Research Lines

Prospective PhD Students should choose 1-2 research lines and write their project proposal (required for the next PhD entrance exam) generally based on those lines. The next call for the entrance exam will open on April 8th, 2019. Do not miss the opportunity to also have a look at the priority research-bonded grants (in Italian: “borse a tema vincolato”) and apply for those you are interested in as well (research lines from 37 to 44 at the end of the list below). It is ok to contact the PIs if you want to know more.

Research Line number Title Supervisor Potential Co-Supervisor/s Potential Collaborators Abstract (when available for priority research grants)
1 Advanced imaging and electrophysiology to investigate human brain organoids as a model to recapitulate   neuronal function and synaptic   plasticity   in physiological and pathological conditions. Luigi Bubacco Mario Bortolozzi    (UNIPD-PNC-VIMM)   and Angelo Antonini   (UNIPD-PNC). Stefano Vassanelli (UNIPD-PNC), Marco Dal Maschio (UNIPD-PNC), Marta Trevisan (UNIPD), Alessio Di Fonzo (Policlinico di Milano), Stefano Duga (Humanitas University, Milano), Massimo Aureli (University of Milan), Jens Schwamborn and Reiko Krueger (Luxebourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, Université du Luxembourg).
2 Meta-research, research quality, open science and research reproducibility in neuroscience. Claudio Gentili Giorgia Cona, Patrizia Bisiacchi
3 Investigating the efficacy of novel EEG-neurofeedback trainings for optimizing executive functions and emotion regulation in healthy individuals and in clinical populations Ettore Ambrosini Simone Messerotti Benvenuti (DPG), Daniela Palomba (DPG) Antonino Vallesi (DNS, PNC)
4 Attention ‘like’ and action selection in invertebrates and lower vertebrates. Processing mechanisms and neural circuits from an evolutive point of view. https://doi.org/10.1101/296962 Aram Megighian M.Dal Maschio (PNC PhD Program), MA Zordan (PNC), U Castiello (DPG)
5 Spatial learning and memory in invertebrates and lower vertebrates. Analysing neural correlates using otpogenetic techniques. Aram Megighian M. Dal Maschio (PNC) MA Zordan (PNC), A Cenedese (PNC)
6 Investigating fundamental coding principles of sensory information in the barrel cortex and developing novel bioelectronic interfaces and neuronal probes to interconnect brain neurons and artificial neural networks. Stefano Vassanelli Alessandra Bertoldo, Maurizio Corbetta, Samir Suweis Dal Maschio (PNC), Matteo Caleo (DSB), Stefano Panzeri (IIT, ROVERETO), A. Gozzi (IIT, ROVERETO), G. Indiveri (University of Zurich/ETH), C. Mayr (Technical University of Dresden), R. Thewes (Technical Univeristy of Berlin), T. Prodromakis (University of Southampton), D. Cohen (Bar Ilan Univeristy – Tel Aviv)
7 Neural correlates of body image disturbance and neuropsychological symptoms in Anorexia Nervosa: Characterization of body image disturbance and neuropsychological aspects of patients with anorexia nervosa by means of brain imaging techniques. Angela Favaro Tenconi Elena, Corbetta Maurizio, Bertoldo Alessandra
8 Transition to severe mental illness in at-risk mental state: a multi-modal approach: The objective of the project is to create a multi-modal prognostic model that predicts the transition to psychosis. Angela Favaro Marco Solmi Elena Tenconi, Alessandra Bertoldo, Fabio Sambataro
9 Altered dynamic connectivity of large scale networks as a risk factor for major psychiatric disorders Fabio Sambataro Favaro Angela, Corbetta Maurizio
10 Investigation of the statistical invariants in the bursty dynamics of complex interaction networks – human, animal, computer, and brain networks Giovanni Zanzotto Aram Megighian, Maurizio Corbetta, Samir Suweis
11 Emotional and Social functioning in Developmental Disorders. EEG, MRI and neurostimulation. Mario Liotti Paola Sessa, Irene Mammarella, Simone Cutini, Sabrina Brigadoi.
12 The interaction of emotion and executive functioning in healthy subjects and patients with affective disorders. EEG, MRI and neurostimulation. Mario Liotti Claudio Gentili, Simone Cutini, Sabrina Brigadoi
13 Individual differences in functional connectivity: from brain stimulation to predicting cognition Patrizia Bisiacchi Dante Mantini Giorgia Cona, Ettore Ambrosini, Giorgio Arcara, Francesco Piccione
14 On the effects of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (e.g., tACS) on neuronal dynamics and response inhibition in healthy individuals and neurological patients Patrizia Bisiacchi Angelo Antonini Antonino Vallesi, Giorgia Cona, Davide Cappon, Elias Casula, John Rothwell
15 Circuit formation and function in the central nervous system, mostly in the olfactory system and connected areas, in health and diseases. Claudia Lodovichi Marco Dal Maschio, Samir Suweis
16 Brain rhythm in health and diseases Claudia Lodovichi Marco Dal Maschio, Samir Suweis, Angelo Antonini
17 Multi-modal examinations of the relationship between metabolism and neural synchronization (fMRI, EEG) in cortex of healthy subjects and pathological conditions. Maurizio Corbetta Alessandra Bertoldo
18 Investigation of behavioral correlations and cerebral connectivity with hd-EEG in healthy and stroke. Maurizio Corbetta Giorgia Cona Alessandra Bertoldo, Antonino Vallesi, Dante Mantini.
19 Assessment of cold and hot (social) cognition in Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders and specific rehabilitation programs. Elena Tenconi Angela Favaro
20 Eating disorders: neuropsychological assessment and cognitive rehabilitation with tDCS potentiation. Elena Tenconi Angela Favaro
