Professor Vittorio Gallese

Professor Vittorio Gallese

Vittorio Gallese, MD and neurologist, is Professor of Physiology at the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Parma, Italy. He is Coordinator of the PhD Program in Neuroscience. His research focuses on the cognitive role of the motor system and on an embodied account of social cognition.

His major contribution is the discovery, together with his colleagues of Parma, of mirror neurons and the elaboration of a theoretical model of social cognition – Embodied Simulation Theory.

He worked at the University of Lausanne, at the Nihon University of Tokyo, and at the University of California at Berkeley. He received the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology in 2007, the Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Leuven in 2010, the Arnold Pfeffer Prize for Neuropsychoanalysis in 2010, the KOSMOS Professor Fellowship, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in 2013-14, the Musatti Award of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society in 2014.

He recently co-authored with Massimo Ammaniti the book The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and the Self. (Norton, 2014).


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