The Centre for Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics (CNPL) ( was founded in 2016 by Prof. Jubin Abutalebi to pursue high-quality research devoted to the study of language as related to mind and brain. Language is the trait that most prominently distinguishes the human species from other species, and it is grounded on complex interactions between biological and cognitive functions. Understanding how language is cognitively processed in real time and how it is computed in the brain represents one of the critical challenges in contemporary human sciences. To face this challenge, CNPL uses a highly interdisciplinary approach that comprises cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, linguistics and neuropsychology, as well as a number of complementary non-invasive tools such as behavioral measures, functional (fMRI) and structural neuroimaging (VBM, DTI), and neurostimulation (tDCS).

One of the major research topics CNPL focuses on is bilingualism. The regular use of more than one language is an ever-increasing phenomenon in modern globalized societies. However, we still know very little about the differences between bilinguals and monolinguals in terms of neural representation and processing as well as on the impact such differences might have in the course of life (e.g. in terms of maintenance of neurocognitive functions in the elderly). The mechanisms underlying bilingual brain functioning are at the centre of intense research at CNPL.

Besides bilingualism, our research activities extend to several issues, including the nature of the linguistic and conceptual representations, the relationship between language and the sensory-motor system, language and executive functions; language, brain and gender differences, linguistic and cognitive control; psycholinguistic of language production and reading; language function in neurological disease.

Science is a collective and cumulative process, so its progress and benefits to society hinge critically on multiple scientists testing and building on each others’ work. We strongly believe that science advances only if knowledge is shared. Accordingly, we are very committed to promote education, internship programs and international collaborations.



The role of bilingualism in healthy aging

Linguistic and cognitive control

Psycholinguistics of word production and reading

The relationship between language and sensorimotor system

The neurocognition of semantic representations

Language, brain and gender differences

Language functions in neurological disease


Prof. Jubin Abutalebi



Dr. Nicola Del Maschio

Dr. Davide Fedeli

Dr. Lucia Guidi

Prof. Daniela Perani

Dr. Simone Sulpizio

Dr. Marco Tettamanti


Master Students

Giulia Caramanti

Carola Como

Giampaolo Del Mauro

Samantha Mombelli

Martine Ravetta

Michelle Toti

Elisa Vassallo

Lorenzo Zannino


Board of directors:

Prof. Alessandro Del Maschio

Prof. Laura Bellodi

Prof. Jubin Abutalebi

Prof. Andrea Falini

Prof. Daniela Perani

Representative publications (2016-)


  • Calabria, M., Costa, A., Green, D. W., & Abutalebi, J. (2018). Neural basis of bilingual language control. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

  • Del Maschio, N., Sulpizio, S., Fedeli, D., Ramanujan, K., Ding, G., Weekes, B.S., Cachia, A., Abutalebi, J. (in press). ACC Sulcal Patterns and their Modulation on Cognitive Control Efficiency with Age: a Neuroanatomical Study on Bilinguals and Monolinguals, Cerebral Cortex

  • Sulpizio, S., & Abutalebi, J. (in press). If experience is not enough: Understanding multilingualism through early neurobiological variability. Journal of Neurolinguistics

  • Del Maschio, N., Sulpizio, S. Gallo, F., Weekes, B.S., Abutalebi, J. (2018). Neuroplasticity across the Lifespan and Aging Effect in Bilinguals and Monolinguals, Brain and Cognition 125, 118-126.

  • Del Maschio, N. & Abutalebi, J. (2018). Neurobiology of bilingualism. In: Miller, F. Bayram, J. Rothman & L. Serratrice (Eds.). Bilingual Cognition and Language. The state of the science across its subfields (pp. 325-346), SiBil (54) – Studies in Bilingualism, John Benjamins.

  • Borsa, V. M., Perani, D., Della Rosa, P. A., Videsott, G., Guidi, L., Weekes, B. S., & Abutalebi, J. (2018). Bilingualism and Healthy Aging: Aging Effects and Neural Maintenance. Neuropsychologia, ​111, 51-61.



  • Cachia, A., Del Maschio, N., Borst, G., Della Rosa, P. A., Pallier, C., Costa, A., & Abutalebi, J. (2017). Anterior cingulate cortex sulcation and its differential effects on conflict monitoring in bilinguals and monolinguals. Brain and Language, 175, 57-63.


