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Fausto Caruana

Post Doc
Post Doc

Former colleague

Center

BCMSC@UniPr Parma

Contacts

Brain Center for Social and Motor Cognition, Italian Institute of Technology, Via Volturno 39, Parma, Italy

About

I graduated in Philosophy at the University of Parma in 2004, studying cognitive science, philosophy of mind, analytic philosophy and mathematical logic.

In 2008 I took my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the School of Medicine at the University of Parma where I studied electrophysiology, specializing in the single-unit recording from the motor/premotor cortex of behaving animals (macaque monkey).

In 2009-2010 I worked as a Post-Doc at the Dept. Neuroscience at the School of Medicine at the University of Parma with the supervision of prof. Rizzolatti. In this period I studied the functional organization of the monkey insula by using intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) technique, and its connectivity by using neuronal tracers. In 2010 I also spent a brief period as a fellow at the Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, to study c-fos expression, to investigate the presence of mirror neurons in mice.

Currently, I have a post-doc position at the Brain Center for Social and Motor Cognition (Parma Unit), Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) to study the cognitive aspects of the human motor system, including that related to the mirror system, by using intracranial recording (stereo-EEG), in collaboration with the Centro di Chirurgia dell’Epilessia e del Parkinson dell’A.O. Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda, Milano. I am contract professor of Neuroscience at the Dept. Philosophy of the University of Parma

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My main interests concern the neural basis of emotional expression and social cognition since the very beginning of my career. During my PhD I was engaged in the mapping of the monkey insula by means of “behavioral time-scale” intracortical microstimulation (ICMS), allowing to elicit complex behavioral responses. Of particular interest were the description of a socio-emotional communicative field in the ventral insula and a disgust-related field in its anteriormost sector. More recently, the collaboration with the epilepsy surgery center Niguarda Hospital allowed me to study the same topics in humans by means of intracranial EEG recording and electrical stimulation. My main expertise includes single neuron recordings, intracranial electroencephalography and electrical stimulation. Beside my neuroscientific interests, my major interests include the theoretical aspects of embodied cognition, social cognition and affective neuroscience.

Selected Publications

Jezzini A., Rozzi S., Borra E., Gallese V., Caruana F.*, Gerbella M.*(2015). A shared neural network for emotional expression and perception: An anatomical study in the macaque monkey. Front Behav Neurosci, 9:243.

Caruana F., Avanzini P., Gozzo F., Francione S., Cardinale F., Rizzolatti G. (2015). Mirth and laughter elicited by electrical stimulation of the human anterior cingulate cortex. Cortex (in press).

Caruana F. (in press). «Ancora neuro-mania? ma basta!». La contrapposizione tra impianti interpretativi è più interessante della contrapposizione tra settori disciplinari. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia.

Cuccio V., Caruana F. (2015). Il corpo come icona. Abduzione, strumenti ed Embodied Simulation, Versus - Quaderni di Studi Semiotici, 120:93-101.

Borghi A., Caruana, F. (2015). Embodiment theories. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd. Edition (editor James Wright), Section of Cognitive Neuroscience (editor Stefano Cappa)

Caruana F., Avanzini P, Sartori I., Pelliccia V, Casaceli G., Lo Russo G., Rizzolatti G., Orban G.A. 2014: The specificity of the supramarginal tool use observation area in intracerebral recordings. Society for Neuroscience Abstract, 334.15-FF13.

Avanzini P, Caruana F., Sartori I., Pelliccia V., Casaceli G., Abdollahi R.O., Rizzolatti G., Orban G.A. 2014: Visual responses in right human premotor cortex. Society for Neuroscience Abstract, 332.14.

Caruana F
., Uithol S., Cantalupo G., Sartori I., Lo Russo G., Avanzini P. (2014): How action selection can be embodied: intracranial gamma band recording shows response competition during the Eriksen flankers test, Front. Hum. Neurosci. 8:668. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00668. http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00668/abstract

Caruana F., Marraffa M. (2014). Il corpo viene alla mente: azioni, emozioni, pensieri (a cura di). Sistemi Intelligenti, 1/2014, pp. 3-10, doi: 10.1422/77215 http://www.rivisteweb.it/issn/1120-9550/issue/6412

Meletti S., Vaudano A.E., Tassi L., Caruana F., Avanzini P. (2014): Intracranial time-frequency correlates of seizure-related negative BOLD response in the sensory-motor network, Clin Neurophy.

