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
  • Insegnamenti
  • Ricerca

Fausto Caruana works at the Institute of Neuroscience of the National Research Council (CNR), Parma. He is specialized in social, cognitive and affective neuroscience. His studies are focused on the neural and the psychological mechanisms underlying emotions, empathy, mirror neurons and motor cognition. Research is conducted using a multidisciplinary approach, mainly centered on intracranial recordings and electrical stimulations. Trained as an electrophysiologist in non-human primates, he moved to human electrophysiology thanks to the collaboration with the Claudio Munari Epilepsy Surgery Center at the Niguarda Hospital, Milan.

Beside his neuroscientific interests, he is actively pursuing theoretical research concerning the relationship between neuroscience and philosophy and, in particular, the theoretical aspects of embodied cognition, 4E cognitive science, social cognition and affective neuroscience.


Selected publications

Caruana F. (2019). The Integration of Emotional Expression and Experience: A Pragmatist Review of Recent Evidence from Brain Stimulation. Emotion Review. 11(1), 27-38.

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 141(10):3035-3051.

Rizzolatti G., Caruana F. (2017). Some considerations on de Waal and Preston review, Nature Reviews in Neuroscience, 18, 769.

Caruana F. (2017). Laughter as a neurochemical mechanism aimed at reinforcing social bonds: integrating evidence from opioidergic activity and brain stimulation. J Neurosci. 37(36):8581-8582.

Caruana F. (2017). What is missing in the “Basic Emotion vs. Constructionist” debate? Pragmatist insights into the radical translation from the emotional brain. Pragmatism Today. 8(1):87-103.

Caruana F., Avanzini P., Gozzo F., Pelliccia V., Casaceli G., Rizzolatti G. (2016). A mirror mechanism for smiling in the anterior cingulate cortex. Emotion, 17(2):187-190.

Caruana F., Gozzo F., Pelliccia V., Cossu M., Avanzini P. (2016). Smile and Laughter Elicited by Electrical Stimulation of the Frontal Operculum. Neuropsychologia, 89:364-370.

Gallese V., Caruana F. (2016). Embodied Simulation. Beyond the expression/experience dualism of emotions. Trends in Cognitive Science, 20(6):397-398.

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, 71, 323-331.

Caruana F., Cantalupo G., Lo Russo G., Mai R., Sartori I., Avanzini P., (2014): Human cortical activity evoked by gaze shift observation: an intracranial EEG study. Human Brain Mapping, 35(4):1515-28.

Jezzini A.*, Caruana F.*, Stoianov I., Gallese V., Rizzolatti G., (2012). The Functional Organization of the Insula and of Inner Perisylvian Regions. PNAS. 9;109(25):10077-82.

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, Feb 8; 21(3):195-9. ISSN. 0960-9822



Caruana F., Testa I. (forthcoming): 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
2015 – 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, 2024.
2017 – Associate Professor of “Physiology” (05/D1), from July 25, 2017 to July 25, 2023.
2017 – Associate Professor of “Aesthetics and Philosophy of Language” (11/C4), from Dec 5, 2017 to Dec 5, 2023.
2019 – Associate Professor of “Logic, History and Philosophy of Science” (11/C2), from July 15, 2019 to July 15, 2025.

Contract professor of “Philosophy of Science” (M-FIL/02), Department DUSIC, University of Parma
April 2017 to Sept 2019, contract professor of “Neuroscience” (BIO/09), Department DUSIC, University of Parma
April 2012 to Sept 2016, contract professor of “Neuroscience” (BIO/09), Department ALEF, University of Parma

·    2012 to date: thesis supervisor at the Department ALEF and DUSIC of (about) 20 graduate students. Main topics: philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and cognitive science.
·    2009 to date: supervision and training of two doctoral students enrolled in PhD program of Neuroscience of the University of Parma.

May 26-28, 2020 (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

Participant/Supervisor (awarded)
·    RIDT/Malta Neuroscience Network (MNN) Brain Campaign 2016 “DeepMotionBMI. Intracranial stereo-EEG analysis during grasping movement and intent: a neuroscientific and brain-machine interface study”
Collaborator (awarded)
·    IST-FET launches Integrated Project: ‘Neurobotics’ (PI: P. Dario) 2004-2008
·    IST-FET Neuroprobes, 6th Framework Program (PI: P. Ruther) 2006-2010
·    ERC Advanced Grant 2009: CogSystem (PI: G Rizzolatti)
·    IST-FET Neuroseeker, 7th Framework Program (PI: P. Ruther), 2013-2017
·    ERC Advanced Grant 2013: ParietalAction (PI: GA Orban), 2013-2018
Application as PI for the following grants (not funded):
·    ERC-2016-STG: “BrainLaughter” (715552). Ranking range: 36%-45% (score: B)
·    SIR grant: “The Mirror Mechanism for Human Tool Use” (RBSI14WMGA)

·    Associazione Italiana di Scienze Cognitive (AISC)
·    University Center for Bioethics, University of Parma (section Neuroscience)
·    Società Italiana di Filosofia Analitica (SIFA)
·    Society for Neuroscience, ID 100052113   

·    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.

Grant Reviewer:
·    FWO Research Foundation – Flanders (Belgium);
·    Remote referee for ERC SH4 panel “The Human Mind and Its Complexity”
Editorial Board:
·    Sistemi Intelligenti, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Four-monthly Review , il Mulino Ed., (Editorial Board and 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:
·    Le Scienze. Storia-teorie-metodo-etica, Ed. Rosenberg&Sellier
·    La mente e i sistemi cognitivi, Ed. Aracne
·    Embodied Cognitive Science, Ed. Nuova Cultura
Review Editor:
·    Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (Frontiers in Psychology); Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology (Frontiers in Psychology)
·    PNAS, Cerebral Cortex, SCAN, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Cortex, Neuroimage, Neuropsychologia, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Mind & Society, Biological Reviews, Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (Frontiers in Psychology), Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology (Frontiers in Psychology), Perspectives on Psychological Science, Sistemi Intelligenti, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane.

·    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).
·    Collaboration with Italo Testa, Pierre Steiner, Roberto Frega: joint research program on Pragmatism and the 4E Cognitive Science. The collaboration is witnessed by the organization of 3 international conferences: Paris (December 2016, December 2017) and Parma (April 2017).
·    Collaboration with Anna Borghi: the theoretical aspects of Embodied Cognition.
·    Collaboration with Massimo Marraffa: philosophy of psychology and theoretical aspects of emotion science.
·    Collaboration with Andrea Parravicini, Guido Baggio, Marco Viola: Pragmatism and Emotions


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, social cognition, motor cognition, embodied cognition, 4E cognitive science, mirror neurons, pragmatism, affective neuroscience and philosophy of mind.



Researcher unique identifier: 23984362400, ResearcherID: J-5274-2018


Ubicazione dell'ufficio

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