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Alessandro D'Ausilio

Visiting scientist

Research Line

Multiscale Brain Communication


CTNSC@UniFe Ferrara


Via Fossato di Mortara, 17/19


I studied Experimental Psychology and obtained a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the Sapienza University of Rome (2007 - Prof. Olivetti Belardinelli). During my Ph.D. I spent extended research periods both at MIT (Brain and Cognitive Science Department, McGovern Institute for Brain Research - Prof. Bizzi) and the Eberhart-Karls-Universität in Tübingen (Institut für Medizinische Psychologie und Verhaltensneurobiologie - Prof. Birbaumer and Prof. Lotze). Soon after the Ph.D. I received a three-years postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ferrara (Section of Human Physiology - Prof. Fadiga and Prof. Craighero). I later joined the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genova, first as a Senior Post-doc (Prof. Sandini and Prof. Fadiga) and then since 2012 as a Researcher in the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. In 2016 I moved to the IIT Center of Translational Neurophysiology for Speech and Communication, hosted by the University of Ferrara. In 2017 I became Associate Professor of Physiology at the University of Ferrara.

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ResearchGate profile

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- The role of the motor system in speech perception

- Sensorimotor convergence during speech interaction

- Neurophysiology of action observation

- Neurophysiology of objects affordance

- The syntactic organization of action

- Music and musicians as a test-bed for sensorimotor non-verbal interactions

- Sensorimotor non-verbal interactions in small groups

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Papers (@corresponding author; *equal contribution)

68 - De Bonis P., Busan P., D’Ausilio A., Labanti S., Cavallo M.A., Fadiga L. (2020) Developmental stuttering disappearance after iatrogenic lesion of the facial nerve. J Neurosurg Sci, In Press.

67 - Hilt P. M., Cardellicchio P., Dolfini E., Pozzo T., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2020) Motor recruitment during action observation: effect of interindividual differences in action strategy. Cereb Cortex, In Press.

66 - Cardellicchio P., Dolfini E., Hilt P., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2020) Motor cortical inhibition during concurrent action execution and action observation. Neuroimage. 208, 116445.

65 - Maffongelli L., Ferrari E., Bartoli E., Olivier E., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2020) Role of sensorimotor areas in early detection of motor errors: an EEG and TMS study. Behav Brain Res, 378, 112248.

64 - Nogueira-Campos A., Hilt P.M., Fadiga L., Veronesi, C., D’Ausilio A., Pozzo T., (2019) Anticipatory postural adjustments during joint action coordination. Sci Rep, 9: 12328.

63 - Pezzulo G., Donnarumma F., Dindo H., D’Ausilio A., Konvalinka I., Castelfranchi C. (2019) The future of sensorimotor communication research. Phys Life Rev. 28, 46-51. (Reply to commentaries of publication #62).

62 - Pezzulo G., Donnarumma F., Dindo H., D’Ausilio A., Konvalinka I., Castelfranchi C. (2019) The body talks: sensorimotor communication and its brain and kinematic signatures. Phys Life Rev, 28, 1-21. Review article followed by 8 commentaries by Era V., Boukarras S., Becchio C., Panzeri S., Curiuoni A., Sacheli L.M., Gambi C., Pickering M.J., Chater N., Misyak J., Ritchie O., Watson D., Griffiths D., Xu Z., Mouzakitis A., Ognibene D.,Giglia G.,Marchegiani L., Rudrauf D., Dockendorff M., Sebanz N., Knoblich G., Green A., McEllin L., Michael J.

@ 61 - Schmitz J., Bartoli E., Maffongelli L., Sebastian Galles N., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2019) Motor cortex compensates for lack of sensory and motor experience during auditory speech perception. Neuropsychologia, 128, 290-296.

60 - Maffongelli L., D’Ausilio A., Fadiga L., Daum M. (2019) Ontogenesis of the action syntax. Collabra: Psychology, 5(1), 21.

