 18(9)"
(2012) TR35 Giovani Innovatori
(2015) Smart Cup Liguria October 2015 Cup for new technological solutions and start-up

 

Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: behavioural neurology

Keywords: Alzheimer, aphasia, dyslexia, language, learning disabilities, neuro degenerative diseases, neuroscience, reading, syntax

Region: ABROAD


Position/Role

Professor of neurology and psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco

Professional career

After graduating from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Brescia in 1993, she continued her studies through a training period in neurology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Subsequently, she obtained a PhD in Neuroscience at University College London and specialised in Behavioural Neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in San Francisco. In the last years Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini, besides teaching neurology in San Francisco, has been involved in the study of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia (PPA), also through the use of neuroimaging techniques and language neuropsychology.

Gorno Tempini  directs the Language Neurobiology Laboratory of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. She also co-founded the UCSF Dyslexia Center in 2015 and is a co-director of the center.

Scientific results

At the Dyslexia Center, she leads a large multidisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists with expertise in behavioral neurology, cognitive neuroscience, speech-language pathology and advanced neuroimaging techniques. Her work in neurodevelopmental disorders aims at discovering the distinct clinical and biological phenotypes of dyslexia and the best approach to diagnose and remediate them.

Editorial work and publications

She has authored over 170 peer-reviewed papers on the neurobiology of language disorders in scientific journals and has been invited to speak at conferences across the globe, including the American Academy of Neurology and the Italian Senate.

Awards and prizes

She is the current recipient of multiple National Institute of Health projects grants and has received a prestigious career award for mentoring scientists and clinicians on the neurobiology of language at UCSF. In 2017, she received a Weill Institute for Neurosciences Trailblazer award to study language development in children, and in 2018, she was distinguished as the Charles Schwab Endowed Professor in Dyslexia and Neurodevelopment.

Daniela Lucangeli
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: developmental psychology, educational psychology

Keywords: brain plasticity, children, development, developmental disorders, dyscalculia, intelectual giftedness, learned helplessness, learning, learning disabilities, mathematics, neuroscience, numbers, psychopatology of learning, special educational needs, teaching strategies, teenagers

Region: Veneto


Position/Role

Vice Rector of the Orientation and Tutorship for the University of Padua and Full Professor of Developmental Psychology at the same university

Professional career

After graduating in Philosophy in 1988 and in Psychology in 1991 at the University of Padua, in 1997 she continued her education with a PhD on an international project in Developmental Psychology at the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands. Her career continued within the university: in 1998 she was a researcher in Developmental Psychology, in 2001 an associate professor and in 2005 a full professor of Developmental Psychology still at the University of Padua. Since 2007 she has been the director of the same university with a delegation to the Orientation and Tutorship, a role she still covers today.

In April 2020 she was called by the Minister of Education, Lucia Azzolina, to join the committee of experts set up at the MIUR with the task of "formulating and presenting ideas and proposals for schools with reference to the current health emergency [Covid-19], but also looking at improving the national education system".

Scientific results

Daniela Lucangeli’s main research interests concern the development and strengthening of numerical intelligence, the maturational processes in the developmental age (first and second childhood, school age and adolescence) and the learning mechanisms in typical and atypical development. She is also involved in the study of functions (language, memory, attention, emotions, metacognition, self-regulation), learning disabilities (such as dyslexia, dysorthography, dysgraphia, dyscalculia) and special educational needs. She also carries out research and studies on enhancing learning, behavioral and cognitive deficits, giftedness and high potential profiles, learning emotions and learned impotence. She has been promoting for years, with the group of researchers and scientists of the World Academy of Sciences for Learning Difficulties, a strong movement of actions for the decline of scientific research in the practices of prevention, strengthening and rehabilitation of development disharmonies. In fact, scientific research has shown that through early intervention in the different "labors" of development, it is possible to obtain the optimization of processes even in situations of possible disability (language, learning, cognitive development, etc.). The focus of her work is not only that related to the analysis of cognitive profiles and to the possible diagnosis but above all to use the best aid strategies for maximum brain plasticity. In recent times she has devoted herself to the study of circuit networks related to warm cognition and emotional learning circuits. In particular, studies aimed at highlighting the contribution of hereditary factors and cultural factors in the development of psychological processes and education. She deepens the study of cognitive functions and processes with the aim of highlighting the important implications of neuroscience in educational processes. As Director, with responsibility for tutoring, "in itinere" and "incoming" guidance from the University of Padua, she coordinates the implementation of regional and European projects aimed at guiding young people in the choice of university and professional.

Editorial work and publications

Daniela Lucangeli is editor of the journal “Difficoltà In Matematica” (Erickson) and referee for several specialized magazines. She is the author of numerous national and international publications and scientific and educational essays, including (in the last five years):

(2017) Sella F, Berteletti I, Lucangeli D, Zorzi M. Pre-school children use space, rather then counting, to infer the numerical magnitude of digits: evidence for a spatial mapping principle. Cognition, 158, 56-67. 

(2016) Sella F, Berteletti I, Lucangeli D, Zorzi M. Spontaneous non‐verbal counting in toddlers. Developmental Science, 19(2), 329-337. 

(2016) Benavides-Varela S, Butterworth B, Burgio F, Arcara G, Lucangeli D, Semenza C. Numerical Activities and Information Learned at Home Link to the Exact Numeracy Skills in 5–6 Years-Old Children. Frontiers in psychology, 7. 

(2015) Sella F, Berteletti I, Lucangeli D, Zorzi M. Varieties of quantity estimation in children. Developmental Psychology, 51(6), 758. 

(2014) Caviola S, Mammarella IC, Lucangeli D, Cornoldi C. Working memory and domain-specific precursors predicting the success in learning written subtraction problems. Learning and Individual Differences, 36, 92-100. 

(2014) Re AM, Pedron M, Tressoldi PE, Lucangeli D. Response to Specific Training for Students With Different Levels of Mathematical Difficulties. Exceptional Children, 80(3), 337-352. 

