I am a cognitive neuroscientist leading the Merge Computations Group in the department of Neuropsychology of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig, Germany. Our aim is to understand how the brain builds-up linguistic structures out of single words (merge) linking language processing to language development and the evolution of language. We use fMRI, sMRI, EEG, TMS, behavioural measures and computational modelling to test modality-independence (visual, acoustic, signed) and domain-specificity (conceptual, motor) of the most fundamental combinatorial computations for language (lexical access, stringing, categorization, hierarchization).
All projects focus on how such computations are topographically organized, they temporally unfold, and the way they causally interact on the cortical surface. We therefore seek to understand the general organizational principles of combinatorial abstraction in the brain.
I am active member of the The Max Planck PostdocNet, an organization of Max Planck postdoctoral researchers who have united to represent the needs and opinions of the collective postdoctoral researcher pool of the Max Planck Society. The PostdocNet was founded in 2019 with the support of the Max Planck Society.
I grew up in Masserie La Corte, fòr[ə] all[ə] tra’en[ə]ra, Italy.
Universität Potsdam, Department of Linguistics
Research Group Leader, Postdoc representative
Summa cum Laude
"Breaking down Complexity:
The Neural Basis of the Syntactic Merge Mechanism in the Human Brain"
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Angela D. Friederici
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger
Master's Degree – Linguistics
Summa cum Laude
A Cross-linguistic Perspective"
CISCL (Interdepartmental Center for Cognitive Studies of Language)
ICECUP (ICE Corpus Utility Program)
A case study: Chinese Speakers Acquiring the Italian Relative Clause"
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Luigi Rizzi
Mind and Brain Scholarship, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)