Giacomo Rizzolatti

EDUCATION AND CAREER
Giacomo Rizzolatti studied in Padua where he graduated in Medicine (1961) and Neurology (1964). He received his training in physiology at the University of Pisa (1965-68) and in psychology at the McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (1970-71). Most of his scientific career has been done at the University of Parma. He has been “visiting professor” at the Department of Anatomy of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1980), and “Sage Professor” at University of California, Santa Barbara (2007).

PRESENT OFFICES
Director of the Brain Center for Social and Motor Cognition of IIT – University of Parma.

RESEARCH
The main focus of his research concerns the motor system and its role in cognitive functions. He is the discoverer of the mirror neurons.

ACADEMIC ACTIVITY
“Professore a contratto” at Università Vita e Salute San Raffaele – Milano, Faculty of Philosophy.

MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS

  • Caggiano V, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G, Thier P, Casile A. “Mirror neurons differentially encode the peripersonal and extrapersonal space of monkeys”. Science. (2009) 17, 403-6;
  • Rizzolatti G, Sinigaglia C. “The functional role of the parieto-frontal mirror circuit: interpretations and misinterpretations”. Nat Rev Neurosci. (2010)11,264-74;
  • Bonini L, Maranesi M, Livi A, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G. “Ventral Premotor Neurons Encoding Representations of Action during Self and Others’ Inaction”. Curr Biol. 2014: S0960-9822(14)00612-5;
  • Rizzolatti G, Cattaneo L, Fabbri-Destro M, Rozzi S. “Cortical mechanisms underlying the organization of goal-directed actions and mirror neuron-based action understanding”. Physiol Rev. 2014;94:655-706;
  • Bonini L, Maranesi M, Livi A, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G. “Space-dependent representation of objects and other’s action in monkey ventral premotor grasping  neurons”. J Neurosci. 2014;34:4108-19.