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


Director of two fully equipped laboratories based at Sapienza University of Rome and at IRCCS, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome. My research is performed using a variety of state-of-the-art techniques (for details see: My research topics regard several aspects of social neuroscience (for details see:

Elected senior research fellow at Scuola Superiore Alti Studi (SSAS), Sapienza.
2015 to present:
Director of the Psychology Doctoral School, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
2013 to present:
Coordinator of the International Ph.D. Program in "Psychology and Social Neuroscience" (, and reference of its research curriculum "CoSAN - Cognitive Social and Affective Neuroscience" ( at Sapienza University of Rome. CoSAN derived from the previous Ph.D. program in Cognitive Plasticity and Rehabilitation (2005-2012).
Nov 2013 - Nov 2014:
President of the Steering Committee of the Doctoral programmes at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
April - July 2013:
Visiting Professor, Institute de Sciences Cognitives, Université de Lyon, France.
2011 - 2014:
Delegate of the Rector for representing Sapienza in the European Committee for Doctoral Education.
Nov 2009 - Nov 2012:
Head of Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
2006 - 2014:
Member of the committee for the evaluation of Doctoral Programs at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
2005 - 2008:
Director of the School of Specialization in Clinical Neuropsychology, at the Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, and IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy.
2001 to 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

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

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

My research is performed by means of several techniques, including trancranial magnetic stimulation, somatosensory evoked potentials, laser evoked potentials, eye tracking recording, thermography and autonomic recording responses. I also use immersive virtual reality equipment to perform behavioural and neural studies. Thanks to collaborations with other reserch groups magnetoencephalography and fMRI studies can also be performed.

Honors and prizes

March 2015:
Failed the evaluation for the qualification as full professor of Social Psychology (SSD MPSI05/E3)
October 2014:
Passed the evaluation for the qualification as full professor of Physiology (SSD 05/D1 - FISIOLOGIA)
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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