Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Roberta Bianco

Stephanstraße 1a

04103 Leipzig




Roberta Bianco

Roberta Bianco

Roberta Bianco


Postdoc (in cooperation with University of Montreal)


  • +44 7480391137


Main Focus

Research Interests The concept of syntax applied to human actions has been investigated in recent studies suggesting that in musicians the motor system’s anticipatory potential during piano playing is based upon their long-term music-syntactic knowledge. Electrophysiological evidences support this assumption. What remains a matter of debate is whether (i) these encouraging results are really associated to the syntax processing translated into a “grammar of action” or merely to overlearned serial motor patterns, whether (ii) the motor system represents syntactic information or stands in reciprocal exchange with an external syntax processor, and (iii) in how far the observed effects can be disentangled from other sensory processes. We explore these issues through behavioural, fMRI and tDCS approaches. Furthermore, we investigate (iv) the interplay between playing strategy (more attention to “what to do” or “how to do”), amount of musical experience, and brain structural changes.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education

2000 - 2005
Liceo classico G.Parini, Milano: High School Graduation 83/100
2004 - 2011
Music Diploma (9/10)in flute
Academy of Music “Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali F.Vittadini”, Pavia (Supervisor:Mo.Paola Fre).
2005 - 2008
Bachelor´s degree (110/110 cum Laude)
Medical Biotechnologies, Università degli Studi di Milano. Thesis title: Analysis of the kinetics of inhibitor enzyme neuroserpin. Role in the pathogenesis of FENIB (Supervisor Pr.Sonia Caccia)
2008 - 2010
Masters Degree (110/110 cum laude)
Neurobiology, Università degli Studi di Pavia. Thesis title: Neuronal and synaptic alterations in Knock-out mice with Autistic Phenotype (Supervisor Pr.Egidio D´Angelo).
IMPRS NeuroCom
Max Planck Institute Leipzig, Department of Neuropsychology Doctoral Student


Apprenticeship at laboratory of Biological Science (supervisor: Prof. M. Goldfarb) Hunter College, City University of New York:electrophysiological characterization of Purkinji Cell in cerebellum slice of rat (patch clamp in vitro).
01/11 - 06/11
Apprenticeship at laboratory of Physiology (supervisor: Prof.E.D’Angelo), Università degli Studi di Pavia: electrophysiological characterization of Granular Cell in cerebellum slice of rat (patch clamp in vitro).
01/12 - 07/12
Apprenticeship within the Neuropsychology Department (supervisor: Dr Daniela Sammler) and the “Music, Cognition and Action” group (co-supervisor: Giacomo Novembre), Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences of Leipzig:behavioural studies on the syntactic structures in music and action (TMS and EEG).

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

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