(2013) Al-Yagon M, Cavendish W, Cornoldi C, Fawcett AJ, Grunke M, Hung, LY, Jimenez JE, Karande S, van Kraayenoord CE, Lucangeli D, Margalit M, Montague M, Sholapurwala R. The Proposed Changes For DSM-5 for SLD and ADHD: International Perspectives-Australia, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 46, 58-72.

(2013) Colomer C, Miranda A, Re AM, Lucangeli D. Numerical and Calculation Abilities in Children with ADHD. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 11(2), 1-15.  

(2013) Mammarella IC, Bomba M, Caviola S, Broggi F, Neri F. Lucangeli D, Nacinovich R. Mathematical difficulties in nonverbal learning disability or co-morbid dyscalculia and dyslexia. Developmental neuropsychology, 38(6), 418-432. 

(2013) Mammarella IC, Caviola S, Cornoldi C, Lucangeli D. Mental additions and verbal-domain interference in children with Developmental Dyscalculia (DD). Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(9), 2845-2855.

Awards and prizes

Daniela Lucangeli is President of the Association for the National Coordination of Specialized Teachers (CNIS) and member of the Scientific Committees of numerous national and international research associations such as the Italian Association for Research and Intervention in Learning Psychopathology (AIRIPA) and the Italian Association of Psychology (AIP Development Section). Vice President for the International Development of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities (IARLD). Technical member of the National Observatory for Childhood and Adolescence. Scientific component of the Technical Commission appointed by the Ministry of Education for guidelines on specific learning disorders (DSA), Bes (Special Educational Needs). And he is a member of the National Commission of the CNOP (National Council of Psychologists) "Wellness at School". Vice President of the Research Foundation HPNR (Human Potential Network Research). Scientific Director of the Learning Center (28 Centers in Italy). Scientific Director of the Gate Italy Association (Gifted and Talent Education). Scientific Manager of the Regional Research Center and Educational Services for Learning Difficulties.

In 2019, she received the international Standout Woman Award "for the high profile of her studies aimed at supporting the growth and development of children and adolescents, and for her ongoing commitment shown in educational and clinical services as support for developmental vulnerabilities".

In April 2020, she was appointed to the Committee of Experts at the Ministry of Education, set up by Minister Lucia Azzolina.

Irene Mammarella
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: clinical developmental psychology, developmental neuropsychology

Keywords: autism, learning disabilities, math anxiety, non-verbal disorder

Region: Veneto


Position/Role

Associate professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Padova

Professional career

She graduated in Psychology in 2002 at the University of Padova and obtained the PhD in 2006. During her PhD she spent periods as visiting scholar at the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Canada), and at the University of Gent (Belgium). In 2008 she became a Lecturer (assistant professor) in developmental psychology at the University of Padova. She has been a visiting researcher at the Universitè Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) in 2013, at Liverpool John Moores University (UK) in 2017, and at the Goldsmith University of London (UK) in 2018. In 2013 she co-founded a university clinical centre specialized in diagnosis and intervention of children with neurodevelopmental disorders (Lab.D.A). Since 2017 she is the clinical supervisor of a new centre (Lab.D.A. Nord). She established and directed since 2014 a post-graduate course in Developmental disorders and psychopathologies to train specialized practitioners (University of Padova).

Scientific results

Since the beginning of her research career, she has examined the Nonverbal learning disability, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by low visuospatial skills and good verbal abilities. She became a leading researcher on this topic, publishing several research on peer review journals. Due to these, in 2017, she has been invited from the Columbia University, (Institute of Psychiatry, New York, USA) to be part of the international committee, aimed to include the Nonverbal learning disability in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5). Her current research projects focus on studying differences and similarities of the Nonverbal learning disability and other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD and Autism spectrum disorder.

Other research interests also involve the analysis of cognitive processes (such as visuospatial working memory) in relation to academic achievement, specifically mathematics. Recently, she collaborated with the University of Cambridge (UK) in studying the development of mathematics anxiety and its relation with maths performance.

Overall, her applied scientific results, other than have been published on international peer review journals have been developed in standardized tests and intervention materials with specialized publishers.

Editorial work and publications

Irene C. Mammarella is Academic Editor of PlosOne and is in the Editorial board of international scientific journals, such as Educational Psychology, Learning and Individual Differences e Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

She is author of many international publications, here are listed some of them:

[2018] Cardillo, R., Menazza, C. & Mammarella, I. C. Visuoconstructive Abilities and Visuospatial Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder Without Intellectual Disability: Is the Role of Local Bias Specific to the Cognitive Domain Tested?Neuropsychology. doi: 10.1037/neu0000472

[2018] Mammarella, I. C., Donolato, E., Caviola, S., & Giofrè, D. Anxiety profiles and protective factors: A latent profile analysis.Personality & Individual Differences, 124, 201-208. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.12.017

[2018] Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., Giofrè, D. & Szücs, D. The underlying structure of visuospatial working memory in children with mathematical learning disability.British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 36, 220-235 doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12202

[2017] Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., Giofrè, D., & Borella, E. Separating math from anxiety: The role of inhibitory mechanisms.Applied Neuropsychology: Child, doi: 10.1080/21622965.2017.1341836

[2016] Hill, F., Mammarella, I. C., Devine, A., Caviola, S., Passolunghi, M. C. & Szücs, D. Maths anxiety in primary and secondary school students: Gender differences, developmental changes and anxiety specificity.Learning and Individual Differences, 48, 45-53. 

[2016] Mammarella, I. C., Ghisi, M., Bomba, M., Bottesi, G., Caviola, S., Broggi, F. & Nacinovich, R. Anxiety and depression in children with Nonverbal learning disabilities, reading disabilities, or typical development.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49, 130-139. 

[2015] Mammarella, I. C., Hill, F., Devine, A., Caviola, S., & Szücs, D. Math anxiety and developmental dyscalculia: A study on working memory processes.Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 37, 878-887.

