As a social neuroscientist/psychologist I am particularly interested in understanding how proprioceptive information about our own body (e.g. facial feedback) is generated and how it contributes to processing, recognition, and awareness of emotions in others (e.g. facial expressions). When focusing on the face, this line of research requires understanding the psychological processes and neural substrates underlying the perception and production of facial expressions, as well as visuo-proprioceptive multisensory integration.
Other topics of interest include emotion regulation, joint attention, empathy, autism, alexithymia, and most recently the neural basis of both primary and social reward.
In my research I use(d) different techniques including electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and psychopharmacology.
My career in short: I earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Strasbourg, and a Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Utrecht University, where I also did an internship with Jack van Honk and Dennis Schutter. I went on to get a Ph.D in experimental psychology from Geneva University, under the supervision of Didier Grandjean and Klaus Scherer. I then was lucky to receive a fellowship for prospective researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation, which allowed me to do a 2-year postdoc with Paula Niedenthal (and spend time in Richard Davidson‘s lab) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Afterwards I moved to the laboratory of Raffaella Rumiati in the Neuroscience department at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in beautiful Trieste, Italy. I then spent 3 years as a postdoc in the Psychology department at the University of Vienna, Austria, where I mainly studied the neural bases of primary and social reward in a project with Giorgia Silani and Chris Eisenegger. In 2019 I became PI of a Stand-Alone grant by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) to investigate the role of facial feedback in emotion recognition using neuromuscular electric stimulation. Since January 2020 I am a lecturer at the Department of Psychology of the University of Essex.
For my full CV click HERE.
Click HERE for seeing a 3-min explanation of my research from 2015 (in Italian).
Click HERE for seeing a 15-min talk I gave at the 2016 State festival in Berlin (my part starts around min 35).