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Antonino Casile Write a Message

Visiting scientist

Research Line

Neural Computation

Center

IIT@HARVARD USA

Contacts

Harvard Medical School Department of Neurobiology Warren Alpert Bulding, room 222 200 Longwood Avenue

About

December 2009-present – Team Leader at the Italian Institute of Technology, Rovereto (Italy) and Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School, Boston (USA)

February 2006-November 2009 – Independent Researcher at the Hertie Institute, Department of Cognitive Neurology, University Clinic Tuebingen, Germany.

November-December 2005 – Visiting scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

April 2002-February 2006 – Post-doc student at the Hertie Institute, Department of Cognitive Neurology, University Clinic Tuebingen, Germany.

December 2001 – PhD degree (summa cum laude) from Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento S. Anna in Pisa (Italy) with the thesis: Eye movements and the refinement of cortical neural responses: A computational analysis.

January-December 2000 – Visiting researcher at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, Boston, USA.

November-December 2005 – Visiting scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

December 1997 – PhD student at the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento S.Anna, Pisa, Italy

August-September 1997 – Visiting student at the Fermilab in Chicago, USA with a grant from the Istituto Italiano di Fisica Nuclear (Italian Institute for Nuclear Energy)

December 1997 – PhD student at the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento S.Anna, Pisa, Italy

December 1996 – Laurea Degree in Computer Engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Pisa (Italy) with the thesis Progetto e realizzazione di un nucleo Real-Time su una macchina RISC basata su processore Alpha (Design and implementation of a hard Real- Time kernel on a RISC machine based on the Alpha processor).

Projects

The focus of my research is the investigation of possible influences of motor behaviors on both low- and high-level perception. For my research I use psychophysical, theoretical, brain imaging and neurophysiological techniques.

In the field of high-level perception I am investigating, by means of neurophysiological recordings in the macaque pre-motor cortex, the putative role of motor knowledge on action perception. In this field, I contributed to establish that mirror neurons have several, previously unknown, tuning properties (Caggiano et al., 2011; Caggiano, Fogassi, Rizzolatti, Thier, & Casile, 2009; Casile, Caggiano, & Ferrari, 2011)⁠. In addition to monkeys, I also investigate the link between perception and action in humans by means of psychophysical and brain imaging techniques (Casile et al., 2010; Casile & Giese, 2005, 2006; Dayan et al., 2007; Graf et al., 2007; Ticini, Schütz-Bosbach, Weiss, Casile, & Waszak, 2012)⁠.

In the field of low-level perception I am investigating the possible influences of oculomotor behavior on the neuronal encoding of information in the first stages of the visual system (Casile & Rucci, 2006, 2009; Rucci & Casile, 2004, 2005)⁠.

Selected Publications

* denotes equal contributions

Ticini LF, Schütz-Bosbach S, Weiss C, Casile A, Waszak F (2012) When Sounds Become Actions: Higher-order Representation of Newly Learnt Action Sounds in the Human Motor System. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24:464-474.

Caggiano V, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G, Pomper JK, Thier P, Giese MA, Casile A (2011) View-based encoding of actions in mirror neurons of area F5 in macaque premotor cortex. Current Biology 21:144-8.

Casile A, Caggiano V, Ferrari PF (2011) The mirror neuron system: A fresh view. The Neuroscientist 17:524-538.

Casile A, *Dayan E, Caggiano V, Hendler T, Flash T, Giese, M A (2010) Neuronal Encoding of Human Kinematic Invariants during Action Observation. Cerebral Cortex 20:1647-55.

Caggiano V, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G, Thier P, Casile A (2009) Mirror neurons differentially encode the peripersonal and extrapersonal space of monkeys. Science 324:403-6.

Casile A, Rucci M (2009) A theory of the influence of eye movements on the refinement of direction selectivity in the cat’s primary visual cortex. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 20:197-232.

*Dayan E, *Casile A, Levit-Binnun N Giese MA, Hendler T, Flash T (2007) Neural representations of kinematic laws of motion: evidence for action-perception coupling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:20582-7.

Graf M, Reitzner B, Corves C, Casile A, Giese, M A, Prinz W (2007) Predicting point-light actions in real-time. NeuroImage 36 Suppl 2:T22-32.

Casile A, Giese MA (2006) Nonvisual motor training influences biological motion perception. Current Biology 16:69-74.

Casile A, Rucci M (2006) A theoretical analysis of the influence of fixational instability on the development of thalamocortical connectivity. Neural Computation 18:569-90.

Casile A, Giese MA (2005) Critical features for the recognition of biological motion. Journal of Vision:348-360.

Rucci M, Casile A (2005) Fixational instability and natural image statistics: Implications for early visual representations. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 16:121-138.

Rucci M, Casile A (2004) Decorrelation of neural activity during fixational instability: possible implications for the refinement of V1 receptive fields. Visual neuroscience 21:725-38.

Awards

2007 – Attempto Prize as young investigator of the University of Tuebingen

1997 – Grant from Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (National Institute of Nuclear Physics) to spend a visiting period at the Fermilab in Batavia (USA)

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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.