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CIMeC - Centro interdipartimentale Mente/Cervello

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


Our research examines the organization of the human motor system and the role of fronto-parietal motor networks in cognitive functions. Two main ideas have guided our research experience to this point. We are convinced that cognition can be fully understood only by considering its aim, i.e. producing intelligent and adaptive behaviour. Moreover, the only way to understand the neural substrates of higher cognitive functions is through a multi-method approach (behaviour, kinematics, EMG, fMRI, MEG/EEG, TMS) exploiting new advanced analytical methods (MVPA, connectivity).

Research directions

  • Action Representations (FIRB 2013) - This line of research focuses on understanding how the actions we perform in everyday life are represented in the brain. The idea is to map the contributions of motor networks and of the ventral stream in motor control. Besides, we focus on understanding where actions are represented at a more “abstract” level across and within different modalities (observed, imagined, planned and/or executed).
  • Intention and Voluntary Actions - This project aims at the definition of the neural substrates underlying voluntary actions. The idea is to characterize the specific role and modulation of regions within and outside the motor system in representing internally generated actions. The idea is to compare and understand similarities and differences in encoding with respect to externally-triggered actions.
  • Action and Intention Understanding - Our idea is to investigate how our brain can understand the actions and intentions of other people. Our working hypothesis is that this might be through the interplay among different cortical networks. Our aim is to assess the specific contributions of the action observation network, of the mentalizing system and of conceptual regions in action and intention understanding.
  • Role of V1 in Action Planning, Visual Imagery and Working Memory (ERC 2013) - Recent experimental evidence highlighted the role of V1 in several cognitive processes (Roelfsema & de Lange 2016). This line of research focuses on testing what type of information is represented within V1 and the specific top-down modulations exerting V1 “reactivation” in different experimental tasks.



For a complete list see Luca Turella personal page


  • ERC Advanced Grant 2013
  • Role: Local Unit Coordinator
  • Project: “Perceptual Awareness in the Reorganizing Brain”. Principal Investigator: Carlo Marzi (University of Verona)
  • Awarded by European Research Council (ERC)

Our work is also possible thanks to the contribution of MIUR (FIRB 2013), the University of Trento, CIMeC, the Provincia Autonoma di Trento and Fondazione Caritro.

Ongoing Collaborations

  • Merim Bilalic, Northumbria University Newcastle, UK
  • Luigi Cattaneo, University of Verona, Italy
  • Francesca Garbarini, University of Torino, Italy
  • Emiliano Ricciardi, Istituto Alti Studi Lucca (IMT), Italy