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CIMeC - Center for Mind/Brain Sciences

Overview | Research directions | Members | Publications | Grants | Ongoing Collaborations | Web


It is very useful to know things: That Simmons et al (2010), used a Riser detection task as their control condition, that my daughter’s school will be closed on the 25th of April because it was the day Italy was reunified. This form of knowledge has a profound impact on our ability to function; both in our daily and professional lives, yet we know very little about how it is manifest in the brain.
Our overarching goal is to understand how the coordinated activity of our semantic system creates this complex factual knowledge of the world. It will do this by breaking down the function of network elements then determining how this information is integrated and shared to manifest system-level cognition.

Research directions

We focus on our knowledge about other people as well as things in general to try and get a better understanding of how the conceptual primitives are combined and to form a meaningful systems-level model of factual knowledge. This model will be refined and tested over the remaining years – assessing aspects of semantic representation that affect us both as individuals and as a society.
These goals will be achieved though fMRI and MEG, cutting edge analysis (a lot of MVPA/RSA) as well as some novel approaches and analytic strategies. Additionally, we are incorporating more and more of the tools of computational linguistics (Coprus bases and deep learning) to inform our paradigms and analysis.



For a complete list see Scott Fairhall personal page


  • Cortical Representation of Abstract Semantic Knowledge. (CRASK), ERC-Starter (€1.5 million), PI Scott Fairhall
  • Deep Learning and Semantic Knowledge. (DLASK) FARE/MIUR (€130 thousand), PI Scott Fairhall

Ongoing Collaborations

  • Ida Gobbini, Dartmouth University, USA/University of Bologna, Italy


Research group webpage