fMRI Unit – Zapparoli, Laura


Director: Dr. Eraldo Palesu

Laura Zapparoli, Ph.D.


Laura Zapparoli is a psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist working as a post-doc researcher in the fMRI Unit; she received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Milano-Bicocca, after spending one year as visiting research fellow at the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders (Institute of Neurology – University College London). She is also a certified biostatistician.
Her main research interest is motor control, with reference to the study of the different stages of action production: from the more abstract aspects (i.e. the different components of intention to move and the mechanism of action representation), through explicit motor execution and motor awareness. These topics were investigated in healthy subjects, with particular attention to the changes associated with the adult life-span and the physiological processes of aging (Zapparoli et al., 2013, 2014, 2016b, 2019), but also in neurological or orthopaedic populations (Zapparoli et al., 2015, 2016a, 2017b). This represents a complementary approach for the better understanding of the neurophysiological underpinnings of motor control.
More recently, she focused her research activity on the study of the different mental processes related to intentional actions (Zapparoli et al., 2017, Zapparoli et al., 2018).



Seghezzi S, Zirone E, Paulesu E, Zapparoli L. The Brain in (Willed) Action: A Meta-Analytical Comparison of Imaging Studies on Motor Intentionality and Sense of Agency. Front Psychol. 2019;10:804. Published 2019 Apr 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00804
Open Access

Zapparoli L, Gandola M, Banfi G, Paulesu E. A Breakdown of Imagined Visuomotor Transformations and Its Neural Correlates in Young Elderly Subjects. Cereb Cortex. 2019 Apr 1;29(4):1682-1696. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy314.

Sacheli LM, Zapparoli L, Preti M, De Santis C, Pelosi C, Ursino N, Zerbi A, Stucovitz E, Banfi G, Paulesu E. A functional limitation to the lower limbs affects the neural bases of motor imagery of gait. Neuroimage Clin. 2018 Jul 5;20:177-187. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.07.003.

Devoto F, Zapparoli L, Bonandrini R, Berlingeri M, Ferrulli A, Luzi L, Banfi
G, Paulesu E. Hungry brains: A meta-analytical review of brain activation imaging studies on food perception and appetite in obese individuals. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018 Nov;94:271-285. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.07.017.

Zapparoli L,Seghezzi S, Scifo P, Zerbi A, Banfi G, Tettamanti M, Paulesu E. Dissecting the neurofunctional bases of intentional action. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018 Jul 10;115(28):7440-7445. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1718891115   Open Access

Vergallito A, Romero Lauro LJ, Bonandrini R, Zapparoli L, Danelli L, Berlingeri M. What is difficult for you can be easy for me. Effects of increasing individual task demand on prefrontal lateralization: A tDCS study. Neuropsychologia. 2018 Jan 31;109:283-294. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.12.038.

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. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13658.

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 Oct;235(10):3227-3241. doi: 10.1007/s00221-017-5049-6.

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. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23725.

Zapparoli L, Seghezzi S, Paulesu E. The What, the When, and the Whether of Intentional Action in the Brain: A Meta-Analytical Review. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 May 17;11:238. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00238   Open Access