Intervista dedicata al Conservatorio L. Cherubini per Diffrazioni Festival / interview dedicated to Diffrazioni Festival
Le scoperte della scienza, la mente e la percezione
Conferenza inaugurale / Opening conference
23 Novembre / 23rd November
Galleria Luca Giordano
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
I was born in Kiev, in the former Soviet Union.
I made my University studies in Padua where I graduated in Medicine and obtained the specialization in Neurology.
I spent then three years at the University of Pisa at the Institute of Physiology, directed at that time by Prof. Giuseppe Moruzzi.
My subsequent academic carrier took place mostly at the University of Parma where I started as an Assistant in Human Physiology and became Professor of Human Physiology, which is my present academic position.
I spent one year in the Department of Psychology of the McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and one year, as a Visiting Professor, in the Department of Anatomy of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Since the early nineties I am having a close collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Neuroscience of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and with Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center of UCLA, Los Angeles.
I have been President of the European Brain Behavior Society and Italian Society for Neuroscience.
For several years I have directed the European Training Program in Brain and Behaviour Research (ETP) sponsored by the European Science Foundation and for a short time I have been a member of the "European Medical Research Council".
At present I am member of Scientific Committee of "Fondation Fyssen" and Associate Member of the Neuroscience Program directed by Gerald Edelman, San Diego.
I am member of "Academia Europaea", of "Accademia dei Lincei" and "Honorary Foreign Member" of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. I have been recently elected member. “Associé étranger” of the Académie des sciences, Institut de France.
Among my major awards are "Golgi Prize for Physiology", "George Miller Award" of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the "Feltrinelli Prize for Medicine" of Accademia dei Lincei, and the Herlitzka Prize for Physiology, Accademia delle Scienze di Torino.
I received Honorary Degrees from the University Claude Bernard of Lyon, from the University of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, the Grawemeyer Prize for Psychology from the University of Louiseville (USA) and the Prix J.-L. Signoret in Neuropsychologie from the IPSEN Fondation.
The main focus of my research concerns the motor system and its role in cognitive functions. In the last years I was mostly involved in studies of the mirror neuron system. The experimental approach consists of recording the activity of single neurons in non human primates and of brain imaging in humans.