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The Head of the Department is Paola Venuti

Since January 1 st , 2017, Professor Paola Venuti has been Director of the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences.
Professor Venuti – a tenured professor of dynamic psychology - teaches clinical psychopathology and dynamic psychology, and is responsible for the ODFLab (Observation, Diagnosis and Training Laboratory) and the Psychological Counselling Service.
Professor Venuti has been at the University of Trento since 2002, after having taught at the Second University of Naples and at the University of Padua.
Alongside her institutional university assignments, she is part of the doctoral faculty board in cognitive and educational sciences, is the chairman of the degree course in cognitive psychology, and is the director for the Master of Educational Intervention Methodologies for Autism Spectrum Disorder Patients. She was also deputy director of the department and an associate professors representative on the University Board of Directors. Furthermore, she has carried out various activities in the field of teacher education, and coordinated the Doctorate of Psychological Sciences for the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences from 2010 to 2016.

She earned her degree in psychology from the University of Padua, and her Ph.D. from the University of Rome. She is on the board of the AISMI (Italian Association for Infant Mental Health), the Italian section of the WAIMH (World Association of Infant Mental Health), and is a collaborative investigator for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH Bethesda).

Her research activity is devoted to the study of affective and cognitive development in subjects with typical and atypical development, focusing on parental behavior and methods and tools for developmental evaluation. Her main research areas concern the influence of early relationships on cognitive and affective development, cognitive development in subjects with atypical development, and tools and techniques for developmental evaluation.

Among her numerous scientific collaborations are the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH-NICHHD, Bethesda-USA), and the Stella Maris di Pisa scientific research institute on early indicators for autism diagnosis. She also collaborates with the Department of Psychology of the University of Miami (Florida, USA), with the RIKEN Brain Science Institute - Kuroda Research Unit for Affiliative Social Behavior (Saitama, Japan), and with the Bambin Gesù Hospital in Rome. She was on the board of the Italian Association for Infant Mental Health (AISMI), and served as its president for four years.

She is the coordinator of numerous research projects that have obtained Italian, European and non-European funding. She is enrolled in the Order of Psychologists and in the Register of Psychotherapists. Moreover, she is a member of the Italian Association of Psychologists (AIP), of the
International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), and of the Childhood and Adolescence Magazine scientific committee.

She has spoken at numerous conferences on autism and refereed various magazines in the field. She has also authored more than 130 publications and volumes in both national and international journals.