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Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Researcher - Principal Investigator

Research Line

Neuroscience and society



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Salvatore M Aglioti, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Neuroscience and Society research line. Originally trained as behavioral neurologist, he is now professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology and teaches Social and Organizational Neuroscience at Sapienza University of Rome. He is the head of the laboratories of Cognitive, Affective and Social Neuroscience at Sapienza and at Fondazione Santa Lucia, IRCCS, Rome ( His research interests revolve around a variety of social neuroscience topics ranging from empathy for pain and existential neuroscience to deception and dishonesty in social and organizational contexts. Moreover, he launched a program on the neural underpinnings of social group coding driven by race as well as by political and religious affiliation. In addition to more than 260 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals he published several chapters in English and Italian books. Moreover, he is heavily involved in dissemination of neuroscience (e.g the scientific essay, Neurofobia: Chi ha paura del cervello? with Berlucchi G, Cortina 2013 that should appear in 2020 for the Oxford University Press).


  • 1977 - 1983 MD, University of Pisa, Italy. Magna cum Laude.
  • 1983 - 1987 Specialty in Neurology, University of Verona, Italy. Magna cum Laude


  • Director of 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:
  • 2019: Elected senior research fellow at Scuola Superiore Alti Studi (SSAS), Sapienza (2019-2021)
  • 2018: October-December. Erasmus Visiting professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris  
  • 2017: Senior research fellow at the Italian Institute of Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University, NY, USA
  • 2016: Elected senior research fellow at Scuola Superiore Alti Studi (SSAS), Sapienza (2026-2018).
  • 2015 -2016: Director of the Psychology Doctoral School, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
  • 2013 -2016: Coordinator of the International Ph.D. Program in "Psychology and Social Neuroscience" (,
  • 2013- present: director of the 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.


Social Neuroscience - Non invasive brain stimulation - social decision making



  • PRIN 2017 N7WCLP, Italian Ministry of Research and University ““Motor sociality through the lens of error monitoring. Behavioural and neurophysiological studies in healthy and brain-damaged people"
  • ERC-2017-ADG 789058 “Embodied Honesty in Real World and Digital Interactions”
  • PRIN 2015 2015 9CZFJK02/05/2017-02/05/2020. Italian Ministry of Research and University. “Body and action perception in the peripersonal space: immersive virtual reality, EEG and behavioural studies in healthy and massively somatosensory de-afferented and motor de-efferented ”
  • Fondazione Roma : REaltà Virtuale immERsiva come strumento per l'insegnamento e l'apprendimento (acronimo: REVER). Euro 174,000. Giugno 2014-novembre 2017
  • H2020 — H2020-SESAR-2015-1Grant Agreement number : 699379 MOTO : the embodied reMOte Tower. 9
  • EU project (FP7) Collaborative Project “Tango - Emotional Interaction grounded in realistic context” (Grant Agreement Number 249858)
  • EU project (FP7) Collaborative Project * Collaborative Project “VERE - Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment” (Grant Agreement Number 257695).
  • Progetto Seed - Finanziamento Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. Progetto “PARMS - “Predictive Action-perception Resonance and Mental Simulation”.
  • Fondazione Bial (Portogallo) Progetto “The Spiritual Brain: neurophysiologic investigations of Self trascendence and Spirituality”. (Grant Agreement 66/10).
  • ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana Research Project: "CRUSOE CRUising in Space with Out-of-body Experiences".
  • Ricerca Finalizzata - Ministero della Salute “And yet they MOve: immobile patients re-enter the physical world through embodiment in avatar or robot surrogates”.

Honors and Prizes

  • September 2019: Resident à l’Institut d’ètudes avancées, Paris
  • September 2017: Ig Nobel Prize, Section: Cognition, for the study: “Is that me or my twin? Lack of self-face recognition advantage in identical twins. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 8;10(4):e0120900. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120900. Authors: Martini, Bufalari, Stazi, Aglioti.
  • Feb 2017: Senior Fellowship at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University
  • 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.


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