Roberta Sellaro

Roberta Sellaro is an Associate Professor at the Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization of the University of Padova.

She graduated in Psychology in 2007 at the University of Padova, before moving to the Center for Mind and Brain Sciences (CIMeC) of the University of Trento where, in April 2013, she obtained a PhD in Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Cognitive Neuroscience Programme). During her graduate studies, she investigated whether and to what extent cognitive control efficiency can be affected by the social context surrounding us.

Immediately after obtaining her PhD, she joined the Cognitive Psychology Unit of the Leiden University (the Netherlands) and the Leiden Institute for Brain & Cognition (LIBC), where she worked as a postdoctoral fellow, from April 2013 ‘til July 2016, and as an Assistant Professor, from February 2017 ‘til September 2020. During her post-doc, she used food supplementation (tyrosine, tryptophan, probiotics) and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (tDCS, tVNS) to investigate the role of specific neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, GABA, noradrenaline and serotonin) and brain areas (such as prefrontal cortex areas and temporoparietal junction) in modulating cognitive and social functioning. She later carried out research to identify people’s metacontrol policies (biases towards stability or flexibility) and the factors and the conditions that promote the adoption of either policy.

In October 2020, she moved to the University of Padova.

Her research interests are very broad. In very general terms, her research is aimed at uncovering reciprocal interactions between bottom-up (and/or self-related) and top-down cognitive control processes. She investigates the role of several factors (e.g., environmental/contextual factors, task-specific features, reward, individual differences, and affect) in modulating cognitive and social functioning and decision-making processes.

Her current research aims at integrating behavioral, psychophysiological (e.g., heart rate variability, pupil dilation, eye blink rate), computational and virtual reality methods to modulate cognitive control efficiency and emotional processing both in healthy subjects and in individuals with psychiatric disorders.

She has several national and international scientific collaborations, has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals (Scopus h-index 19), 4 book chapters, organized various symposia, workshops and an international conference, and has been invited as a speaker at several symposia, research institutes and public events. She regularly serves as ad-hoc reviewer for several important international journals within the domains of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience and has served as an associate editor for two peer-reviewed international journals.

For a list of peer-reviewed international publications, see:

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