[2014] Mammarella, I. C., & Cornoldi, C. An analysis of the criteria used to diagnose children with Non-verbal learning disabilities (NLD).Child Neuropsychology, 20, 255-280. 

[2014] Mammarella, I. C., Giofrè, D., Caviola, S., Cornoldi, C., & Hamilton, C. Visuospatial working memory in children with Autism: The effect of semantic global organization. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 1349-1356.

[2013] Mammarella, I. C., Bomba, M., Caviola, S., Broggi, F., Neri, F., Lucangeli, D., & Nacinovich, R. Mathematical difficulties in nonverbal learning disability or co-morbid dyscalculia and dyslexia.Developmental Neuropsychology, 38, 418-432.

[2013] Mammarella, I. C., Borella, E., Pastore, M., & Pazzaglia, F. The structure of visuospatial memory in adulthood.Learning and Individual Differences, 25, 99-110.

Awards and prizes

Irene C. Mammarella is member of several international associations: APS (Association for Psychological Science), MCLS (Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society), EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction), IARLD (International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities).

She is member of the Directive board of the Italian association for learning disorders (Airipa) and member of the Italian psychological association (AIP), developmental and education.

Since 2017 is member of the panel for updating the national guidelines of Specific learning disorders, organized by the Italian Association of Dyslexia (AID).

Recently, in 2018, she co-founded the Italian association of the Nonverbal learning disability (AIDNV) and the international Society for research on learning disorders (SRLD).

Claudia Manzi
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: social psychology

Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19, Covid-19: impact on women's work, ethnicity, family, identity, prejudice, religion, transition, violence

Region: Lombardy


Position/Role

Full Professor of Social Psychology at the Università Cattolica in Milan

Professional career

After graduating in Philosophy with a specialization in Human Sciences at the Università Cattolica of Milan in 1999, she continued her education at the same university with a PhD in Social and Developmental Psychology, during which she collaborated in research and training activities of the University Center for Studies and Research on the Family. From 2003 to 2005 she was a research fellow in Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology of the Università Cattolica of Milan. From the following year until 2016 she was a researcher in Social Psychology at the Faculty of Education of the Università Cattolica. In 2008 she was a visiting professor at the University of Tennessee, in the Child and Family Studies department and in 2016 she held the same position in the department of Psychology at the University of Sussex. In 2009 she was selected as a consultant at the Research Methods and Data Analysis office of the United Nations (UN), Office of Internal Oversight Services (New York). Since 2016 to 2019 she is associate professor and since 2019 full professor of Social Psychology at the Faculty of Education of the Università Cattolica of Milan.

Scientific results

Claudia Manzi studies identity construction and development processes, in particular identity motivations, adult identity, identity related to transition, ethnic prejudice, family differentiation, cross-cultural psychology. She collaborated on these issues with the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, in Colombia, in 2007, for a study on identity changes in transition periods, and in the same year with the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Violence, 'University of Tennessee, where she participated in the final phase of data analysis and publication of the results of a project coordinated by the World Health Organization's Program for Child and Adolescent Health and Development. Since 2008 she has participated in the international research team for the cross-cultural research project "Motivated identity construction in cultural context" funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Finally, since 2014 she is a member of the international research team "World Relationship Study", funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

 

Editorial work and publications

Since 2011 Claudia Manzi is a member of the Editorial Board of the Encyclopaedia of Quality of Life Research (Ed. A. Michalos), Springer of New York and referee of international journals of excellence as Journal of Personality, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Early Adolescence, Self and Identity, Psychology of Individual Differences, Social Psychology.

She is the author of numerous national and international publications including:

(2017) Manzi C, Roccato M, Paderi F, Vitrotti S, Russo S. The social development of right-wing authoritarianism: The interaction between parental autonomy support and societal threat to safety. Personality and Individual Differences, 109: 1-4. 

(2015) Manzi C, Roccato M, Russo S. What buffers right-wing authoritarian responses to threat? An experimental study to test the moderation of meaning. Personality and Individual Differences, 83:117-121. 

(2015) Manzi C, Parise M, Iafrate R, Sedikides C, Vignoles VL. In so far as you can be part of me: The influence of intrusive parenting on young adult couple identity. Self & Identity, 14: 5, 570-582. 

(2014) Manzi C, Brambilla M. Identity change. In A. Michalos (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research, Dordrecht, Netherlands, Springer, 2167-2168. 

(2014) Manzi C, Ferrari L, Rosnati R, Benet-Martinez V. Bicultural Identity Integration of Transracial Adolescent Adoptees: Antecedents and Outcomes. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 45(6):888-904. 

(2013) Brambilla M, Manzi C, Regalia C, Verkuyten M. Religiosity and Prejudice: Different Patterns for Two Types of Religious Internalization. The Journal of Social Psychology, 153:486-498. 

(2011) Scabini E, Manzi C. Family Processes and Identity. In S. J. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, and V. L. Vignoles (Eds), Handbook of Identity Theory and Research, New York: Springer, 565-584. 

(2010) Manzi C. Identità adulta nella letteratura psicosociale. In E. Marta, C. Regalia (Eds.), Identità in relazione. Le sfide odierne dell'essere adulto. Milano: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 17-31. 

(2010) Manzi C, Vignoles V, Regalia C. Accommodating a new identity: Possible selves, identity change, and well-being across two life-transitions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40:970-984. 

(2006) Manzi C, Vignoles V, Regalia C, Scabini E. Cohesion and enmeshment revisited: Family differentiation, identity, and psychological well-being in two European cultures. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 68: 673-689.

Awards and prizes

Since 2007 Claudia Manzi has been a member of the European Association of Social Psychology, since 2009 of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and since 2014 of the Italian Association of Psychology, section of Social Psychology.