@ 59 - Hilt P.M., Badino L., D’Ausilio A., Volpe G., Fadiga L., Camurri A. (2019) Multi-layer adaptation of group coordination in musical ensembles. Sci Rep, 9: 5854.

58 - Delogu F., Brunetti R., Inuggi A., Campus C., Del Gatto C., D’Ausilio A. (2019). That does not sound right: Sounds affect visual ERPs during a piano sight-reading task. Behav Brain Res, 367, 1-9.

57 - Gaggioli A., Falletta E.M., Ferrise F., Graziosi S., Gallace A., D’Ausilio A., Cipresso P., Riva G., Chirico A. (2019). Effects of interpersonal sensorimotor synchronization on dyadic creativity: gender matters. Front Psychol, 9, 2604.

56 - Mukherjee S., Badino L., Hilt P., Tomassini A., Inuggi A., Fadiga L., Nguyen N., D’Ausilio A. (2019). The neural oscillatory markers of phonetic convergence during verbal interaction. Hum Brain Mapp, 40(1),  187-201

55 - Cappagli G., Finocchietti S., Baud-Bovy G., Badino L., D’Ausilio A, Cocchi E., Gori M. (2018). Assessing social competence in visually impaired people and proposing an interventional program in visually impaired children. IEEE T Cogn Develop Syst, 10(4), 929-935.

54 - Lapenta O.M., Ferrari E., Boggio P.S., Fadiga L. D’Ausilio A. (2018) Motor system recruitment during action observation: no correlation between mu-rhythm desynchronization and corticospinal excitability. PLoS ONE, 13(11), e0207476. 

53 - Soriano M., Cavallo A., D’Ausilio A., Becchio C., Fadiga L. (2018) Movement kinematics drive chain selection towards intention detection. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 115 (41), 10452-10457.

52 - Tomassini A., D’Ausilio A. (2018) Passive sensorimotor stimulation triggers long lasting alpha-band fluctuations in visual perception. J Neurophysiol, 119(2), 380-388.

51 - Cardellicchio P., Hilt P., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2018) Early inhibitory processes signals error detection in action observation: a paired TMS study. Sci Rep, 8, 1784.

@ 50 - Coco M.I., Badino L., Cipresso P., Chirico A., Ferrari E., Riva G., Gaggioli A., D’Ausilio A. (2017) Multilevel behavioral synchronization in a joint tower-building task. IEEE T Cogn Develop Syst, 9(3), 223-233.

49 - Hilt P., Bartoli E., Ferrari E., Jacono M., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2017) Action observation effects reflect the modular organization of the human motor system. Cortex, 95, 104-118.

@48 - Bartoli E., Maffongelli L., Campus C., D’Ausilio A. (2016) Beta rhythm modulation by speech sounds: somatotopic mapping in somatosensory cortex. Sci Rep, 6, 31182.

47 - Ansuini C., Cavallo A., Koul A., D’Ausilio A., Taverna L., Becchio C. (2016) Grasping others' movements: rapid discrimination of object size from observed hand movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Perc Perf, 42(7), 918-29

46 - Pezzulo G., D’Ausilio A., Gaggioli A. (2016) Predictive Technologies: Can Smart Tools Augment the Brain's Predictive Abilities? Front Neurosci, 10, 186.

45 - Volpe G., D’Ausilio A., Badino L., Camurri A., Fadiga L., (2016) Measuring social interaction in music ensembles. Phil Trans Roy Soc B, 371(1693), 20150377.

44 - Alamia A., Zénon A., Van Bever V., D’Ausilio A., Fadiga L., Olivier E. (2016) Disruption of Broca’s area selectively impairs high-order chunking during sequence learning. J Cogn Neurosci, 28 (3), 402-417.

@43 - Finisguerra A., Maffongelli L., Bassolino M., Jacono M., Pozzo T., D’Ausilio A. (2015) Generalization of motor resonance during the observation of hand, mouth and eye movements. J Neurophysiol, 114 (4), 2295-2304.

