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With my research I use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and kinematics to study how we use and integrate the senses of vision and touch to perceive objects and guide actions. The fascinating aspect of hand actions is that we can perform a movement within a few hundred milliseconds from the moment we decide to move. Yet, in this very short time we need to process a myriad of information that span the perceptual, cognitive and motor domain. Complex and adaptable movements are important not only for satisfying our basic needs, but also to shape and affect the world around us. My main research topic is aimed to examine the neural mechanisms involved in the cascade of events that leads from the conception to the execution of a movement.

Research directions

  • role of the early visual cortex and other sensory areas in action planning and execution;
  • relationship between action planning and motor imagery;
  • role of touch in action and perception;
  • functional connections between sensory and motor areas during action planning and execution.



For a complete list see Simona Monaco personal webpage


  • University of Trento Starting Grant Giovani Ricercatori, January 2021 - April 2022.
  • Ministry of University and Research, Next generation EU programme under Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza (PNRR). Project title: “PrefAcE, Predictions for Action Execution: the neural basis of movement intention”. December 2022 - December 2025

Ongoing collaborations

  • Irene Sperandio, University of Trento
  • Mariagrazia Ranzini, University of Padova
  • Doug Crawford, York University, Canada


Research group webpage