 

Deny Menghini
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: developmental neuropsychology

Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19 in paediatric age, Covid 19: psychological impact on children and adolescents, developmental disorders, dyslexia, dyslexia therapy, genetic syndromes, language, learning

Region: Lazio


Position/Role

Psychologist and Psychotherapist at the Child Neuropsychiatric Unit of the Scientific Institute for Research and Healthcare Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome

Professional career

After her Master Degree in Developmental Psychology and Education at “La Sapienza” in Rome, she attended a Diploma Course in Psychopathology of Learning at the University of San Marino. Since 1998, she has been carrying out clinical and research activities at the Scientific Institute for Research and Healthcare Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital. In 2004, she got a Ph.D in Cognitive Science and Rehabilitation. In 2016 she took a postgraduate diploma in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and in 2018, she got a national qualification as Full Professor in General Psychology, Psychobiology, and Psychometry.

Scientific results

Her field of interests concerns the link between behavior and brain in several neurodevelopmental disorders, such as specific learning disorders, language disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disabilities. She is now coordinating a research team on the study of innovative rehabilitative perspectives as the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for neurodevelopmental disorders.  She has produced over than sixty peer-reviewed publications, several books and chapters for the neuropsychological assessment of children with neurodevelopmental disorders

Editorial work and publications

She has authored numerous scientific publications in national and international journals, including: 

[2018] Costanzo F, Rossi S, Varuzza C, Varvara P, Vicari S, Menghini D. Long-lasting improvement following tDCS treatment combined with a training for reading in children and adolescents with dyslexia. Neuropsychologia. 

[2018] Menghini D, Armando M, Calcagni M, Napolitano C, Pasqualetti P, Sergeant JA, Pani P, Vicari S. The influence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Executive Functions in children with ADHD. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 268(4):349-357.

[2016] Costanzo FVaruzza CRossi SSdoia SVarvara POliveri MGiacomo KVicari SMenghini D.Evidence for reading improvement following tDCS treatment in children and adolescents with Dyslexia. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 34(2):215-26.

[2016] Costanzo F, Varuzza C, Rossi S, Sdoia S, Varvara P, Oliveri M, Koch G, Vicari S, Menghini D. Reading changes in children and adolescents with dyslexia after transcranial direct current stimulation. Neuroreport, 27(5):295-300. 

[2015] Costanzo F, Menghini D, et al. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Treatment in an Adolescent with Autism and Drug-Resistant Catatonia. Brain Stimulation 8(6).

[2015] De Crescenzo F, Licchelli S, Ciabattini M, Menghini D, et al. The use of actigraphy in the monitoring of sleep and activity in ADHD: A meta-analysisSleep Medicine Reviews 26. 

[2014] Varvara P, Varuzza C, Sorrentino AC, Vicari S, Menghini D. Executive functions in developmental dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8:120. 

[2013] Costanzo F, Menghini D, Caltagirone C, Oliveri M, Vicari S. How to improve reading skills in dyslexics: the effect of high frequency rTMS. Neuropsychologia, 51(14):2953-9. 

[2012] Costanzo F, Menghini D, Caltagirone C, Oliveri M, Vicari S. High frequency rTMS over the left parietal lobule increases non-word reading accuracy. Neuropsychologia, 50(11):2645-51. 

[2011] Menghini D, Costanzo F, Vicari S. Relationship between brain and cognitive processes in Down syndrome. Behavior Genetics, 41(3):381-93. 

Awards and prizes

In 1998, she obtained the Fellowship Award granted by Pio Sodalizio dei Piceni (Rome).

In 2010, she won a Grant by the Foundation Jerome Lejeune for studying the cerebral correlates of Down Syndrome. 

In 2012, she was funded by the Ministry of Health (Young Italian Researchers Grant) for studying innovative therapeutic approaches in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Maria Concetta Morrone
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: neurology

Keywords: eyes, numerical perception, time perception, visual system

Region: Tuscany


Position/Role

Professor of Human Physiology University of Pisa

Professional career

After graduating in Physics in 1977 from the University of Pisa, she continued her training in both physics and biology. This initial multidisciplinary interest, which combines a quantitative and computational approach to the study of neuronal and perceptual sensory processes, is a distinguishing feature of her scientific activity, leading her to achieve important and internationally recognised results. In 1981 she did a postgraduate course in Biophysics at the Scuola Normale Superiore. She then spent about 5 years at the Psychology Department of the University of Western Australia, completing her training in the field of behavioural sciences. During this post-doctoral period her interest in understanding perceptual mechanisms and their simulation with mathematical and computational methods was strengthened. In 1987 she moved to Pisa where she continued her research activity, first as a researcher of General Physics at the Scuola Normale Superiore and later as First Researcher at the Institute of Neurophysiology of the CNR. In 2000 she became full professor of Psychobiology at the Faculty of Psychology of the Free University Vita-Salute S Raffaele. She founded the specialist degree course in Cognitive Neuroscience, the only one in Italy, for the Faculties of Psychology, Philosophy and Medicine. Since 2008 she has been Professor of Human Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Pisa.

Scientific results

Maria Concetta Morrone's research activity mainly concerns the study of neuronal mechanisms in the human being for the exploration and representation of space and time. In particular, she has studied how the brain can give perceptual stability to the world despite the fact that it is perceived through extraordinarily mobile organs, such as the eyes. His studies show a strong interaction between perceived space and time, similar to the phenomena of physics. Knowledge of the circuits and mechanisms operating in nervous systems has two important connections with applied sciences: on the one hand, transactional research in medicine (where theoretical hypotheses can be immediately tested in practice and where clinical experience provides guidance and continuous support for research), and on the other hand, research in robotics. Both disciplines are included in the research interests and have led to the development of diagnostic methods for medicine and the development of computational models for image recognition and the representation of perceptual space, which are useful in artificial vision systems.

Editorial work and publications

Concetta Morrone has published more than 180 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals like the Naturecluster, Neuron, Current Biology, Trends in Neurosciences, PLoSand Journal of Neuroscience,as well as dozens in archival specialized journals like Vision Researchand Journal of Vision.

Her below a selection:

(2015) Biagi L, Crespi SA, Tosetti M, Morrone MC. BOLD Response Selective to Flow-Motion in Very Young Infants. PLoS Biology, 13(9):e1002260. 