@42 - D’Ausilio A., Badino L., Cipresso P., Chirico A., Ferrari E., Riva G., Gaggioli A. (2015) Automatic imitation of the kinematic profile in interacting partners. Cogn Process, 16 (Supp 1), 197-201.

41 - Michael J., D’Ausilio A. (2015) Domain-specific and domain-general processes in social perception - A complementary approach. Conscious Cogn, 36, 434-7.

@40 - Maffongelli L., Bartoli E., Sammler D., Kölsch S., Campus C., Olivier E., Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2015) Distinct brain signatures of content and structure violation during action observation. Neuropsychologia, 75, 30–39.

@39 - D’Ausilio A., Bartoli E., Maffongelli L. (2015) Motor control may support mirror neuron research with new hypotheses and methods. Phys Life Rev. 12, 133-137. (Reply to commentaries of publication #38)

@38 - D’Ausilio A., Bartoli E., Maffongelli L. (2015) Grasping Synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism. Phys Life Rev. 12, 91-103. Review article followed by 11 commentaries from: Enticott P.G.; Frey S.H., Chen P.W.; Naish K.R., Holmes N.P.; Casile A.; Pezzulo G., Donnarumma F., Iodice P., Prevete R., Dindo H.; Santello M.; Swinnen S.P., Alaerts K.; Cattaneo L.; Candidi M., Sacheli L.M., Aglioti S.M.; Cavallo A., Ansuini C., Becchio C.; de C. Hamilton A.F.

@37 - D’Ausilio A., Novembre G., Fadiga L., Keller P.E. (2015) What can music tell us about social interaction? Trends Cogn Sci. 19(3), 111-114.

@36 - *Bartoli E., *D’Ausilio A., Berry J., Badino L., Bever T., Fadiga L. (2015) Listener-speaker perceived distance predicts the degree of motor contribution to speech perception. Cereb Cortex, 25(2), 281-288. * Equal contribution.

35 - Pezzulo G., Barca L., D’Ausilio A. (2014) The sensorimotor and social sides of the architecture of speech. Behav Brain Sci. 37(06), 569 – 570.

@34 - D’Ausilio A., Bartoli E., Maffongelli L., Berry J.J., Fadiga L. (2014) Vision of tongue movements bias auditory speech perception. Neuropsychologia, 63, 85–91.

@33 - Bartoli E., Maffongelli L., Jacono M., D’Ausilio A. (2014) Representing tools as hand movements: Early and somatotopic visuomotor transformations. Neuropsychologia, 61, 335-344.

32. Badino L., D’Ausilio A., Fadiga L., Metta G. (2014). Computational validation of the motor contribution to speech perception. Top Cogn Sci, 6(3), 461-475.

@31. D’Ausilio A., Maffongelli L., Bartoli E., Campanella M., Ferrari E., Berry J., Fadiga L. (2014). Listening to Speech Recruits Specific Tongue Motor Synergies as Revealed by TMS and Tissue-Doppler Ultrasound Imaging. Phil Trans Roy Soc B, 369(1644), 20130418.

30. *Badino L., *D’Ausilio A., Glowinski D., Camurri A., Fadiga L. (2014). Sensorimotor communication in professional quartets. Neuropsychologia, 55(1), 98-104. * Equal contribution.

29. Ajemian R., D’Ausilio A., Moorman H., Bizzi E. (2013). A theory for how sensorimotor skills are learned and retained in noisy and nonstationary neural circuits. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 110(52), E5078-87.

28. Schubert T., D’Ausilio A., Canto R. (2013). Using Arduino Microcontroller Boards to Measure Response Latencies. Behav Res Methods, 45(4), 1332-46.

27. Canevari C., Badino L., D’Ausilio A., Fadiga L., Metta G. (2013). Modeling speech imitation and ecological learning of auditory-motor maps. Front Psychol, 4, 364.

