Silvia Benavides Varela is an Assistant Professor affiliated to the Department of Developmental and Social Psychology and Department of Neuroscience at Padua University. She is trained as a biotechnology engineer, obtained a PhD in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Jacques Mehler from SISSA, Trieste, Italy. She then worked as a post doctoral researcher at the IRCSS San Camillo Hospital in Venice, and the Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception (CNRS & Université Paris Descartes), in Paris, France.
The most important part of her research focused on developing new methods for unveiling the initial state of memory capacities in humans, the environmental factors that modulate learning, and the properties of the brain systems that support language and mathematic achievements across the life-span. She uses a range of neuroimaging techniques including electroencephalography, and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) in combination with behavioral metrics and analyses, both in healthy and in clinical populations.