(2007) d'Avossa G, Tosetti M, Crespi D, Biagi L, Burr DC, Morrone MC. Spatiotopic selectivity of BOLD responses to visual motion in human area MT.Nature Neuroscience, 10(2):249-55. 

(2000) Morrone MC, Tosetti M, et al. A cortical area that responds specifically to optic flow, revealed by fMRI.Nature Neuroscience, 3:1322-1328. 
(1998) Neri P, Morrone MC, Burr DC. Seeing biological motion. Nature, 395(6705):894-6. 

(1997) Ross J, Morrone MC, Burr DC. Compression of visual space before saccades.Nature, 386(6625):598-601. 

(1995) Morrone MC, Burr DC, Vaina LM. Two stages of visual processing for radial and circular motion.Nature, 376(6540):507-9. 

(1994) Burr DC, Morrone MC, Ross J. Selective suppression of the magnocellular visual pathway during saccadic eye movements. Nature, 371(6497):511-3. 
(1988) Morrone MC, Burr DC. Feature detection in human vision: a phase-dependent energy model.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 235(1280):221-45. 

(1986) Morrone MC, Ross J, Burr DC, Owens R. Mach bands are

 phase dependent. Nature, 324: 250-253.

(1986) Morrone MC, Burr DC. Evidence for the existence and development of visual inhibition in humans. Nature, 321(6067):235-7.

Awards and prizes

In 2014 Concetta was elected a member of the Accademia dei Lincei, the Italian equivalent of the American Academy of Science or the Royal Society of London. Other honors and prizes include the Campbell Awardfor Australian Neuroscience (1984), the National Prize for Physiopathologyfrom the Accademia dei Lincei(2002), the Perception Lecture(Budapest: 2004), and the Kofka Prize in Development and Perception(Giessen: 2011). In 2014 she was awarded an ERC-IDEA advanced grant, a distinction of excellence in Europe. In 2019 she was awarded the 2019 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science.

 

Costanza Papagno
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: neuroscience

Keywords: cognitive deficits in brain glioma, deafness, language learning, memory

Region: Lombardy


Position/Role

Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Milano Bicocca.

Professional career

After graduating in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Milan, in 1981 she began a specialization course in Neurology at the same university which ended in 1985. From 1986 to 1989 she was engaged in a research doctorate in Psychobiology (Neuropsychology sector). Later, from 1992 to 1993, she was admitted to the first year of the Postgraduate School of Psychiatry. Since 1982 she has been an internal doctor at the Institute of Neurological Clinic of the University of Milan where she won the CIBA-Geigy scholarship for the study of "Cognitive Functions in the brain-injured" in 1984. Thanks to her studies she won a scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Neurological Clinic of the University of Fribourg (Germany). In 1988 she was in Cambridge where she worked first with a scholarship from the European Science Foundation and then paid by the Medical Research Council until 1991. In 1991 she returned to Italy permanently and worked at the Neurological Clinic of the San Paolo Hospital in Milan. In 1998 at the University of Palermo she became associate professor of Physiological Psychology. Since 2004 she has been a full professor at the University of Milan Bicocca. Her academic experience was enhanced by the appointment as director of the psychology department at the same university from 2002 to 2008, while she was coordinator of the PhD in Experimental Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience from 2007 to 2012. From 2010 to 2013 she was President of Doctoral School in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience and secretary of the School of Specialization in Neuropsychology. Since May 2016 she has been president of the Italian Society of Neuropsychology.

 

Scientific results

The main research topics of Costanza Papagno are language disorders in patients with focal and degenerative brain injuries, with particular reference to abstract-concrete dissociation, to the development of language in children with a cochlear implant (an electronic artificial ear capable of restoring the auditory perception in people with severe deafness), the effects of transcranial electrical stimulation (tDCS) and short-term memory disorders. One of Papagno's and colleagues' recent discoveries concerns the "hooked fasciculus", a bundle of fibers that (among other things) acts as a "bridge", connecting the two areas of the brain that are used to call the proper names by connecting them to the face of a person. In the field of memory, the capabilities of the uncinate fasciculus in patients who have had a brain tumor removed were tested. Tests have shown that patients still in possession of the "hooked fasciculus" are able to perform this operation, unlike the patients to whom the file has been removed. Control tests of other brain activities (long-term memory, understanding of words and sentences and spatial cognition) have not shown differences between patients with or without the dossier.

 

Editorial work and publications

Costanza Papagno is part of numerous scientific committees and is the editor of several scientific journals as well as the author of numerous articles, including:

(2016) Papagno C, Casarotti A. Comi A, Pisoni A, Lucchelli F, Bizzi A, Riva M, Bello L. Long-term proper name anomia after removal of the uncinate fasciculus. Brain Function and Structure, 221, 687-694. 

(2016) Papagno C, Pisoni P, Mattavelli G, Casarotti A, Comi A, Fumagalli F, Vernice M, Fava E, Riva M, Bello L. Specific disgust processing in the left insula: New evidence from direct electrical stimulation. Neuropsychologia, 84, 29-35. 

(2016) Papagno C, Cecchetto C, Pisoni A, Bolognini N. Deaf, blind or deaf-blind: Is touch enhanced? Experimental Brain Research, 234, 627-636. 

(2014) Papagno C, Vallar G. A plastic brain for a changing environment. Cortex, 58, 248-250. 

(2014) Vallar G, Bello L, Bricolo E, Castellano A, Casarotti A, Falini A, Riva M, Fava E, Papagno C. Cerebral correlates of visuo-spatial neglect. A direct cerebral stimulation study. Human Brain Mapping, 35(4):1334-50. 

(2013) Papagno C, Vernice M, Cecchetto C. Phonology without semantics? Good enough for verbal short-term memory. Evidence from a patient with semantic dementia. Cortex, 49, 626-636. 

(2011) Papagno C, Miracapillo C, Casarotti A, Romero Lauro L, Castellano A, Falini A, Casaceli G, Bello L. What is the role of the uncinate fasciculus? Surgical removal and proper name retrieval. Brain, 134, 405-414. 