26. Busan P., D’Ausilio A., Borelli M., Monti F., Pelamatti G., Pizzolato G., Fadiga L. (2013) Motor excitability evaluation in developmental stuttering: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Cortex, 49, 781-792.

@25. Elsner C., D’Ausilio A., Gredebäck G., Falck-Ytter T., Fadiga L. (2013). The motor cortex is causally related to predictive eye movements during action observation. Neuropsychologia, 51(3), 488-492.

24. D’Ausilio A., Bufalari I., Salmas P., Fadiga L., (2012) The role of the motor system in discriminating degraded speech sounds. Cortex, 48(7), 882–887.

23. D’Ausilio A., Craighero L., Fadiga L., (2012) The contribution of the frontal lobe to the perception of speech and language. J Neurolinguist, 25(5), 328–335.

@22. D’Ausilio A., (2012) Arduino: a low-cost multi purpose lab equipment. Behav Res Methods, 44(2), 305-313.

21. D’Ausilio A., Badino L., Tokay S., Aloimonos Y., Li Y., Craighero L., Canto R., Fadiga L. (2012) Leadership in Orchestra Emerges from the Causal Relationships of Movement Kinematics. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e35757. (Press coverage on the “Economist”, “”, “Corriere della Sera”, “Panorama”, “Il Messaggero”, “”, etc.)

20. D’Ausilio A., Jarmolowska J., Busan P., Bufalari I., Craighero L. (2011) Tongue corticospinal modulation during attended verbal stimuli: Priming and coarticulation effects. Neuropsychologia, 49(13), 3670-3676.

@19. D’Ausilio A., Bufalari I., Salmas P., Busan P., Fadiga L., (2011) Vocal pitch discrimination in the motor system. Brain & Lang, 118, 9-14.

18. Senot P., D’Ausilio A., Franca M., Caselli L., Craighero L., Fadiga L. (2011) Effect of weight-related labels on corticospinal excitability during observation of grasping: a TMS study. Exp Brain Res, 211(1), 161-167.

17. Ruspantini I., D’Ausilio A., Mäki H., Ilmoniemi R.J. (2011) Some considerations about the biological appearance of pacing stimuli in visuomotor finger tapping tasks. Cogn Process, 12(2), 215-218.

16. Ruspantini I., Maki H., Korhonen R., D’Ausilio A., Ilmoniemi R. (2011) The functional role of the ventral premotor cortex in a visually-paced finger tapping task: a TMS study. Behav Brain Res, 220, 325–330.

@15. Canto R., Bufalari I., D’Ausilio A. (2011) A convenient and accurate parallel Input/Output USB device for E-Prime. Behav Res Methods, 43(1), 292-296.

14. Ajemian R., D’Ausilio A., Moorman H., Bizzi E. (2010). Why professional athletes need a prolonged period of warm-up and other peculiarities of human motor learning. J Mot Behav, 42(6), 381-388.

13. Londei A., D’Ausilio A., Basso D., Sestieri C., Del Gratta C., Romani GL., Olivetti Belardinelli M. (2010) Sensory-motor brain network connectivity for speech comprehension. Hum Brain Map, 31(4), 567-580.

@12. D’Ausilio A., Brunetti R., Delogu F., Santonico C., Olivetti Belardinelli M. (2010) How and when action-effects audition impairs motor performance. Exp Brain Res, 201(2), 323-330.

11. Kotz S.A., D’Ausilio A., Begliomini C., Craighero L., Fabbri-Destro M., Raettig T., Zingales C., Haggard P., Fadiga L. (2010) Lexicality drives audio-motor transformations in Broca's area. Brain & Lang, 112, 3-11.

@10. D’Ausilio A. (2009) Mirror-Like Mechanisms and Music. TheScientificWorldJOURNAL, 9, 1415-1422.