21 Personalized predictors of cognitive decline using clinical, biological and imaging biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease Angelo Antonini Luigi Bubacco, Patrizia Bisiacchi Marco Benato (Psicologia), Marco Zorzi (Psicologia), Roberta Biundo (IRCCS), Stéphane Lehericy (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle (ICM), INSERM UMRS 1127, Paris), Antonio Strafella (Centre Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto); Thilo van Eimeren, (Faculty of Medicine University of Cologne); Irena Rektorova (CEITEC, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic); Per Odin (Neurology, Lund University, Sweden)
22 Biosignal (EEG-EMG) controlled robotic rehabilitation in people with acquired disability after stroke Alessandra Del Felice prof. E. Menegatti, ing. E. Formaggio
23 Interactions between cognitive and motor development impairments: quantitative assessments (gait analysis) and therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions Alessandra Del Felice Patrizia Bisiacchi ing. R. Di Marco
24 Innovative rehabilitation paradigms in congenital and acquired neurological disorders Stefano Masiero Alessandra Del Felice
25 Personalized neurostimolation in neurological disorders: EEG-TMS/tDCS co-registrations Stefano Masiero Alessandra Del Felice Antonino Vallesi
26 Computational models of the spatio-temporal network dynamic communication underlying brain activity during rest and task Alessandra Bertoldo Maurizio Corbetta Gustave Deco, Andrea Brovelli
27 Modeling the link between structural connectivity and network complexity for personalized neurosurgery in glioma patients Alessandra Bertoldo Maurizio Corbetta Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, Andrea Brovelli
28 The impact of stroke on cognitive and emotional processing: behavioral, anatomical (lesion mapping), and electrophysiological approaches. Mario Bonato Carlo Semenza, Marco Zorzi, Chiara Spironelli Antonino Vallesi, Mariagrazia Ranzini, Zaira Romeo
29 The processing of time and space in Parkinson’s disease. Anatomical, functional, and cognitive correlates. Mario Bonato Angelo Antonini, Marco Zorzi, Roberta Biundo Antonino Vallesi, Mariagrazia Ranzini, Zaira Romeo
30 Early detection of cognitive and emotional dysregulation in adolescents and young adults with eating or weight disorders: a multimodal assessment (virtual reality, physiological measures, eye tracking and cognitive testing) Daniela Palomba Angela Favaro, Mario Liotti Valentina Cardi (King’s College London), Simone Messerotti Benvenuti, Claudio Gentili
31 Design of models, methods and computer systems for Data Science with a particular focus on Information Retrieval, databases and Machine learning Massimo Melucci
32 Effect of cognitive stimulation therapy in late onset major psychiatric disorders vs early onset dementia. Giuila Perini Nadia Scupola, Beatrice Roiter, Piero Amodio
33 Developing models of brain dynamics using approaches from complex systems and network theory. The aim is to study emergent pattern in brain activity and understand how to “control” the dynamics towards specific activity patterns.  Samir Suweis Marco Formentin, Alberto Testolin (unipd), Miguel Angel Munoz (University of Granada).
34 Post-selection Inference in neuroscience: development and evaluation of modern multiple testing methods in MRI, fMRI, EEG and fNIRS. Livio Finos Rosenblatt JD, Weeda WD, Solari A, Goeman JJ
35 Machine learning algorithms for Brain-Computer Interface, with particular focus on classification methods based on Rimaniann and Procrustes distances. Livio Finos Congedo M.
36 Neuromodulation of inter-hemispheric dynamics with non-invasive brain stimulation coupled with EEG as a tool to rehabilitate or potentiate high-level cognitive functioning. Antonino Vallesi Ettore Ambrosini, Alessandra Del Felice Angela Favaro, Stefano Masiero, Maurizio Corbetta, Domenico D’Avella, Patrizia Bisiacchi, Alessandro Angrilli, Carlo Semenza
37 (Priority Research-bonded grant SYNCH) A SYnaptically connected
brain-silicon Neural Closed-loop
Hybrid system
Stefano Vassanelli
38 (Priority Research-bonded grant POTION) Psychophysiological study of body odours in healthy
individuals and in individual
with emotional alterations
Claudio Gentili
39 (Priority Research-bonded grant Neuro-diP) Precision Neuroscience and deep phenotypization of clinical populations and healthy individuals through
neuroimaging, electrophysiology, genetics and/or wearable technology
Teaching Board Members affiliated to the dept. of Neuroscience
40 (Priority Research-bonded grant) Use-inspired basic research
targeting cognitive, emotional or
behavioural functions (or
dysfunctions) using innovative
methods or technologies,
considering how the expected
results would have broader
impact on society
Teaching Board Members affiliated to the dept. of General Psychology
41 (Priority Research-bonded grant) Spatiotemporal dynamics of Affective Inhibitory Control in health and disease Teaching Board Members affiliated to the dept. of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, and to the PNC Objective of the project is to study emotion-cognition interactions in health and disease employing a novel paradigm of Affective Inhibitory Control (AIC) to ascertain how negative affect disrupts cognitive monitoring and inhibitory control processes. High density EEG and behavioral measures will be recorded during a modified Stop-Signal Task employing emotional faces and an emotional challenge procedure varying frustration across blocks. In Study 1, behavioral and EEG indices of AIC will be compared between healthy young adults and healthy children (8-12 ys old), to investigate changes with typical development. In Study 2, behavioral and EEG indices of AIC will be compared between healthy children (8-12 years old) and children with common developmental psychopathologies: Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). EEG measures will be analyzed in the time and frequency domain.
42 (Priority Research-bonded grant) Rehabilitation paradigms in
congenital and acquired
neurological disorders
Stefano Masiero