  • Perani, D., Farsad, M., Ballarini, T., Lubian, F., Malpetti, M., Fracchetti, A., Magnani, G., March, A., Abutalebi, J. (2017). The impact of bilingualism on brain reserve and metabolic connectivity in Alzheimer’s dementia. PNAS, 114, no. 7, 1690-1695.

  • Malpetti, M., Ballarini, T., Presotto, L., Garibotto, V., Tettamanti, M., & Perani, D. (2017). Gender differences in healthy aging and Alzheimer’s Dementia: A 18f‐fdg‐pet study of brain and cognitive reserve. Human Brain Mapping, 38(8), 4212-4227.


  • Consonni, M., Rossi, S., Cerami, C., Marcone, A., Iannaccone, S., Cappa, S., Perani, D. (2017). Executive dysfunction affects word list recall performance: Evidence from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases. Journal of Neuropsychology, 11 (1), 74-90.​

  • Tettamanti, M., Conca, F., Falini, A., & Perani, D. (2017). Unaware processing of tools in the neural system for object-directed action representation. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(44), 10712-10724.

  • Li, L., Abutalebi, J., Emmorey, K., Gong, G., Yan, X., Feng, X., & Ding, G. (2017). How bilingualism protects the brain from aging: Insights from bimodal bilinguals. Human Brain Mapping, 38(8), 4109-4124.

  • Tettamanti, M., Vaghi, M. M., Bara, B. G., Cappa, S. F., Enrici, I., & Adenzato, M. (2017). Effective connectivity gateways to the Theory of Mind network in processing communicative intention. Neuroimage, 155, 169–176.


  • Ong, G., Sewell, D.K., Weekes, B., McKague, M., & Abutalebi, J. (2017). A diffusion model approach to analysing the bilingual advantage for the Flanker task: The role of attentional control processes. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 43, 28-38.

  • Liu, F., Sulpizio, S., Kornpetpanee, S., & Job, R. (2017). It takes biking to learn: Physical activity improves learning a second language. PloS One, 12(5), e0177624.


  • Sulpizio, S., & Colombo, L. (2017). Early markers of lexical stress in visual word recognition. Memory & Cognition, 45(8), 1398-1410.


  • Fasoli, F., Maass, A., Paladino, M. P., Sulpizio, S. (2017). Gay- and lesbian sounding auditory cues elicit stereotyping and discrimination. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46 (5), 1261-1277.

  • Calcagni, A., Lombardi, L., & Sulpizio, S. (2017). Analysing spatial data from mouse tracker methodology: An entropic approach. Behavior Research Methods, 49 (6), 2012-2030.


  • Amenta, S., Marelli, M., & Sulpizio, S. (2017). From sound to meaning: Phonology-to-Semantics mapping in visual word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(3), 887-893.



  • Ghio, M., Vaghi, M.M.S., Perani, D., Tettamanti, M. (2016). Decoding the neural representation of fine-grained conceptual categories. NeuroImage, 132, 93-103.


  • Ghio, M., & Tettamanti, M. (2016). Grounding Sentence Processing in the Sensory-Motor System. In G. Hickok & S. L. Small (Eds.),Neurobiology of Language (1 edition, pp. 647–657). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Academic Press.


  • Canini, M., Della Rosa, P.A., Catricalà, E., Strijkers, K., Branzi, F.M., Costa, A., & Abutalebi, J. (2016). Semantic interference and its control: a functional neuroimaging and connectivity study. Human Brain Mapping, 37, 4179–4196.
  • Abutalebi, J. & Green, D.W. (2016). Neuroimaging of language control in bilinguals: neural adaptation and reserve. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19, 689-698.
  • Bialystok, E., Abutalebi, J., Bak, T.H., Burke, D.M., & Kroll, J.F. (2016). Aging in Two Languages: Implications for Public Health. Aging Research Reviews, 27, 56-60.
  • Green, D.W. & Abutalebi, J. (2016). Language control and the neuroanatomy of bilingualism: in praise of variety. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31, 340-344.
  • Branzi, F.M., Della Rosa, P.A., Canini, M., Costa A., & Abutalebi, J. (2016). Language control in bilinguals: monitoring and response selection. Cerebral Cortex, 26 (6), 2367-2380.


  • Sulpizio, S., Vespignani, F., & Job, R. (2016). On the time course of lexical stress priming in speech production: Behavioral and ERPs evidence from a free-stress language. Brain Research, 1648, 202-213.
  • Fasoli, F., Mazzurega, M., & Sulpizio, S. (2016). When characters impact on dubbing: the role of sexual stereotypes on voice actor/actress’ preferences. Media Psychology.