9. Olivetti Belardinelli M., Palmiero M., Sestieri C., Nardo D., Di Matteo R., Londei A, D’Ausilio A., Ferretti A., Del Gratta C., Romani G.L. (2009) An fMRI investigation on image generation in different sensory modalities: The influence of vividness. Acta Psych, 132(2), 190-200.

8. Palmiero M., Olivetti Belardinelli M., Nardo D., Sestieri C., Di Matteo R., D’Ausilio A., Romani G.L. (2009) Mental imagery generation in different modalities activates sensory-motor areas. Cogn Process, 10(supp. 2), S268-S271.

7. Fadiga L., Craighero L., D’Ausilio A. (2009) Broca’s Area in language, action and music. Ann NY Acad Sci, 1169, 448–458.

6. Fazio P., Cantagallo A., Craighero L., D’Ausilio A., Roy A.C., Calzolari A., Pozzo P., Granieri E., Fadiga L. (2009) Encoding of Human Action in Broca's area. Brain, 132(7), 1980-1988. (Cited in Faculty of Biology 1000)

5. D’Ausilio A., Pulvermüller F., Salmas P., Bufalari I., Begliomini C., Fadiga L. (2009) The motor somatotopy of speech perception. Curr Biol, 19, 381-385. [Comment by: Devlin J.T. & Aydelott J. (2009) Curr Biol, 19(5), R198-200. Online discussion with Dr. Gregory Hickok available at:]

@4. D’Ausilio A., (2007) The Role of the Mirror System in Mapping Complex Sounds into Actions. J Neurosci, 27(22), 5847-5848.

3. Londei A., D’Ausilio A., Basso D., Sestieri C., Del Gratta C., Romani GL., Olivetti Belardinelli M. (2007) Brain network for passive word listening as evaluated with ICA and Granger’s causality. Brain Res Bull, 72(4-6), 284-292.

2. D’Ausilio A., Altenmuller E., Olivetti Belardinelli M., Lotze M. (2006). Cross modal plasticity of the motor cortex while listening to a rehearsed musical piece. Eur J Neurosci, 24, 955-958. (Cited in Faculty of Biology 1000)

1. Londei A., D’Ausilio A., Basso D., Olivetti Belardinelli M. (2006). A new method for detecting causality in fMRI data of cognitive processing. Cogn Process, 7, 42–52. (Cited in Faculty of Biology 1000)


Peer-reviewed papers in international conferences

8 - Mukherjee, S., Legou, T., Lancia, L., Hilt, P., Tomassini, A., Fadiga, L., D’Ausilio A., Badino,  L., Nguyen, N., (2018). Analyzing vocal tract movements during speech accommodation. Proceedings of InterSpeech 2018, 561-565.

7 - Chirico, A., Graziosi, S., Ferrise, F., Gallace, A., Mosconi, C., Cazzaniga, M. J., Zurloni, V., Elia, M., Cerritelli, F., Mantovani, F., D’Ausilio A., Cipresso, P., Riva, G., Gaggioli, A. (2018). COLLEGO: An Interactive Platform for Studying Joint Action During an Ecological Collaboration Task. 6th EAI International Symposium on Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health, Barcelona, 28-29 Nov, 2016. Appeared in: MindCare 2016, LNICST, 207, pp 1-6.

6 - Chirico, A., D’Ausilio A., Graziosi, S., Ferrise, F., Gallace, A., Mosconi, C., Cazzaniga, M.J., Zurloni,  V., Elia, M., Cerritelli, F., Mantovani, F., Cipresso, P., Riva, G., Gaggioli, A. (2017). The sensorimotor dimension of the networked flow: an exploratory study using an interactive collaborative platform. 22nd Annual Cyberpsychology, Cybertherapy and Social Networking Conference. Wolverhampton, 26-28 Jun. Appeared in: Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2017, Vol. 15, pp 65-69.

5 - Mukherjee S., D’Ausilio A., Nguyen N., Fadiga L., Badino L. (2017). The relationship between F0 synchrony and speech convergence in dyadic interaction. Proceedings of InterSpeech 2017, 2341-2345.