Orban G.A., Caruana F. (2014): The neural basis of human tool use, Front Psychology, 5-2014,
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00310. http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00310/abstract

Caruana F., Sartori I., Lo Russo G., Avanzini P. (2104): Sequencing biological and physical events affects specific frequency bands within the human premotor cortex. An intracerebral EEG Study. PlosOne http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0086384

Caruana F., Cantalupo G., Lo Russo G., Mai R., Sartori I., Avanzini P. (2014): Human cortical activity evoked by gaze shift observation: an intracranial EEG study. Human Brain Mapping. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.22270/abstract;jsessionid=1847311F6642371CA04CB9C85E6443E4.f02t01

Caruana F., Avanzini P., Abdollahi R.O., Sartori I., Mai I., Lo Russo G., Rizzolatti G., Orban G.A., (2013). Tracing hand localization in humans: intracortical responses to median nerve stimulation, SfN Abstr. 2013-S-11408-SfN, S.Diego

Caruana F
., Borghi A., 2013: Embodied Cognition, una nuova psicologia, Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, pp. 23-48, DOI: 10.1421/73973 http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1421/73973

Caruana F. Borghi A., 2013: No Embodied Cognition? No Party. Risposta ai commenti. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, pp. 119-128, DOI: 10.1421/73987 http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1421/73987

Avanzini P.,Caruana F, Cantalupo G., Cardinale F., Mai R., Callieco R., Sartori I., Terzaghi M. 2012: High-frequency reactivity to somato-sensory stimulation in the human thalamus: an intracerebral EEG study. (abstract) FENS Barcellona, Presentation Code: 111.16 Abstract Number: 2681.

Jezzini A.*, Caruana F *, Stoianov I., Gallese V., Rizzolatti G., 2012: The Functional Organization of the Insula and of Inner Perisylvian Regions, PNAS, 109(25) 10077-10082. http://www.pnas.org/content/109/25/10077

Caruana F. (2013): La traduzione radicale dal cervello. Quine e il neuroscienziato, Rivista di Filosofia, n°1/2013. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1413/73015

Caruana F. 2012: The Embodied Tools: What happen in our brain when we extend our body, Sistemi Intelligenti, n°1/2012. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1422/37367

Caruana F., Gallese V., 2012: Overcoming the emotion experience/expression dichotomy, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (2012) http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8593986

Caruana F. 2011: Esiste una Agnosia Enterocettiva? L’insula e l’interruzione della dipendenza, Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, n°3/2011. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1421/36116

Caruana F, Gallese V., 2011: Sentire, esprimere, comprendere le emozioni. Una nuova prospettiva neuroscientifica, Sistemi Intelligenti, n°2/2011. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1422/35347

Borghi A., Caruana F. 2011: La Cognizione Sociale, Sistemi Intelligenti, n°2/2011 (a cura di).

Cattaneo L., Fasanelli M., Andreatta O., Bonifati D.M., Barchiesi G., Caruana F, 2011: Your actions in my cerebellum: subclinical deficits in action observation in patients with unilateral chronic cerebellar stroke, Cerebellum, 2011, Aug (13). http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12311-011-0307-9

Caruana F*, Jezzini A.*, Sbriscia Fioretti B., Rizzolatti G., Gallese V. 2011: “Emotional and Social Behaviors Elicited by Electrical Stimulation of the Insula in the Macaque Monkey”, Current Biology, Feb 8;21(3):195-9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982210017100

Caruana F. 2010: “Imparare a vedere”: la funzione del sistema dei neuroni specchio, tra neuroscienze della percezione e analisi del linguaggio ordinario, Rivista di Filosofia, n°3/2010. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1413/32971

Kruger J., Caruana F., Dalla Volta R., Rizzolatti G., 2010: Seven years of recording from monkey cortex with a chronically implanted multiple microelectrode, Frontiers in Neuroengineering, Vol.3, 6:1-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2889715/pdf/fneng-03-00006.pdf

Caruana F. 2010: Due problemi sull’utilizzo delle neuroscienze in giurisprudenza, Sistemi Intelligenti, n°2/2010. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1422/32630

Caruana F. 2010: Scienze Cognitive e Diritto, Sistemi Intelligenti, n°2/2010 (a cura di).

Rochat M., Caruana F, Jezzini A, Escola L, Intskirveli I, Grammont F, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G., Umiltà MA, 2010: Responses of mirror neurons in area F5 to hand and tool grasping observation. Exp Brain Res, 204:605-616. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00221-010-2329-9

Cattaneo L., Caruana F., Jezzini A., Rizzolatti G., 2009: Representation of goal and movements without overt motor behavior: a TMS study, J Neurosci 29(36), 11134-8. http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/36/11134.long

Caruana F. 2008: articolo-recensione a “Il Filosofo e i Sensi” di A.Paternoster, 2R: Rivista di Recensioni Filosofiche; Vol.8: 129-139. http://www.swif.uniba.it/lei/2r/2R_8_10_Paternoster-Caruana.pdf

Umiltà MA, Escola L, Intskirveli I, Grammont F, Rochat M, Caruana F, Jezzini A, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G., 2008: When pliers become fingers in the monkey motor system, PNAS, Feb 12;105(6). http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/2209

Caruana F. 2006: “In principio era l’azione. Un’analisi normativa dei concetti nell’Embodied Simulation”, Sistemi Intelligenti, n° 2/2006. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1422/22503

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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.