Alessandro Grecucci


“Hardwired to connect with each other, we do so through emotions. Our brains, bodies and minds are inseparable from the emotions that animate them"  (pg. vii)  Fosha, Siegel, & Solomon (2009)

The study of the emotional life of our brains attempts to understand and explain our ability to process emotions and channel them into healthy actions, with the goal of building accurate theoretical models and tools of intervention.
This goal has occupied philosophers, psychologists and writers for many centuries.However, only recently the emergence of the field known as Affective Neuroscience has offered a valuable avenue to understand our emotions.

We seek to investigate how we perceive, modulate and express our emotions in normal and abnormal conditions by using s/fMRI, EEG, MEG and neuropsychology. Failures in correctly perceiving, modulating, and even expressing our emotions lie at the core of many psychopathological conditions.

Building on findings and tools derived from Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology, our mission is to develop new methods and procedures to ameliorate such problems.


Further information can be found at the following webpage: CLI.A.N. - Clinical and Affective Neuroscience lab

Research directions

  • Neural bases of emotion perception and regulation (fMRI, EEG, MEG)
  • Brain morphometric analyses of autism, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder (sMRI)
  • Experiental psychopathology and Interpersonal Emotion Regulation
  • Abnormal emotional processing in neurological patients (brain tumors and ischemic patients)
  • Neural bases of psychotherapy techniques and psychotherapy process
  • Development of treatment protocols to ameliorate emotional deficits


  • Behavioral experiments and clinical testing (neurological and psychiatric patients)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): functional MRI, structural analyses (VBM, SBM), Dynamic causal modelling (DCM), Psychophysiological interactions (PPI)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG): Event related potentials, spectral perturbations, source localization
  • Computational simulations: artificial neural networks models of cognitive and emotional functional and their pathology (simulative neuropsychology)

Internal collaborations

Alessandro Grecucci, Principal Investigator
Alessandro is the Principal investigator of the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab. He currently works at DipSCo - Department of Cognitive Sciences and at CISMed - Center for Medical Sciences. He has a background in Cognitive Neuroscience and in Psychotherapy. His research interests combine these two fields, and range from the study of the brain mechanisms behind emotional processing, to the development of new treatment protocols to address psychological disorders (see also  Web site: Alessandro Grecucci).
Federica Meconi, Co-investigator
Federica is an assistant professor at DipSCo - Department of Cognitive Sciences - and a Research Associate at the School of Psychology in the University of Birmingham. Her main research interest is on social neuroscience (human empathy and social cognition). In her work, she mainly investigates how past experiences influence interacting attitudes (see also Web site - Federica Meconi).
Irene Messina, Co-investigator
Irene is Associate Professor at Universitas Mercatorum (Rome, Italy). Moreover, she is Research Associate at the Department of Psychiatry III, University of Ulm (Germany). Her main research interests are affective neuroscience (neural correlates of emotion regulation, psychopathology and psychological treatments) and psychotherapy research.

Phd students

Parisa Ahmadi Ghomroudi, 3rd year PhD student

Khanitin JornKokgoud, 3rd year PhD student in co-supervision with Peera Wongupparaj

Teresa Baggio, 2nd year PhD student

Richard Bakiaj, 1st year PhD student

External collaborations

Jon Frederickson, Washington School of Psychiatry, Washington (USA)
Raffaella Rumiati, SISSA, Trieste (Italy).
Harold Dadomo, Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma (Italy) and Istituto Scienze Cognitive (Italy) 
Chiara De Panfilis, Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma (Italy).
Antonio Prunas, Department of Psychology, University of Milano Bicocca (Italy)
Cristiano Crescentini, Department of Human Sciences, University of Udine (Italy)
Daniele Chiffi, Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia)
Dante Amelio, Protonterapia, APSS of Trento (Italy)
Maurizio Amichetti, Protonterapia, APSS of Trento (Italy)
Marta Panzeri, Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation, University of Padova (Italy)
Fabrizio Didonna, Department of Psychiatry, Villa Margherita Private Hospital, Vicenza (Italy)
Alan Sanfey, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands)