4 - Gnecco G., Badino L., Camurri A., D’Ausilio A., Fadiga L., Glowinski D., Sanguineti M., Varni G., Volpe G. (2013). Towards Automated Analysis of Joint Music Performance in the Orchestra. ArtsIT (Third International Conference on Arts and Technology), Milan, 21-23 Mar. Appeared in: Arts and Technology, LNICST 116, pp 120-127.

3 - Glowinski D., Badino L., D’Ausilio A., Camurri A., Fadiga L. (2012). Analysis of Leadership in a String Quartet. Third International Workshop on Social Behaviour in Music (SBM) at ACM ICMI 12, Santa Monica, USA, 22-26 Oct.

2 - D’Ausilio A., Badino L., li Y., Tokay S., Craighero L., Canto R., Aloimonos Y., Fadiga L. (2012). Communication in orchestra playing as measured with Granger Causality. Intetain 2011 (Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment), Genova, 25-27 May. Appeared in: A. Camurri, C. Costa, and G. Volpe (Eds.): INTETAIN 2011, LNICST 78, pp. 273–275.

1 - D’Ausilio A., Fadiga L. (2011). The Common Origins of Language and Action. AAAI-2011 (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence), Satellite event on “Language - Action Tools for Cognitive Artificial Agents: Integrating Vision, Action and Language“, San Francisco, 7-11 Aug.


Book Chapters

3 - D’Ausilio A., Lohan K., Badino L., Sciutti A. (2016). Studying Human-Human interaction to build the future of Human-Robot interaction. A. Gaggioli, A. Ferscha, G. Riva, S. Dunne and I. Viaud-Delmon, Eds. Human Computer Confluence: advancing our understanding of the emerging symbiotic relation between humans and computing devices. (pp. xxx). De Gruyter Open: Warsaw, Poland.

2. Fadiga L., D’Ausilio A. (2013). From action to language: evidence and speculations. M. Sanz, I. Laka and M. K. Tanenhaus Eds. Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Basis for Linguistic Structure (pp. 264-332). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK.

1. Fadiga L., Craighero L., D’Ausilio A. (2010). Broca’s Area in language, action and music. D. Riva and C. Njiokiktjien Eds. Brain lesions localization and developmental functions (Mariani Foundation Paediatric Neurology : 22). (pp. 187-200) John Libbey Eurotext: Montrouge, France.


2017 - 2023 - Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN 2016). Full Professor habilitation in Physiology (05/D1)

2017 - 2023 - Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN 2016). Full Professor habilitation in Psychobiology, Cognitive Psychology and Statistical Psychology (11/E1)

2015 - 2020 - Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN 2013). Associate Professor habilitation in Physiology (05/D1)

2015 - 2020 - Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN 2013). Associate Professor habilitation in Psychobiology, Cognitive Psychology and Statistical Psychology (11/E1)

2014 - 2019 - Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN 2012). Associate Professor habilitation in Psychobiology, Cognitive Psychology and Statistical Psychology (11/E1)

2012 – “De Renzi” Prize for young investigators (best poster), SINP – Società Italiana di Neuropsicologia (Italian Society for Neuropsychology)

2009 - Young Investigator Award, AIP - Associazione Italiana di Psicologia, Sezione Sperimentale (Italian Association of Psychology, Experimental Section).

2006 - Travel award, Human Brain Mapping conference. OHBM Grant.

2005 - Travel award, Human Brain Mapping conference. NIH Grant #2 R13 MH062008-06

2005 - ECONA scholarship on “Auditory-Motor Integration: New Methods and Perspective”

2005 - Selected by the MIT/Italy Program for a research stay at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2002/03 - Merit-based selection for undergrad research assistance, Dept. of Psychology, Sapienza University

2001/02 - Merit-based selection for undergrad research assistance, Dept. of Psychology, Sapienza University


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