The Centre for Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics (CNPL) ( was founded at the end of 2016 by Prof. Jubin Abutalebi – the Director of the Centre – 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, so that half of the world’s population is generally estimated to be bilingual or multilingual. 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 cognitive function in the elderly). The neurocognitive 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 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.

Research carried out at CNPL concerns:

  • Bilingualism
  • The role of bi-/multilingualism 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

Board of directors:

Prof. Alessandro Del Maschio

Prof. Laura Bellodi

Prof. Jubin Abutalebi

Prof. Daniela Perani

Prof. Andrea Falini



Dr. Davide Fedeli

Dr. Nicola Del Maschio

Prof. Daniela Perani

Dr. Simone Sulpizio

Dr. Marco Tettamanti


Studenti di Dottorato

Keerthi Ramanujan (visiting PhD student, University of Hong Kong)


Studenti di Laurea Magistrale

Carola Como

Giampaolo Del Mauro

Federico Gallo

Samantha Mombelli

Michelle Toti

Elisa Vassallo

Lorenzo Zannino


  • 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, VM, Perani, D, Della Rosa, PA, Videsott, G, Guidi, L, Weekes, BS., & Abutalebi, J (2018). Bilingualism and Healthy Aging: Aging Effects and Neural Maintenance. Neuropsychologia, 111, 51-61.
  • Dodich, A., Carli, G., Cerami, C., Iannaccone, S., Magnani, G., & Perani, D. (2018). Social and cognitive control skills in long-life occupation activities modulate the brain reserve in the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia. Cortex, 99, 311-318.



  • Cachia, A, Del Maschio, N, Borst, G, Della Rosa, PA, 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(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, MM, Bara, BG, Cappa, SF, 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 DK, 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.
  • Borsa VM, Della Rosa PA, Catricalà E, Canini M, Iadanza A, Falini A, Abutalebi J, & Iannaccone S. (2017). Interference and conflict monitoring in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment: A structural study of the anterior cingulate cortex. Journal of Neuropsychology.
  • Fasoli, F, Maass, A, Paladino, MP, 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.
  • Sulpizio, S, & Colombo, L. (2017). Early markers of lexical stress in visual word recognition. Memory & cognition, 45(8), 1398-1410.
  • 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.
  • 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 MMS, 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 (pp. 647–657). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Academic Press.
  • Canini M, Della Rosa PA, Catricalà E, Strijkers K, Branzi FM, 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, DW. (2016). Neuroimaging of language control in bilinguals: neural adaptation and reserve. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19, 689-698.
  • Bialystok E, Abutalebi J, Bak TH, Burke DM, & Kroll JF. (2016). Aging in Two Languages: Implications for Public Health. Aging Research Reviews, 27, 56-60.
  • Green DW & Abutalebi J. (2016). Language control and the neuroanatomy of bilingualism: in praise of variety. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31, 340-344.
  • Branzi FM, Della Rosa PA, 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. 20(3), 450-476.