Origins of the cognitive neuroscience group (CNG). Born around a core-group coming from the Milan experimental psychology and neuropsychology schools, founded by Cesare Musatti and Ennio De Renzi respectively, the group has attracted top scientists from the whole of Italy and now counts about 50 members including also developmental psychologists, experimental social psychologists, linguists, all based at the local Psychology Department. The group also includes clinical neuropsychologists of the Clinical Neuroscience Departments and economists interested in cognitive neuroscience. The scientific production of the CNG fares more than 60.000 citations and more than 560 points of H index. With this record-track, the CNG has a leading role in Italian cognitive neuroscience.
Research areas. The study of the healthy and diseased mind in developing and adult individuals. Intervention areas comprise cognitive psychology in healthy individuals, social psychology and quantitative psychology, neuropsychology in brain-damaged and psychiatric patients for heuristic and rehabilitative purposes, clinical psychology in psychological and psychiatric diseases, neuroeconomics. More specifically, typical areas of enquiry are reasoning, attention and controlled processes spatial cognition, language, memory, visual perception and semantics, face processing, social cognition and theory of mind, motivation and emotion. These topics are studied in both normal and abnormal populations along the life cycle.
Methods comprise behavioural studies of psychological and cognitive functions in healthy and brain-damaged individuals, as well as advanced instrumental methods for the study of the nervous system activity including neuroimaging (ERP, fMRI, PET), neurostimulation (tDCS, TMS, EEG/TMS), motion capture (SMART), EMG, GSR, Eye trackers, fully equipped labs for the study of developmental age and social psychology.
Future. The CNG foresees fruitful interactions with all sectors of the NeuroMi Center, with particular attention to quantitative computational modelling of cognitive processes and improved statistical inference on neurophysiological and imaging data. Innovative interactions are planned with the neurobiology oriented (genetics, pharmacology, neurology and psychiatry. etc.) members of NeuroMI as well as with the Clinical Neurosciences area.