Principal Investigator

Simona Monaco, PhD

If you are interested in joining the lab for an internship or master's thesis, send me an email at

We use a combination of techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioural measurements to study how we use and integrate the senses of vision and touch to perceive objects and guide actions. The fascinating aspect of hand actions is that we can perform a movement within a few hundred milliseconds from the moment we decide to move. Yet, in this very short time we need to process a myriad of information that span the perceptual, cognitive and motor domain. Complex and adaptable movements are important not only for satisfying our basic needs, but also to shape and affect the world around us. My main research topic is aimed to examine the neural mechanisms involved in the cascade of events that leads from the conception to the execution of a movement.

Lab news and recent publications

Pirruccio M*, Monaco S*, Della Libera C, Cattaneo L. (2020). Gaze direction influences grasping actions towards unseen, haptically explored, objects. Scientific Reports. *Authors with equal contribution. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-72554-x.

Monaco S, Malfatti G, Cattaneo L, Culham JC, Turella L. (2020). Decoding motor imagery and action planning in the early visual cortex: overlapping but distinct neural mechanisms. NeuroImage.

Monaco S, Malfatti G, Zendron A, Pellencin E, Turella L. (2019). Predictive coding of action intentions in dorsal and ventral stream is based on visual anticipations, memory-based information and motor preparation. Brain Structure and Function. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/480590.