Selected publications

  • Cogoni, C., Monachesi, B., Mazza, V., Grecucci, A., Vaes, J. (2023) Neural dynamics of vicarious physical pain processing reflect impaired empathy toward sexually objectified vs non-sexually-objectified women. Psychophysiology
  • Monachesi, B., Grecucci, A., Ghomroudi, P.A., Messina, I. (2023). Understanding the neural architecture of emotion regulation by comparing two different strategies: A meta-analytic approach. Frontiers in Psychology
  • Grecucci, A., Orsini, C., Lapomarda, G., Sorella, S., Messina, I. (2023). Perceiving visual negative stimuli in Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder: Meta-analytic evidence of a common altered thalamic-parahippocampal-basal ganglia circuit. Neuroimage:Reports
  • Monachesi, B., Deruti, A., Grecucci, A., Vaes, J. (2023). Electrophysiological, emotional and behavioural responses of females target of sexual objectification. Scientific Reports
  • Ghomroudi, P.A., Scaltritti, M., Grecucci, A. (2023). Decoding reappraisal and suppression from neural circuits: A combined supervised and unsupervised machine learning approach. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci
  • Baggio, T., Grecucci, A., Meconi, F., Messina, I. (2023). Anxious brains: A combined data fusion machine learning approach to predict trait anxiety from morphometric features. Sensors, 23, 2.  
  • Caria, A., Grecucci, A. (2022). Neuroanatomical predictors of real-time fMRI-based emotional brain regulation. A supervised machine learning study. Psychophysiology, e14237.
  • Grecucci, A., Sorella, S., Consolini, J. (2023). Decoding Individual Differences in Controlling, Expressing and Inhibiting Anger from Structural Brain Networks: a Supervised Machine Learning Approach. Behavioral Brain Research, 439,114245
  • Zanella, F. Monachesi, B. Grecucci, A. (2022). Resting-state BOLD temporal variability in sensorimotor and salience networks underlies trait Emotional Intelligence and explains differences in Emotion regulation strategies. Scientific Reports, 12, 15163.  
  • Grecucci, A., Lapomarda, G., Messina I., Monachesi, B., Sorella, S., Siugzdaite, R (2022). Structural features related to affective instability correctly classify the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. A Supervised Machine Learning approach. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13. h
  • Sorella, S., Grecucci, A., Piretti, L., Job , R. (2021). Do anger perception and the experience of anger share common neural mechanisms? Coordinate-based meta-analytic evidence of similar and different mechanisms from functional neuroimaging studies. Neuroimage,230:117777.
  • Piretti, L., Pappaianni, E., Rumiati, R., Job, R., Grecucci, A. (2021). Dissociating the role of dlPFC and dACC/dmPFC in emotional processing using tDC. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 22, 304–315.
  • Lapomarda, G., Pappaianni, E., Siugzdaite, R., Sanfey, A.G., Rumiati, R.I., Grecucci, A. (2021). Out of control: An altered parieto-occipital-cerebellar network for impulsivity in bipolar disorder. Behavioural Brain Researc, 406:113228;
  • Lapomarda, G., Grecucci, A., Messina, I., Pappaianni, E., Dadomo H. (2021). Common and different gray and white matter alterations in Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder. Brain Research,  1762:147401.
  • Messina, I., Grecucci, A., Viviani, R., (2021). Neurobiological Models of Emotion Regulation: a Meta- analysis of Neuroimaging Studies of Acceptance as an Emotion Regulation Strategy. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 16(3), 257–267.  
  • Sulpizio, S., Grecucci, A., Job, R. (2020). Tune in to the theta frequency. Oscillatory brain dynamics during the regulation of unpleasant images and words. European Journal of Neuroscience, 53(3):916-928.