Alessandra Del Felice

The research program focus is on the development of innovative and specific rehabilitative pathways for congenital and acquired neurological disabilities in children and adults. The final output will be a series of operational flow-charts to guide evidence based–interventions, which will be eventually discussed with stakeholders. Quantitative measures (instrumental movement analysis, inertial motor sensors- IMUs, surface electromyography –sEMG) will provide classification of movement impairment and guide development of rehabilitative programs (including hydrokinesitherapy and new technologies) and evaluate efficacy outcomes. Correlation with cognitive and behavioural disturbances will be taken into account to maxims rehabilitative efforts.
43 (Priority Research-bonded grant PRIN) Effects of genetic variation within dopamine signaling on brain structure and function and role on the risk and treatment for schizophrenia. Fabio Sambataro D2-like dopamine signaling (D2R and D3R) has been implicated in schizophrenia. The brain mechanisms associated with the genetic variants in the D2-like signaling in schizophrenia are still unknown. In this project, we aim to identify morphological and functional effects of genetic variation in D2-like co-expression networks on brain phenotypes associated with schizophrenia and with response to drug treatment.
44 (Priority Research-bonded grant) Morphological and functional analysis of focal and spread white and grey matter pathology in multiple sclerosis patients with 3T PET/MRI scanner with neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging and resting state functional MRI, at disease onset and after two years of follow up. Paolo Gallo We intend to analyze the cortical metabolism and the white matter pathology by means of fully integrated 3T PET/MRI scanner in MS patients at clinical onset (not treated with DMDs) and understand the bindings between metabolic, functional and structural damage by means of 3DT1, FLAIR and NODDI and 3D DIR, 2D PSIR and NODDI respectively. Moreover we want to verify whether functional or metabolicalterations could precede structural damages and whether there are some prognostic structural-metabolic patterns.

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