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Structure Department of General Psychology
Telephone 0498276618
Qualification Professore ordinario
Scientific sector M-PSI/01 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
University telephone book  Show

Notice and additional information
Lab website (Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab)
Google Scholar page with full list of publications:
Profile on ResearchGate:

Information for perspective PhD students (Doctoral School of Psychological Sciences) or postdocs

Possible research topics my supervision include (but are not limited to):
- Cognitive modeling: deep learning models of perception and cognition
- Computational neuroscience: brain networks and resting-state activity in health and disease
- Numerical cognition (all methods and/or populations, including children and patients)
- Novel diagnostic and rehabilitation methods for neurological diseases or learning disabilities

Most of these topics are suitable for use-inspired basic research projects with potential funding from the Department of General Psychology within the "Department of Excellence" project. Further info can be provided on request.

Office hours
Wednesday from 09:30 to 11:00 Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, sede di Via Venezia 12 (piano terra edificio PSICO 2) Si prega di prendere un appuntamento via email. Il ricevimento del 18 luglio è sospeso.
(updated on 17/07/2018 19:05)

Proposals for thesis
Topics for theses:
- Numerical cognition, numerosity perception, numbers and space, dyscalculia
- Spatial attention in perception and cognition, neuropsychology of attention (e.g., stroke patients)
- Reading, letter and word perception, dyslexia

- Experimental cognitive psychology
- Computational modeling (only Master or PhD students)
- Neuropsychology (neurological patients or children with learning disabilities) (only Master or PhD students)
- Functional neuroimaging (fNIRS, fMRI, EEG) (only Master or PhD students)
- Neurostimulation or cognitive training (only Master or PhD students)

See lab website for more info:
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (http://ccnl.psy.unipd.it)

Supervision of PhD thesis: see section "Notice and additional information"

Curriculum Vitae
Full Professor (Psychology and Artificial Intelligence), University of Padova (Italy)
Senior Research Associate, IRCCS San Camillo Neurorehabilitation Hospital, Venice-Lido (Italy)

Laurea (MSc) in Experimental Psychology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy), 1994.
European Diploma in Cognitive Science, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste (Italy), 1997.
Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, 1999.

• Research Fellow, University College London (UK), 1994-1998.
• Visiting Scientist, Macquarie University, Sydney (Australia), 1998.
• Research Fellow, University of Padova, 1999-2000.
• Assistant Professor, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, 2000-2001
• Associate Professor, University of Padova, 2001-2006
• Full Professor, University of Padova, since 1/12/2006
• Invited Visiting Professor, Aix-Marseille University (France), 2011
• Director, Center for Cognitive Science, University of Padova, 2008-2012

ERC laureate (2008, Starting Grant for Frontier Research from the European Research Council)
Best PhD Thesis in Psychology Award (1999) from the Italian Psychological Association (AIP)
Principal investigator in many projects funded by public and private bodies (European Commission, European Research Council, McDonnell Foundation USA, Italian Ministry of Research, Italian Ministry of Health, Cariparo Foundation, Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation; Wellcome Trust, UK; Royal Society of London, UK).

• Chair of Research Committee and Budget Committee of the Department of General Psychology
• Member of the Executive Board of Padova Neuroscience Center

Research areas
Research in my laboratory (Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, http://ccnl.psy.unipd.it) is focused on the study of the computational bases of cognition, from development to skilled performance and to breakdowns of processing in atypical development or after brain damage. To address these issues we use a cognitive neuroscience approach that combines several methodologies, including computational modeling, behavioral studies (reaction times and psychophysics), neuropsychology, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI, fNIRS, EEG). Main themes: 1) numerical cognition and dyscalculia; 2) attention, space coding, neglect; 3) reading and dyslexia; 4) neural networks (deep learning) and computational neuroscience.


Zorzi, M, & Testolin, A. (2018). An emergentist perspective on the origin of number sense. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 373, 20170043.

Testolin, A., Stoianov, I., & Zorzi, M. (2017). Letter perception emerges from unsupervised learning and recycling of natural image features. Nature Human Behaviour, 1, 657–664.

Sella, F., Berteletti, I., Lucangeli, D., & Zorzi, M. (2017). Preschool children use space, rather than counting, to infer the numerical magnitude of digits: Evidence for a spatial mapping principle. Cognition, 158, 56-67.

Blini, E., Romeo, Z., Spironelli, C., Pitteri, M., Meneghello, F., Bonato, M., & Zorzi, M. (2016). Multi-tasking uncovers right spatial neglect and extinction in chronic left-hemisphere stroke patients. Neuropsychologia, 92, 147-157.

Sella, F., Berteletti, I., Lucangeli, D., & ZORZI, M. (2016). Spontaneous non-verbal counting in toddlers. Developmental Science, 19, 329-337.

Testolin, A., Stoianov, I., Sperduti, A., & Zorzi, M. (2016). Learning orthographic structure with sequential generative neural networks. Cognitive Science, 40, 579–606.

Lisi, M., Bonato, M., & Zorzi, M. (2015). Pupil dilation reveals top-down attentional load during spatial monitoring. Biological Psychology, 112, 39–45.

Cutini, S., Scarpa, F., Scatturin, P., Dell’Acqua, R. & Zorzi, M. (2014). Number-space interactions in the human parietal cortex: Enlightening the SNARC effect with functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Cerebral Cortex, 24(2), 444-451.

Ziegler, JC., Perry, C., & Zorzi M. (2014). Modelling reading development through phonological decoding and self-teaching: implications for dyslexia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1634), 20120397.

Zorzi, M., Barbiero, C., Facoetti, A., Lonciari, I., Carrozzi, M., Montico, M., Bravar, L., et al. (2012). Extra-large letter spacing improves reading in dyslexia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(28), 11455-9.

Stoianov, I., & Zorzi, M. (2012). Emergence of a “visual number sense” in hierarchical generative models. Nature neuroscience, 15(2), 194-6.

Casarotti, M., Lisi, M., Umiltà, C., & Zorzi, M. (2012). Paying attention throgh eye movements: A computational investigation of the premotor theory of spatial attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14, 1519-1531.

Piazza, M., Facoetti, A., Trussardi, A. N., Berteletti, I., Conte, S., Lucangeli, D., Dehaene, S., & Zorzi, M. (2010). Developmental trajectory of number acuity reveals a severe impairment in developmental dyscalculia. Cognition, 116(1), 33-41.

Bonato, M., Priftis, K., Marenzi, R., Umiltà, C., & Zorzi, M. (2010). Increased attentional demands impair contralesional space awareness following stroke. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3934-3940.

Perry, C., Ziegler, J.C., & Zorzi, M. (2007). Nested incremental modeling in the development of computational theories: The CDP+ model of reading aloud. Psychological Review, 114, 273-315.

Zorzi M., Priftis, K., & Umilta` C. (2002). Neglect disrupts the mental number line. Nature, 417,138-139.

List of taught course units in A.Y. 2018/19
Degree course code (?) Degree course track Course unit code Course unit name Credits Year Period Lang. Teacher in charge
PS1082 COMMON PS02103965 6 3rd Year Second
PS2192 COMMON PSP5070139 6 2nd Year First
PS1932 COMMON PSO2044188 6 1st Year First
PS1978 COMMON PSO2044188 6 1st Year First
PS1932 COMMON PSP4065487 6 1st Year First