(2011) Papagno C, Gallucci M, Casarotti A, Castellano A, Falini A, Carrabba G, Giussani C, Fava E, Bello L, Caramazza A. Connectivity constraints on cortical reorganization of neural circuits involved in object naming. Neuroimage, 55, 1306-1313. 

(2011) Cattaneo Z, Pisoni A, Papagno C. Transcranial direct current stimulation over Broca's region improves phonemic and semantic fluency in healthy individuals. Neuroscience, 183, 64-70. 

(1998) Baddeley AD, Gathercole S, Papagno C. The Phonological loop as a language learning device. Psychological Review, 105, 158-173.

Raffaella Rumiati
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: cognitive neurosciences, social neurosciences

Keywords: cognitive deficits, cognitive functions, decision making, dementia, food preferences, neuroimaging

Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia


Position/Role

Full Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) of Trieste

Professional career

After graduating in philosophy (psychological curriculum) at the University of Bologna in 1990, she continued her education at the same university and in 1995 she obtained the research doctorate in Psychology. For the entire duration of the doctorate Raffaella collaborated with Professor Glyn Humphreys, at the School of Psychology of Birmingham University, in Great Britain. This collaboration provided her with a specialization in Cognitive Neuropsychology. In 1995 she joined the cognitive neuroscience sector, at SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) in Trieste, first as a research fellow, in 1999 she became a lecturer, and in 2003 an associate professor. In December 2011 she was made full professor of Cognitive Neuroscience. In 2017, she was appointed as an advisor to ANVUR, of which she is vice-president for the two-year period 2018-2019.

Scientific results

The main research interest of Raffaella Rumiati is the study of the neural bases of human cognitive functions. For about 25 years she aimed at characterizing the relationship between the motor system and cognition. Using different neuroscientific methods (neuropsychology, TMS and fMRI), she demonstrated how the motor system is involved in not typically motor functions (e.g., imagination, recognition of actions and objects, and language understanding), but that this involvement is not automatic but it occurs only in certain circumstances. Thus the motor imagination seems to act as a "glue" between these two apparently very different areas. Afterwards, Rumiati began to develop new lines of research. The first concerns the study of economic decision making, pursued using both behavioral and neuroimaging experiments, the second the neural representation of social knowledge, mainly investigated by examining the performance on lexical-semantic tests of patients with brain lesions of different etiology. The third line of research aimed at identifying the factors that influence food recognition, food choices and preferences. These topics are explored both in neurologically intact individuals and in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases (such as dementia and Parkinson's disease), also using neuroimaging techniques. With the collaboration of Medialab, Raffaella Rumiati's laboratory has created FoodIE, an application that allows tracking down people’s real food preferences, and that was available to the public of CasaCorriere at the Milan Expo for several months. 

 

Editorial work and publications

Raffaella Rumiati authored several publications among which: 

(2016) Rumiati R, Foroni F, et al. Lexical-semantic deficits in processing food and non-food items. Brain and Cognition, S0278-2626(16)30197-X. 

(2016) Turella L, Rumiati R, Lingnau A. Hierarchical Organization of Action Encoding Within The Human Brain. Journal of Vision, 16(12):24. 

(2016) Aiello M, Silani V, Rumiati R. You stole my food! Eating alterations in frontotemporal dementia. Neurocase, 22(4). 

(2016) Rumiati R, Foroni F. We are what we eat: How food is represented in our mind/brain. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(4):1043-54. 

(2016) Turella L, Tucciarelli R, […] Rumiati R. Beta band modulations underlie action . NeuroImage, 136:197-207. 

(2016) Foroni F, Rumiati R, et al. A bait we cannot avoid: Food-induced motor distractibility. Brain and Cognition, doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2015.12.003. 

(2016) Ambron E, Rumiati R, Foroni F. Do emotions or gender drive our actions? A study of motor distractibility. Cognitive Neuroscience, 7:1-4. 

(2015) Rumiati R. Cognitive neuroscience goes social. Cortex, 70:1-4. 

(2015) Piretti L, Carnaghi A, Campanella F, Rumiati R. The neural network associated with lexical- semantic knowledge about social groups. Cortex, 70, Special issue: Neuro-cognitive mechanisms of social interaction, 155-168. 

(2015) Mengotti P, Ripamonti E, Pesavento V, Rumiati R. Anatomical and spatial matching in imitation: Evidence from left and right brain-damaged patients. Neuropsychologia, 79(Pt B):256-71. 

She also authored the book Donne e Uomini(il Mulino, 2010).

Awards and prizes

In 2003 the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung awarded her the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. The award is given to scientists and scholars who have established themselves internationally in their field. In 2006 she received the "Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award" which is usually attributed to scientists who have trained and promoted female students and young researchers. In 2013 she was awarded the “Pulcheria. Women, talents, professions".

 

Ines Testoni
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: dignity therapy, end-of-life education, phototherapy

Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19, critical incidents in prison, death, living will, media communication, moral distress among physicians, mourning, palliative care, resilience and spirituality, social denial of death, suicide

Region: Veneto


Position/Role

Associate professor of Social Psychology and Director of the Master in Death Studies & The End of Life at University of Padua

Professional career

After graduating in Applied Psychology at University of Padua in 1989, she continued her studies for a Specialization in "Clinic and Theory of Systemic Therapy" at the "Gregory Bateson Center", Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital in Milan. In 1995 she graduated in Theoretical Philosophy with Professor Emanuele Severino at Ca' Foscari University, in Venice. In 1996 she obtained the specialization in "Cultural and Social Anthropology" at the University of Padua. In 1991 she was appointed as assistant under command from the Ministry of Education to the chair of Social Psychology at University of Padua, where she became a researcher in 1999 and associate professor in 2003. In 2017 she obtained the national qualification as full professor.

