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CIMeC - Center for Mind/Brain Sciences

Overview | Research directions | Members | Publications | Grants | Ongoing collaborations 


Our research is mainly focused on the neurobiology of language. We combine theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, psychophysics, and neuropsychological methods with multimodal neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, sMRI, DWI, EEG, TMS) to understand the neural mechanisms underlying normal and pathological language functions and language development. We employ advanced neuroimaging data analysis methods, leveraging on data fusion, univariate and multivariate approaches, and structural and functional connectivity. 

Research directions

  • Recursive hierarchical syntactic structures: What are the underlying neurocomputational mechanisms? Are these mechanisms shared across cognitive domains (language, music, action)?
  • Concepts as grounded in personal experience: How are concepts, semantic features and semantic categories represented in the brain? What is the role of individual life-time experience in concept formation? Are grounded conceptual representations accessed independently of stimulus awareness?
  • Syntax-semantic interface: What are the neural mechanisms of sentential negation? How are grounded conceptual representations modulated by sentential negation? How does the spatio-temporal integration of syntactic and semantic information unfold during language processing?
  • Narrative language processing: How are phonological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic informations integrated during natural speech processing? Can we delineate a neurolinguistic grammar based on fMRI and EEG measurements?
  • Neurodevelopmental readiness for language: What are the early brain maturation processes that uderlie language acquisition? Does knowledge of these early processes inform the prediction of normal versus impaired language development?


Marco Tettamanti, Principal Investigator


 For a complete list see Marco Tettamanti personal page 


2016-2018: Aspects of language variability: Socio-pragmatics and typology (PI: Pier Marco Bertinetto, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy). Role of Marco Tettamanti: collaborator.

Ongoing collaborations

  • Marta Ghio, Christian Bellebaum: Psychology Department, University of Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • Eraldo Paulesu: Psychology Department, University Milano-Bicocca, Italy.
  • Daniela Perani: University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy.
  • Manuela Berlingeri: University of Urbino, Italy.
  • Valentina Bambini: IUSS Center for Neurocognition and Theoretical Syntax, Pavia, Italy.
  • Pier Marco Bertinetto: Linguistics Laboratory, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy.