Settore scientifico disciplinare
  • Psicobiologia e Psicologia Generale (11/E1)
  • Fisiologia (05/D1)
  • Filosofia della Scienza (11/C2)
  • Filosofia del Linguaggio (11/C4)
  • Presentazione
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Orario di ricevimento
  • Insegnamenti
  • Ricerca

Fausto Caruana is Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Neuroscience of the National Research Council of Italy (IN-CNR), in Parma. He specializes in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience and he has authored over 80 papers on the neural and psychological mechanisms of emotional and motor behavior, mirror neurons, and emotional contagion.

His research is conducted using a multidisciplinary approach, mainly centered on intracranial recordings and electrical stimulation. Trained as an electrophysiologist in non-human primates, he moved into the field of human neuroscience through collaboration with the Claudio Munari Epilepsy Surgery Center at the Niguarda Hospital, Milan. He conducts his research through interdisciplinary collaborations with scholars from other disciplines, including neurology, ethology and philosophy of mind.


Research interests

System neuroscience, emotions and emotional expression, laughter, social cognition, embodied cognition, mirror neurons, neuroethology.


Selected publications

Del Vecchio M, Avanzini P, Gerbella M, Costa S, Zauli F.M, d’Orio P, Focacci E, Sartori I, Caruana F (2024). Anatomo-functional basis of emotional and motor resonance elicited by facial expressions. Brain.

Caruana F, Palagi E, de Waal F BM (2022). Cracking the laugh code. Laughter through the lens of biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B.

Caruana F. (2021). Two Simulation Systems in the Human Frontal Cortex? Disentangling between Motor Simulation and Emotional Mirroring using Laughter. Cortex.

Caruana F., Avanzini P., Pelliccia V., Mariani V., Zauli F., Sartori I., Del Vecchio M., Lo Russo G., Rizzolatti G. (2020). Mirroring other’s laughter. Cingulate, opercular and temporal contributions to laughter expression and observation, Cortex 2020.

Caruana F. (2019). The Integration of Emotional Expression and Experience: A Pragmatist Review of Recent Evidence from Brain Stimulation. Emotion Review.

Caruana F., Gerbella M., Avanzini P., Gozzo F., Pelliccia V., Mai R., Abdollahi R. O., Cardinale F., Sartori I., Lo Russo G., Rizzolatti G. (2018). Motor and Emotional Behaviors Elicited by Electrical Stimulation of the Human Cingulate Cortex. Brain.

Rizzolatti G., Caruana F. (2017). Some considerations on de Waal and Preston review, Nature Reviews in Neuroscience.

Gallese V., Caruana F. (2016). Embodied Simulation. Beyond the expression/experience dualism of emotions. Trends in Cognitive Science.

Caruana F., Avanzini P., Gozzo F., Francione S., Cardinale F., Rizzolatti G. (2015). Mirth and laughter elicited by electrical stimulation of the human anterior cingulate cortex. Cortex.

Jezzini A.*, Caruana F.*, Stoianov I., Gallese V., Rizzolatti G., (2012). The Functional Organization of the Insula and of Inner Perisylvian Regions. PNAS.

Caruana F., Jezzini A., Sbriscia Fioretti B., Rizzolatti G., Gallese V. (2011). Emotional and Social Behaviors Elicited by Electrical Stimulation of the Insula in the Macaque Monkey. Current Biology.



Caruana F., Palagi E. (2024): Perché Ridiamo. Alle Origini del Cervello Sociale. Il Mulino, Bologna.

Caruana F., Testa I. (2020): Habits. Pragmatist Approaches From Cognitive Neuroscience To Social Science. Cambridge University Press.

Baggio G., Caruana F., Parravicini A. Viola M. (Ed.; 2019): Emozioni. Da Darwin Al Pragmatismo. Antologia Di Scritti Di C. Darwin, W. James, J. Dewey E G.H. Mead. Rosenberg & Sellier, Torino.

Caruana F 2019: Il Cervello Empatico. Dalla Teoria Della Mente Al Meccanismo Mirror, Hachette.

Caruana F., Viola M. 2018: Come Funzionano Le Emozioni. Da Darwin Alle Neuroscienze, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Caruana F., Borghi A. 2016: Il Cervello In Azione, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Family name, First name: Caruana Fausto
Researcher unique identifier: 23984362400,
ResearcherID: J-5274-2018
Nationality: Italian

March 6, 2009:     PhD in Neuroscience, University of Parma, supervisor Prof. Vittorio Gallese
June 30, 2004:    Degree in Philosophy at the University of Parma, supervisor Prof. Marco Santambrogio
Full Professor of “General Psychology, Psychobiology and Psychometry” (11/E1), from June 9, 2023 to June 9, 2034
Associate Professor of “Logic, History and Philosophy of Science” (11/C2), from July 15, 2019 to July 15, 2029.
Associate Professor of “Aesthetics and Philosophy of Language” (11/C4), from Dec 5, 2017 to Dec 5, 2027.
Associate Professor of “Physiology” (05/D1), from July 25, 2017 to July 25, 2027.
Associate Professor of “General Psychology, Psychobiology and Psychometry” (11/E1), from Jan 29, 2015 to Jan 29, 2021, and from Nov 5, 2018 to Nov 5, 2028

•    2020/now  Member of the Scientific Board of the PhD Program in Neuroscience at University of Parma, Dept. DIMEC.
•    2021/now  Adjunct professor in Neuroscience of Language (BIO/09) at University of Parma, Dept. DUSIC
•    2019/2020 Adjunct professor in Philosophy of Science (M-FIL/02) at University of Parma, Dept. DUSIC
•    2016/2019 Adjunct professor in Neuroscience (BIO/09) at University of Parma, Dept. DUSIC
•    2012/2015 Adjunct professor in Neuroscience (BIO/09) at University of Parma, Dept. ALEF

•    2015/now Teacher at the University of Ca’ Foscari (Venezia) for the Master Degree in Yoga Studies
•    2019/now Teacher at the IUAV University (Venezia) for the International Master Degree in Neuroarchitecture
•    2020/now Teacher at the Nuova ARTEC (Milano) for the Master Degree in Clinical Vocology
•    2020/now Teacher at the Psichoteraphy School Erich Fromm (Padova) for the Graduate School of Psychotherapy
•    2022/now Teacher at the Dept. Systems Medicine of the Tor Vergata University (Roma) for the Master Degree in Neuroesthetics


•    From 2023 onwards – Seminars and book presentations in collaboration with the University Center for Bioethics, University of Parma
•    October 9-14, 2024. Redefining Emotional Expressions: Current Perspectives. International workshop co-organized with Pier Francesco Ferrari (CNRS) and Paola Sessa (UNIPD), School of Neuroscience at the “Ettore Majorana” Erice Centre, Erice.
•    June 22-24, 2022. The Affective Turn in Cognitive Science. AISC mid-term conference, co-organized with Marco Viola, Pia Campeggiani and Valentina Petrolini, DUSIC, Parma
•    Nov 9/ Dec 3 – Annual Retreat 2020, Institute of Neuroscience, CNR.May 26-28, 2020 (re-scheduled). Cognitive Science meets the Humanities. AISC mid-term conference, co-organized with Marco Viola and Valentina Petrolini, DUSIC, Parma
•    March 16, 2019 – Giuseppe Moruzzi. Il grande neuroscienziato. Workshop co-organized with Giacomo Rizzolatti and Paolo Moruzzi, supported by Comune di Parma. Casa della Musica, Parma
•    April 5-7, 2017 – The Pragmatist Turn. Habit and Experience at the crossroads between Pragmatism, Neurosciences, and Social Ontology. International conference, co-organized with Italo Testa. University of Parma
•    June 18-19, 2014 – NeuroSeeker. Workshop co-organized with Guy Orban. Department of Neuroscience of the University of Parma


  •     Governing Board of the Associazione Italiana di Scienze Cognitive (AISC)
  •     Governing Board of the University Center for Bioethics (coordinator: sect. Neuroscience)
  •     Member of the Center of Neuroimaging, Univerisity of Parma
  •     Member of International Centre for Enactivism and Cognitive Semiotics
  •     Member of Associazione Culturale Pragma (American Pragmatism)
  •     Member of Società Italiana di Filosofia Analitica (SIFA)
  •     Member of Society for Neuroscience


Editorial Board:
·    Sistemi Intelligenti, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Four-monthly Review , il Mulino Ed., (Section Editor for “Neuroscience”)
·    Topoi, An International Review of Philosophy (Springer)
·    Mind & Society, Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences (Springer)
·    Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (Frontiers in Psychology), Associate Editor
Scientific Committee:
·    Working group for the programs of the psychology area. Il Mulino, Bologna
·    Le Scienze. Storia-teorie-metodo-etica, Ed. Rosenberg&Sellier
·    La mente e i sistemi cognitivi, Ed. Aracne
·    Embodied Cognitive Science, Ed. Nuova Cultura

Grant Reviewer:
·    FWO Research Foundation – Flanders (Belgium);
·    Remote referee for ERC SH4 panel “The Human Mind and Its Complexity”

·    The book COME FUNZIONANO LE EMOZIONI. DA DARWIN ALLE NEUROSCIENZE, Il Mulino, has been awarded with the “Sante de Sanctis” prize as the best volume in psychology.

·    Collaboration with Centro Munari of the Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda, Milano (Prof Giorgio Lo Russo): study of the cognitive functions by means of intracranial EEG. The collaboration is demonstrated by 2 signed Agreement where FC appears as collaborator for IIT (first Agreement: 2013/2018) and for the Neuroscience Unit of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, for the University of Parma (new Agreement: 2018/2023).


In order to schedule a meeting with the teacher, please coordinate via email.

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2023/2024

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2022/2023

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2021/2022

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2019/2020

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2018/2019

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2017/2018

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2016/2017

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2015/2016

Linee di ricerca

System neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science, emotions and emotional expression, laughter, social cognition, motor cognition, embodied cognition, 4E cognitive science, mirror neurons, pragmatism, affective neuroscience.




Ubicazione dell'ufficio

​Institute of Neuroscience, CNR, Via Volturno 39/E, 43125 Parma, Italy