During her activity she leaded countless national and international projects, among which two European ones. She was Visiting Professor at the Universidade De Caxias do Sul (UCS), at the Semmelweiss University of Budapest (Hungary).

At University of Padova, she has been teaching at the Doctoral School in "Social Sciences. Interactions, Communication, Cultural Constructions"; teaches "Psychology of group and system relations" and "Fundamentals of Social Psychology" at the SPGI Department, and "Psychology of end-of-life relationships, bereavement, loss and death" at the FISPPA department, where she created and has been leading the Master in “Death Studies and the End of Life”, continually since 2008. Since 2018 she has been a research fellow at the Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center, University of Haifa (Israel).

Scientific results

She is affiliated to numerous research organizations among which: the Italian Society of Palliative Care (SICP) and of the parallel European Association of Palliative Care (EACP), she is part of the Steering Group of the Bereavement Network in Europe (BNE); International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA); Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organizations (FEPTO). Furthermore, she is a member of the National Conference of Masters in Palliative Care and Pain Therapy, established by the Ministry of University and Research (MIUR), and has been scientific director of about ten international conferences on the topics of death, dying and palliation.

Her research is centred on Severin's concept of "nihilism", in particular on the representations of death as annihilation, on which her fundamental themes are pivoted among which: psycho-thanatology, Death Education, grief processing and treatment, human death attitudes/behavior and pathological suffering (suicide, drug addiction, anorexia and suicide, gender-based violence); loss, grief and mourning; social construction of bio-political and bio-ethical management of death; Dignity Therapy; Informed consent; Mind-brain conceptualization and social representation of death; Self-determination and biological will; Death/spirituality/religiousness; Coping with death and dying; Terror Management Theory; Counselling and therapy;  Professional training; Psychodrama and photo-voice/photo-therapy for mourners; Death and "sociatry" in social violence (gender based violence and discrimination; mafia dynamics).

Editorial work and publications

Ines Testoni is the author of about ten volumes and curator of about as many texts, about a hundred articles and contributions to collective works of national and international importance, including:

(2019) Testoni, I., Piscitello, M., Ronconi, L., Zsák, É., Iacona, E., Zamperini, A. Death Education and the Management of Fear of Death Via Photo-Voice: An Experience Among Undergraduate Students, Journal of Loss and Trauma, doi: 10.1080/15325024.2018.1507469

(2019) Testoni, I., Ronconi, L. Noppe Cupit, I., et al.  The effect of death education on fear of death amongst Italian adolescents: A nonrandomized controlled study, Death Studies, doi: 10.1080/07481187.2018.1528056

(2018) Testoni I, Bisceglie D, Ronconi L, Pergher V, Facco E. Ambivalent trust and ontological representations of death as latent factors of religiosity. Cogent Psychology, 5(1). doi: 10.1080/23311908.

(2018)  Testoni I., Mariani C., Zamperini A. . Domestic Violence Between Childhood Incest and Re-victimization: A Study Among Anti-violence Centers in Italy, Frontiers in Psychology,  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02377

(2018) Testoni, I., Ronconi, L., Palazzo, L., Galgani, M., Stizzi, A., Kirk, K. Psychodrama and moviemaking in a death education course to work through a case of suicide among high school students in Italy. Frontiers in Psychology, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00441

(2017) Testoni I, Facco E, Perelda F. Toward A New Eternalist Paradigm for Afterlife Studies: The Case of the Near-Death Experiences Argument. World Futures, 73(7):442-456. doi:10.1080/02604027.2017.1357935.

(2017) Solomon S, Testoni I, Bianco S. Clash of civilizations? Terror Management Theory and the role of the ontological representations of death in contemporary global crisis. TPM Testing Psychometric Methodology in Applied Psychology, 24(3):379-398. doi: 10.4473/TPM24.3.5.

(2017) Testoni I, De Cataldo L, Ronconi L, & Zamperini A.  Pet loss and representations of death, attachment, depression, and euthanasia.Anthrozoös, 30(1):135-148. doi:10.1080/08927936.2017.1270599.

(2017) Testoni I, Ghellar T, Rodelli M, De Cataldo L, Zamperini A. Representations of death among Italian vegetarians: An ethnographic research on environment, disgust and transcendence. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 13(3):378-395. doi:10.5964/ejop.v13i3.1301.

(2017) Testoni I, Milo V, Ronconi L, Feltrin A, Zamperini A, Rodelli M, Cillo U, Germani G. Courage and representations of death in patients who are waiting for a liver transplantation. Cogent Psychology, eprint, 4(1). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/23311908.2017.1294333.

(2016) Testoni I, Parise, G, Visintin EP, Zamperini A, Ronconi L. Literary plastination: From body's objectification to the ontological representation of death, differences between sick-literature and tales by amateur writers. TPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 23(2):247-263. doi: 10.4473/TPM23.2.8.

(2016) Testoni I, Visintin EP, Capozza D, Carlucci MC. & Shams M. The implicit image of God: God as reality and psychological well-being. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 55(1):174-184. doi:10.1111/jssr.12252.

Marinela Vavla
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STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: clinical neurology, neuroimaging in neurodenegeration

Keywords: cerebellar ataxia, cerebral palsy in children, clinical assessment, clinical trial conduction, Friedreich's Ataxia, glycogen storage disorders, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, motor control, motor rehabilitation, movement disorders, neuromodulation, rare neurodegenerative disorders

Region: Apulia


Position/Role

Lecturer at MSc Neuroscience at King’s College, University of London. Resident in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Foggia.

Professional career

After graduating in Medicine and Surgery in 2007 from the University of Florence, she undertook a scientific training path with a Master of Science in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience of the King's College, University of London. In the years 2012-2015 she obtains a PhD in Developmental Medicine and Programming Sciences at the University of Padua and works at the IRCCS "Eugenio Medea" in Conegliano Veneto. In 2019-2020 she completes a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Padua. In 2021 she begin her residency training in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Foggia. Since 2010 she has been a lecturer for the Master of Neuroscience programme at IOPPN of King's College in London.

