fMRI Unit – Palesu, Eraldo


Prof. Eraldo Paulesu is a neurologist and a cognitive neuroscientist. In the early 90s, with Chris Frith and Richard Frackowiak, he pioneered the combination of behavioural techniques inspired by cognitive models and neurophysiological observations based on functional imaging techniques. The 88 peer-reviewed articles derived from this work and their bibliometric indexes (Citations:>15000; H index: 47) are a direct reflection of this commitment to neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. Among his main scientific achievements, the first definition of the functional anatomy of the phonological loop and its subcomponents; the identification of the vestibular cortical pathways and their role in the modulation of conscious perception in right brain damage patients; the identification of neural pathways of cardiac pain and the pathological lack of it; the identification of shared dysfunctional cognitive and anatomical patterns in dyslexia across cultures; the definition of neurophysiological correlates of motor awareness and its impairments in anosognosia for hemiplegia and the first identifications of mirror neuron activity in humans. More recently, together with the Galeazzi fMRI Unit team, prof. Paulesu is defining the neural bases of healthy aging of the motor system and the brain correlates of impoverished motor experience typical of orthopaedic patients. He is also actively studying motor disorders in dyslexia.


Paulesu E, Frith CD, Frackowiak RS. The neural correlates of the verbal component of working memory. Nature. 1993 Mar 25;362(6418):342-5

Bottini G, Paulesu E, Sterzi R, Warburton E, Wise RJ, Vallar G, Frackowiak RS, Frith CD. Modulation of conscious experience by peripheral sensory stimuli. Nature. 1995 Aug 31;376(6543):778-81.

Rosen SD, Paulesu E, Frith CD, Frackowiak RS, Davies GJ, Jones T, Camici PG. Central nervous pathways mediating angina pectoris. Lancet. 1994 Jul 16;344(8916):147-50.

Paulesu E, Démonet JF, Fazio F, McCrory E, Chanoine V, Brunswick N, Cappa SF, Cossu G, Habib M, Frith CD, Frith U. Dyslexia: cultural diversity and biological unity. Science. 2001 Mar 16;291(5511):2165-7.

Berti A, Bottini G, Gandola M, Pia L, Smania N, Stracciari A, Castiglioni I, Vallar G, Paulesu E. Shared cortical anatomy for motor awareness and motor control. Science. 2005 Jul 15;309(5733):488-91.

Zapparoli L, Tettamanti M, Porta M, Zerbi A, Servello D, Banfi G, Paulesu E. A tug of war: antagonistic effective connectivity patterns over the motor cortex and the severity of motor symptoms in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Eur J Neurosci. 2017 Sep;46(6):2203-2213.

Zapparoli L, Saetta G, De Santis C, Gandola M, Zerbi A, Banfi G, Paulesu E. When I am (almost) 64: The effect of normal ageing on implicit motor imagery in young elderlies. (2016) Behav Brain Res. Apr 15;303:137-51.

Sacheli LM, Zapparoli L, De Santis C, Preti M, Pelosi C, Ursino N, Zerbi A, Banfi G, Paulesu E. Mental steps: Differential activation of internal pacemakers in motor imagery and in mental imitation of gait. Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Oct;38(10):5195-5216.

Gandola M, Bruno M, Zapparoli L, Saetta G, Rolandi E, De Santis A, Banfi G, Zerbi A, Sansone V, Paulesu E. Functional brain effects of hand disuse in patients with trapeziometacarpal joint osteoarthritis: executed and imagined movements. Exp Brain Res. 2017 Jul 31.

Zapparoli L, Porta M, Paulesu E. The anarchic brain in action: the contribution of task-based fMRI studies to the understanding of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Curr Opin Neurol. 2015 Dec;28(6):604-11.