PRIN 2017 - The Good and the Bad of Sensory Experience: Understanding the Impact of Emotionally charged Stimuli on Cognition and Behavior, and the Brain’s Mechanisms to Cope with Them.

Starting date
August 29, 2019
Duration (months)
Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences
Managers or local contacts
Chelazzi Leonardo

Sensory stimuli imbued with a strong emotional-motivational relevance, i.e. stimuli with an intrinsic or acquired aversive or appetitive meaning, have the capacity to elicit enhanced processing in the brain, to potently summon attentional resources and to drive prompt and compelling behavioral reactions. Nonetheless, when an individual is strongly committed to the achievement of an unrelated, primary behavioral goal, cognitive and brain mechanisms capable of suppressing the pre-potent impact of emotional stimuli are enacted. Through the development of a highly coherent experimental framework and the implementation of an integrated cross-species (humans, monkeys, rodents) and multi-methodological approach (including the behavioral, brain network and cellular level of analysis), the present research endeavor will aim for a full understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms and neural substrates that confer a special status to emotional stimuli, in the perspective provided above, as well as of critical neural mechanisms and substrates allowing suppression of their overpowering impact. Furthermore, inter-individual variability will be examined in the above mentioned domain as a potent tool to prove the relevance and solidity of neurocognitive principles identified in the project.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department
Syllabus: PRIN

Project participants

Leonardo Chelazzi
Full Professor

Collaboratori esterni

Benedetto Sacchetti
Università degli Studi di Torino
Carlo Adolfo Porro
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
Chiara Spironelli
Università degli Studi di Padova
Cristina Mas
Inclivia VLC (SP)


Research facilities