Upcoming Seminars and Events

IMT School recently signed an agreement with the UVA School of Data Science (UVA SDS), a pioneering institution at the University of Virginia dedicated to advancing the field of data science through cutting-edge research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovative education programs. UVA SDS and IMT School are working on a collaborative research effort aimed at advancing the frontiers of data science. Leveraging the complementary strengths of both institutions, this partnership seeks to foster interdisciplinary exchange, facilitate faculty and graduate student visits, and cultivate joint research initiatives across all disciplines.

On May 23 in the Cappella Guinigi, an in-person, conjoint workshop will allow researchers and scientists of both Institutions to meet and start sharing their research experiences.

Rüdiger J. Seitz, Believing: Brain Function at the Transition of Awareness - June 3, 2024

Believing is a central brain function of humans. It interacts with other brain functions such as learning and memory and has a strong influence on our actions. The processes of believing are encompassed by the umbrella term credition (derived from Latin credere = to believe). They include perception of external information, valuation in terms of effort and reward, predictive coding of action, and reinforcement learning that take place predominantly outside conscious awareness. Believing results in mindsets and attitudes that stabilize people’s worldviews but may convert into limitations of how to act. On the neural level the formation of beliefs is mediated by higher order associative brain regions. Notably, people may become aware of their beliefs to some extent. This is the prerequisite for being able to phrase what one believes and to reason about it. Subsequently it is possible to communicate the contents of what one believes to other people. This pertains also to the discourse within and about religions. In conclusion, people’s worldviews are brought about by processes of believing that as such are not religious, but play an important role in religions and for long have been neglected by the sciences.

Elena Nava, Feeling touched by emotions - June 7, 2024

Emotions are commonly associated with bodily sensations, even in the way we talk about emotions (e.g., boiling with anger when overwhelmed with rage or feeling butterflies in the stomach when terribly in love). Recent constructionist approaches have suggested that emotions emerge because of “mixing” bodily states with sensory information and finally their conceptualisation through language. In line with this perspective, in this talk I will present a series of studies that explore body-emotion relationship, in particular exploring: a) whether and to what extent brain regions somatotopically organised are actively involved in the feeling of subjective emotion and experiences (Study 1) using fMRI; b) the causal role of somatosensory areas in perceiving and generating subjective emotions using tACS (Study 2); c) the role of vision as well as high-level cognition, such as language, in the subjective experience of emotions (Study 3), using a sensory deprivation approach (i.e., assessing blind individuals) and, finally, d) we observed whether the body facilitates the ability to recognise emotions in clinical populations that show emotion recognition impairments. To do this, we studied Benign Rolandic Epilepsy (BRE) as a model to explore a possible benefit of the body in emotion recognition when the impairment is located at the level of the Central Nervous System (SNC) level (i.e., top-down level). Overall, the results of the studies presented converge on the conclusion that the body plays a crucial role in perceiving and generating emotions, thus pointing to a strong embodied and constructionist perspective of emotional processing.

Visiting Professors



University of Bath

Professor of Psychology

Gregory R. Maio, Ph.D., became interested in social psychology, and values-attitude-behavior processes in particular, as an undergraduate student at York University (Canada), graduating in 1991. He went on to complete a Masters thesis and a PhD dissertation on value-attitude-behaviour processes under the guidance of Prof. James M. Olson at the University of Western Ontario (Canada), where his dissertation, Values as Truisms, received a Governor-General Gold Medal and an American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award. In 1997, he joined Cardiff University, Wales, where he received the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal (2002) for his early career research and was granted a Personal Chair (i.e., Professorship) in Psychology (2004). He moved to the University of Bath in 2016, where he is currently Head of the Department of Psychology.



University of Vermont

Professor of Psychiatry,
Professor of Psychology

Dr. Hugh Garavan is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He received his PhD in cognitive Psychology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Cornell University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. His research uses structural and functional neuroimaging to study cognitive control and reward processes with a particular interest in how functional changes in these systems may contribute to addiction. In addition to studying current abusers of numerous drugs, he has researched the importance of cognitive control systems for successful drug abstinence. His primary research focus of the last few years has been risk factors for drug use during adolescence and he is a co-investigator on the IMAGEN project, a longitudinal neuroimaging-genetic study of over 2,000 teens. Dr. Garavan is a member of several professional societies, has served as secretary for the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, has been a reviewer for the NIH, several European grant-giving agencies, and over 50 journals. He has published almost 200 papers in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and addiction.

Past Visiting Professors 

Russ Poldrack

Stanford University

Professor of Psychology and director of the Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience. His research uses brain imaging to understand how we learn and make decisions and how we exert self-control. Some projects he developed are Cognitive Atlas and OpenfMRI.

Leah Krubitzer

University of California, Davis

American neuroscientist, Professor of Psychology and head of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Neurobiology. Her research interests center on how complex brains in mammals (e.g., humans) evolve from simpler forms.

Past Seminars 

Pieter Roelfsma

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

James Haxby

Dartmouth College

Jody Culham

Western University

Hans Op de Beeck

KU Leuven 

Michael Hanke

Forschungszentrum Jülich


October 21-23, 2018

MidTerm Conference - May 21-23, 2018 

Summer School “AFNI and SUMA Bootcamp” – June 3-7, 2019

H2020 EU-project SoftPro
Review meeting – May 22-24, 2019