Principal Investigator

Santa Lucia - Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Sapienza University of Rome

Salvatore Maria Aglioti, MD

Salvatore Maria Aglioti, MD

Behavioural Neurologist,
Full professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychological Physiology,
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy and
IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia Roma, Rome, Italy

Teaching: Social Neuroscience and Organizational Psychology


President of the Phd Commission at Sapienza University of Rome and Rector's delegate for International PhDs.

Nov 2009 - Nov 2012:
Head of Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
2005 - present:
Coordinator of the International Ph.D. Program in "Psychology and Social Neuroscience", and of the PhD research curriculum "CoSAN - Cognitive Social and Affective Neuroscience", at the Sapienza University of Rome. CoSAN derived from the Ph.D. program in "Cognitive Plasticity and Rehabilitation".
2005 - 2008:
Director of the School of Specialisation in Clinical Neuropsychology, at the Santa Lucia Foundation.
2001 - present:
Full Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychological Physiology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
1998 - 2000:
Associate Professor, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
1990 - 1997:
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological and Vision Sciences, Human Physiology, Medical School, University of Verona, Italy.

Research Activity

Over the past 25 years, my career developed in domains related to behavioural neurology and cognitive neuroscience, where I have worked on a number of different innovative lines of research. In the past 10 years I become fascinated by the emerging field of Social Neuroscience and I think I have contributed to it with new ideas and research approaches.

My current research interests focus on the psychological and neural processes underlying:

  • normal and abnormal functioning of social interactions, empathy and personality;
  • bodily and brain correlates of group coding dimensions in religion, politics, sport, ethnicity;
  • sensorimotor processing in expert brains including elite athletes and musicians;
  • neural basis of corporeal awareness in healthy and brain damaged patients;
  • voluntary action and bodily sensations in healthy humans and brain damaged and spinal cord injured patients.

Honors and prizes

May 2013:
MagSTIM, Senior investigator award, Oxford.
May-July 2013:
Chair d'excellence award, Fondation NeuroDis, Lyon.
September 2012:
Elected Member of the Academia Europaea, Section Behavioural Sciences.
October 2010:
Menzione di Eccellenza Sapienza Ricerca, macroarea 5, for the research on empathy for pain.
October 2009:
Sapienza Eccellenza, macroarea 5, for the research on Action Anticipation in elite basketball players.
October 2009:
Themosystems, PNI, First prize for the best entrepreneurial idea, Regione Lazio, Italy.


I hold/have held research funds for more than 1 million euros from:

  • EU project (FP7), European Commission Programs (Collaborative Projects “Tango - Emotional Interaction grounded in realistic context” and “VERE - Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment”);
  • Ricerca Finalizzata, Italian Ministry of Health: “And yet they MOve: immobile patients re-enter the physical world through embodiment in avatar or robot surrogates”;
  • Project Seed, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT): “PARMS - Predictive Action perception Resonance and Mental Simulation”;
  • Mind and life Institute, Contemplative Studies Fellowship, Philosophical and historical accounts for the neuroscientific investigation of human spirituality;
  • Excellence grant, Sapienza University of Rome, “Partisan Brains”;
  • the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana): “CRUSOE - CRUising in Space with Out-of-body Experiences”;
  • Bial Foundation (Portugal): “The Spiritual Brain: neurophysiologic investigations of Self-trascendence and Spirituality”.

Scholarly indices of performance


Aglioti S.M., Fabbro F. (2006). Neuropsicologia del linguaggio. Il Mulino, BolognaAglioti S.M., Berlucchi G. (2013). Neurofobia: Chi ha paura del cervello?. Raffaello Cortina, Milano

I have published more than 160 articles in International peer-reviewed journals, several articles and chapters in Italian (including a textbook, Aglioti SM, Fabbro F: Manuale di Neuropsicologia del Linguaggio, 2006, Il Mulino, Bologna and a scientific essay, Neurofobia: Chi ha paura del cervello?, Aglioti SM, Berlucchi G, Cortina 2013) and in English.

Show Publications


+39 06 4991 7635
+39 06 4991 7601

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