  • Saviola, F., Pappaianni, E., Monti, A., Grecucci, A., Jovicich, J., De Pisapia, N. (2020). Trait and state anxiety are mapped differently in the human brain. Scientific Report, 10:11112.
  • Piretti, L., Pappaianni, E., Lunardelli, A., Zorzenon, I., Ukmar, M., Pesavento, V., Rumiati, R.I., Job, R., Grecucci, A. (2020). The role of amygdala in self-conscious emotions in a patient with acquired bilateral damage. Frontiers in Neuroscience, , 14:677.
  • Pappaianni, E., De Pisapia, N., Siugzdaite, R., Crescentini, C., Calcagnì, A., Job, R., Grecucci, A. (2019). Less is more: psychological and morphometric differences between low vs high reappraisers. Cognitive Behavioral Affective Neuroscience, 20, 128–140.
  • Grecucci, A., Sulpizio, S., Vespignani, F. Job, R. (2019). Seeing emotions, reading emotions: behavioral and ERPs evidence of the regulation of visual and linguistic stimuli. Plos One, 0209461.
  • Sorella, S., Lapomarda, G., Messina, I., Siugzdaite, R., Job, R., Grecucci, A. (2019). Testing the expanded continuum hypothesis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Neural and psychological evidence for shared and distinct mechanisms. Neuroimage: Clinical, 23, 101854.
  • De Panfilis, C., Schito, G., Generali, I., Gozzi, L., Ossola, P., Marchesi, C., Grecucci, A. (2019). Emotions at the border: Increased punishment behavior during fair interpersonal exchanges in Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 128(2), 162-172.
  • Dadomo, H., Panzeri, M. Caponcello, D., Carmelita, A., Grecucci, A., (2018). Schema therapy for emotional dysregulation in personality disorders: a review. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 31(1), 43-49.
  • Grecucci, A., Job, R. (2015). Rethinking reappraisal: insights from Affective Neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e102.
  • Grecucci, A., De Pisapia, N., Venuti, P., Palladino, M.P. Job, R. (2015). Baseline and strategic mindful regulation: behavioral and physiological investigation. Plos One, 10(1): e0116541.
  • Grecucci, A., Job, R. (2015). Rethinking reappraisal: insights from Affective Neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e102.
  • Grecucci, A., Giorgetta, C., Rattin, A., Guerreschi, C., Sanfey, A. Bonini, N. (2014). Time devours things: how time and impulsivity affect temporal decisions in pathological gambling. Plos One, 9(10), e109197.
  • Grecucci, A., Giorgetta, C., M. Bonini, N., Sanfey, A. (2013). Reappraising social emotions: the role of inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction and insula in interpersonal regulation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 523.
  • Grecucci, A., Giorgetta, C., van Wout, M., Bonini, N., Sanfey, A. (2013). Reappraising the Ultimatum: an fMRI study of emotion regulation and decision-making. Cerebral Cortex, 23(2), 399-410
  • Grecucci, A., Giorgetta, C., Bonini, N., Sanfey, A. (2013). Living emotions, avoiding emotions: behavioral investigation of the regulation of socially driven emotions. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 616.
  • Grecucci, A., Giorgetta, C., Brambilla, P., Zanon, S., Perini, L. Balestrieri, M. Bonini, N., Sanfey, A., (2013). Anxious Ultimatums. How Anxiety Affects Socio-economic Decisions. Cognition & Emotion. 27(2), 230-44
  • Giorgetta, C., Grecucci, A., Zanon, S., Perini, L. Balestrieri, M. Bonini, N., Sanfey, A., Brambilla, P. (2012). Reduced risk-taking behaviour as a trait feature of anxiety. Emotion, 12(6), 1373-83.
  • Roshtstein, P. Soto, D., Grecucci, A., Geng, J.J., Humphreys, G.W. (2011). The role of the pulvinar in resolving competition between memory and visual selection: A functional connectivity study. Neuropsychologia, 49(6), 1544-52.
  • Grecucci, A., Soto, D., Rumiati, R., Humphreys, G.W., Roshtstein, P. (2010). The Interrelations between Verbal Working Memory and Visual Selection of Emotional Faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(6), 1189-1200.