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Giandomenico Iannetti

Senior Researcher Tenured - Principal Investigator

Research Line

Neuroscience and Behaviour




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Giandomenico Iannetti leads the Neuroscience and Behaviour Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology and is Professor of Neuroscience at University College London (UCL).

He leads a multidisciplinary research group ( that investigates fundamental questions about how animals cope with the world through perception and action. In particular, he is interested in understanding the brain mechanisms for the detection and the motor reaction to surprising and sudden environmental stimuli. This research is relevant for the study of pain, defensive behaviours, and peripersonal space. He has published >135 peer-reviewed research articles, with >10,000 citations, and an H-index of 55.

After a PhD from “Sapienza” University of Rome (2003) and a post-doc at the University of Oxford (2003-2006), in 2006 he was awarded a Royal Society University Fellowship, which he started as Lecturer at the University of Oxford. In 2009 he moved to University College London (UCL), where in 2014 was appointed Full Professor of Neuroscience. In 2018 he started the Neuroscience and Behaviour Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology. His research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, European Research Council and Medical Research Council.

He is the recipient of several international awards, including a Royal Society University Fellowship (2006-2014), the 2012 Patrick Wall Award from the International Association for the Study of Pain, the 2013 Wall Medal from the British Pain Society, a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (2015-2020), an ERC Consolidator Grant (2016-2020), and the 2014 Camillo Golgi Prize of the Accademia dei Lincei.

Selected Publications

For a full list of publications, see:

10 Reviews and Opinions

Bufacchi RJ, Iannetti GD.
An action field theory of peripersonal space
Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2018

Novembre G, Iannetti GD
Tagging the musical beat: Neural Entrainment or Event-Related Potentials?
PNAS 2018

Mouraux A, Iannetti GD
The search for pain biomarkers in the human brain
Brain 2018

Davis KD, Flor H, Greely HT, Iannetti GD, et al.
Brain imaging tests for chronic pain: medical, legal and ethical issues and recommendations
Nature Reviews Neurology 2017

Hu L, Iannetti GD
Painful issues in pain prediction
Trends in Neurosciences 2016

Iannetti GD, Salomons TV, Moayedi M, Mouraux A, Davis KD
Beyond metaphor: contrasting mechanisms of social and physical pain
Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2013

Haggard P, Iannetti GD, Longo M
Spatial Sensory Organization and Body Representation in Pain Perception
Current Biology 2013

Iannetti GD, Mouraux A
Can the functional MRI responses to physical pain really tell us why social rejection "hurts"?
PNAS 2011

Legrain V, Iannetti GD, Plaghki L, Mouraux A
The pain matrix reloaded. A salience detection system for the body
Progress in Neurobiology 2011

Iannetti GD, Mouraux A
From the Neuromatrix to the Pain Matrix (and back). Review
Experimental Brain Research 2010


20 Experimental Articles

Novembre G, Pawar VM, Bufacchi RJ, Kilintari M, Srinivasan MA, Rothwell JC, Haggard P, Iannetti GD
Saliency detection as a reactive process: unexpected sensory events evoke cortico-muscular coupling
Journal of Neuroscience 2018

Kilintari M, Bufacchi RJ, Novembre G, Guo Y, Haggard, P, Iannetti GD
High-precision voluntary movements are largely independent from preceding vertex potentials elicited by sudden sensory events
Journal of Physiology 2018

Jin QQ, Wu GQ, Peng WW, Xia XL, Hu L, Iannetti GD
Somatotopic representation of second pain in the primary somatosensory cortex of humans and rodents
Journal of Neuroscience 2018

Bufacchi RJ, Iannetti GD
Gravitational cues modulate the shape of defensive peripersonal space
Current Biology 2016

Solomons TV, Iannetti GD, Liang ML, Wood JN (equal contributions)
The Pain Matrix in Pain-Free Individuals
JAMA Neurology 2016

Hu L, Cai MM, Xiao P, Luo F, Iannetti GD
Human Brain Responses to Concomitant Stimulation of Aδ and C Nociceptors
Journal of Neuroscience 2014

Mancini F, Bauleo A, Cole J, Lui F, Porro CA, Haggard P, Iannetti GD
Whole-body mapping of spatial acuity for pain and touch
Annals of Neurology 2014

Liang M, Mouraux A, Hu L, Iannetti GD
Primary Sensory Cortices Contain Distinguishable Spatial Patterns of Activity for Each Sense
Nature Communications 2013

Sambo C, Iannetti GD
Better safe than sorry? The safety margin surrounding the body is increased by anxiety
Journal of Neuroscience 2013

Mancini F, Sambo C, Ramirez JD, Bennett DLH, Haggard P, Iannetti GD
A fovea for pain at the fingertips
Current Biology 2013

Liang M, Mouraux A, Iannetti GD
Bypassing primary sensory cortices—a direct thalamocortical pathway for transmitting salient sensory information
Cerebral Cortex 2013

Zhang ZG, Hu L, Hung YS, Mouraux A, Iannetti GD
Gamma-band oscillations in the primary somatosensory cortex--a direct and obligatory correlate of subjective pain intensity
Journal of Neuroscience 2012

Sambo CF, Forster T, Williams S, Iannetti GD
To Blink or Not to Blink: Fine Cognitive Tuning of the Defensive Peripersonal Space
Journal of Neuroscience 2012

Moseley GL, Gallace A, Iannetti GD
Spatially-defined modulation of skin temperature and hand ownership of both hands, in people with unilateral complex regional pain syndrome
Brain 2012

Liang M, Mouraux A, Iannetti GD
Parallel processing of nociceptive and non-nociceptive somatosensory information in the human primary and secondary somatosensory cortices
Journal of Neuroscience 2011

Mouraux A, Diukova A, Lee MC, Wise RG, Iannetti GD
A multisensory investigation of the functional significance of the "pain matrix"
NeuroImage 2011

Lee MC, Mouraux A, Iannetti GD
Characterizing the cortical activity related to the emergence of a conscious painful experience
Journal of Neuroscience 2009

Mouraux A, Iannetti GD
Laser-evoked potentials do not reflect nociceptive-specific brain activity
Journal of Neurophysiology 2009

Iannetti GD, Lee MC, Hughes NP, Mouraux A
The determinants of laser-evoked EEG responses: pain perception or stimulus saliency?
Journal of Neurophysiology 2008

Iannetti GD, Zambreanu L, Wise RG, et al.
Pharmacological modulation of pain-related brain activity during normal and central sensitization states in humans
PNAS 2005


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