Scientific results

Since the beginning of her research in the neuroscience field, she has approached the study of the neurological disorders, starting with Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with clinical and laboratory approaches. While carrying out a project on SOD-1 toxicity in experimental models and acquiring laboratory technical skills, she also developed a particular interest in movement disorders.

The main research project that she has explored is the study of cerebellar ataxias, and in particular of Friedreich's ataxia. She has explored the clinical aspects and also the brain volume, diffusion and cerebral-cerebellar activation characteristics in this pathology with advanced neuroimaging techniques. This research was followed by an important clinical and neuroradiological follow-up which also generated an international collaboration for rare cerebellar diseases (ENIGMA-Ataxia).

Furthermore, she has been interested into exploring and developing treatment proposals, such as experimental clinical studies and their design, application of neuromodulation and rehabilitation strategies in Friedreich’s Ataxia.

She is engaged in postgraduate teaching and in the supervision of graduate students within health professional areas.

The results of her research have been published in international scientific journals and have been presented as contributions in national and international conferences.

Editorial work and publications

[2020] Vavla M, Arrigoni F, Toschi F, Peruzzo D, Maria Grazia D'angelo MG, Gandossini S, Russo A, Diella E, Tirelli S, Salati R, Rufini A, Condo I, Testi R, Martinuzzi A. Sensitivity of neuroimaging indicators in monitoring the effects of interferon gamma treatment in Friedreich’s Ataxia. Front. Neurosci. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00872.

[2021] Pizzighello S, Vavla M, Minicuci N, Pellegri A, Martinuzzi A. Trends observed in bilateral cerebral palsy during a thirty-year period: A cohort study with an ICF-based overview. Pediatr Neonatol. Feb 5:S1875-9572(21)00018-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pedneo.2021.01.016. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33663988

[2020] Scalco RS, Lucia A, Santalla A, Martinuzzi A, Vavla M, Reni G, Toscano A, Musumeci O, Voermans NC, Kouwenberg CV, Laforêt P, San-Millán B, Vieitez I, Siciliano G, Kühnle E, Trost R, Sacconi S, Stemmerik MG, Durmus H, Kierdaszuk B, Wakelin A, Andreu AL, Pinós T, Marti R, Quinlivan R, Vissing J; EUROMAC Consortium. Data from the European registry for patients with McArdle disease and other muscle glycogenoses (EUROMAC). Orphanet J Rare Dis. Nov 24;15(1):330. doi: 10.1186/s13023-020-01562-x. PMID: 33234167

[2020] Vavla M, Montanaro D, Pizzighello S, Frijia F, Arrigoni F, Baratto A, Piccoli G, Paparella G, Martinuzzi A. Brain Magnetic Spectroscopy Imaging and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia: A focused Systematic Review on Current Landmarks and Future Perspectives. Front Neurol. Jul 14;11:515. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00515. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32765386

[2020] Montanaro D, Vavla M, Frijia F, Aghakhanyan G, Baratto A, Coi A, Stefan C, Girardi G, Paparella G, De Cori S, Totaro P, Lombardo F, Piccoli G, Martinuzzi A. Multimodal MRI longitudinal assessment of White and Grey Matter in different SPG types of Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis Front Neurosci. Jun 4;14:325. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00325. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32581663

[2020] Paparella G, Vavla M, Bernardi L, Girardi G, Stefan C, Martinuzzi A. Efficacy of a combined treatment of botulinum toxin and intensive physiotherapy in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Front. Neurosci. Doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00111

[2020] Vavla M, D'Angelo MG, Arrigoni F, Toschi N, Peruzzo D, Gandossini S, Russo A, Diella E, Tirelli S, Salati R, Scarpazza P, Luffarelli R, Fortuni S, Rufini A, Condò I, Testi R, Martinuzzi A. Safety and efficacy of interferon γ in friedreich's ataxia. Mov Disord. 35(2):370-371. doi: 10.1002/mds.27979. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31930551

[2020] Vavla M, Paparella G, Papayannis A, Pascuzzo R, Girardi G, Pellegrini F, Capello G, Prosdocimo G, Martinuzzi A. Optical Coherence Tomography in a cohort of genetically defined Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia: A brief research report. Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01193

[2019] Vavla M, Paparella G, Merotto V, Comiotto J, Piai J, Martinuzzi A. Combining Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Intensive Physiotherapy in Patients with Friedreich’s Ataxia: A Pilot Study. Acta Scientific Neurology 2.1: 03-10.

[2018] Vavla M, Arrigoni F, Nordio A, De Luca A, Pizzighello S, Petacchi E, Paparella G, D'Angelo MG, Brighina E, Russo E, Fantin M, Colombo P, Martinuzzi A. Functional and Structural Brain Damage in Friedreich's Ataxia. Front Neurol. Sep 6;9:747. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00747. ECollection 2018. PMID: 30237783.

[2016] Martinuzzi A, Montanaro D, Vavla M, Paparella G, Bonanni P, Musumeci O, Brighina E, Hlavata H, Rossi G, Aghakhanyan G, Martino N, Baratto A, D'Angelo MG, Peruch F, Fantin M, Arnoldi A, Citterio A, Vantaggiato C, Rizzo V, Toscano A, Bresolin N, Bassi MT. Clinical and Paraclinical Indicators of Motor System Impairment in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia: A Pilot Study. PLoS One. Apr 14;11(4): e0153283. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153283.

[2014] Aghakhanyan G, Martinuzzi A, Frijia F, Vavla M, Hlavata H, Baratto A, Martino N, Paparella G, Montanaro D. Brain White Matter Involvement in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias: Analysis with Multiple Diffusion Tensor Indices.AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. Aug;35(8):1533-8. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A3897.

Awards and prizes

In 2011 Marinela Vavla won a PhD scholarship and in 2019 another Post-Doctoral research scholarship, both at the University of Padua. During 2015-2020 she received research fundings from the Association Ogni Giorno per Emma to carry out research in the field of cerebellar ataxias and Friedreich's Ataxia.