Buccino Giovanni Professore OrdinarioMedicine







1999: He obtained a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Parma, with a thesis entitled ”A fronto-parietal circuit for manipulation in humans: evidence from an fMRI study.”

1997 - 2000: Researcher at the Department of Neurology, University of Duesseldorf and the Forschungszentrum Juelich.

1993:  He took a degree as a Specialist in Neurology at the University of Parma, with a thesis entitled “Effects of noise on sleep: macro- and micro structural features”.

1989: He graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Parma, with a thesis entitled “Modulation of intercritical discharges during sleep”.




       English and German: Level C2 according to the Common European Framework

       of Reference for languages (CEFR). French: Level B1 according to CEFR.


Academic positions:

Present position: Full Professor of Human Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University San Raffaele and Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan.

2011 –2018: Full Professor and Head of Chair for Human Physiology at the University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences.

2008 - 2011: He was Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro.

2001 - 2008: He was Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma.


He is author or co-author of more than 80 papers, all published in peer-reviewed journals, and 30 book chapters.


As a whole, his papers have got more than 20,000 citations in the international literature (source: Google Scholar), with an H Index of 45. Top Italian Scientist according to the Via Academy.


His main research interests concern the organization of the motor system in humans and the relationships between the motor system and higher cognitive functions like language, empathy and motor learning. Over the last decade he focused on the neural mechanisms of language processing. He is also involved in neurorehabilitation, exploiting neurophysiological mechanisms. He developed a novel approach known as Action Observation Treatment, which has been shown to be effective in several neurological diseases.

Awards and Honours

Giovanni Buccino was main investigator in a number of National and International projects, among which the project “Adaptability of the polymodal movement perception/movement recognition system in human and non human primates: a complementary approach”, supported by Volkswagenstiftung,   ROSSI project, supported by the European Community and Eranet Cogstroke project.

Von Karman Fellowship 2016, University of Aachen.

Selected Publications

  1. BINKOFSKI F, BUCCINO G, DOHLE C, SEITZ RJ, FREUND HJ (1999) Mirror agnosia and mirror ataxia constitute different parietal lobe disorders. ANN NEUROL 46(1):51-61. doi: 10.1002/1531-8249(199907)46:1
  1. BUCCINO G, BINKOFSKI F, FINK GR, FADIGA L, FOGASSI L, GALLESE V, SEITZ RJ, ZILLES K, RIZZOLATTI G, FREUND HJ. (2001). Action observation activates premotor and parietal areas in a somatotopic manner: an fMRI study. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 13, p. 400-404, ISSN: 0953-816X
  1. FADIGA L, CRAIGHERO L, BUCCINO G, RIZZOLATTI G. (2002). Speech listening specifically modulates the excitability of tongue muscles: a TMS study. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 15, p. 1-5, ISSN: 0953-816X
  1. STOECKEL C, WEDER B, BINKOFSKI F, BUCCINO G, SHAH JN, SEITZ RJ. (2003). A fronto-parietal circuit for tactile object discrimination: an event-related fMRI study. NEUROIMAGE, vol. 19, p. 1103-1114, ISSN: 1053-8119
  1. BUCCINO G, VOGT S, RITZL A, FINK GR, ZILLES K, FREUND HJ, RIZZOLATTI G. (2004). Neural circuits underlying imitation learning of hand actions: an event related fMRI study. NEURON, vol. 42, p. 323-334, ISSN: 0896-6273
  1. TETTAMANTI M, BUCCINO G, SACCUMAN MC, GALLESE V, D’ANNA M, SCIFO P, FAZIO F, RIZZOLATTI G, CAPPA S, PERANI D (2005). Listening to action-related sentences activates fronto-parietal motor circuits. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 17, p. 273-281, ISSN: 0898-929X
  1. BUCCINO G, RIGGIO L, MELLI G, BINKOFSKI F, GALLESE V, RIZZOLATTI G. (2005). Listening to action-related sentences modulates the activity of the motor system: a combined TMS and behavioral study. COGNITIVE BRAIN RESEARCH, vol. 24, p. 355-363, ISSN: 0926-6410
  1. IACOBONI M, MOLNAR-SZAKACS I, GALLESE V, BUCCINO G, MAZZIOTTA JC, RIZZOLATTI G (2005). Grasping the intentions of others with one's own mirror neuron system. PLOS BIOLOGY, vol. 3, p. 79-85, ISSN: 1544-9173
  1. BUCCINO G, SOLODKIN A, SMALL S (2006). Functions of the mirror neuron system: implications for neurorehabilitation. COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL NEUROLOGY, vol. 19, p. 55-63, ISSN: 1543-3633
  1. BUCCINO G, BAUMGAERTNER A, COLLE L, BUECHEL C, RIZZOLATTI G, BINKOFSKI F (2007). The neural basis for understanding non- intended actions. NEUROIMAGE, vol. 36, p. 119-127, ISSN: 1053-8119
  1. CANESSA N, BORGO F, CAPPA SF, PERANI D, FALINI A, BUCCINO G, TETTAMANTI M, SHALLICE T (2008). The different neural correlates of action and functional knowledge in semantic memory: an fMRI study. CEREBRAL CORTEX, vol. 18, p. 740-751, ISSN: 1047-3211
  1. GLENBERG A, SATO M, CATTANEO L, RIGGIO L, PALUMBO D, BUCCINO G (2008). Processing Abstract Language Modulates Motor System Activity. THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 61, p. 905-919, ISSN: 1747-0218
  1. BUCCINO G, SATO M, CATTANEO L, RODA' F, RIGGIO L (2009). Broken affordances, broken objects: a TMS study. NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA, vol. 47, p. 3074-3078, ISSN: 0028-3932
  1. BELLELLI G, BUCCINO G, BERNARDINI B, PADOVANI A, TRABUCCHI M (2010). Action observation treatment improves recovery of postsurgical orthopedic patients: evidence for a top-down effect? ARCHIVES OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, vol. 91, p. 1489-1494, ISSN: 0003-9993
  1. SCOROLLI C, BINKOFSKI F, BUCCINO G, NICOLETTI R, RIGGIO L, BORGHI AM (2011). Abstract and concrete sentences, embodiment and languages. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 2, 227, ISSN: 1664-1078, doi: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00227
  1. BUCCINO G, ARISI D, GOUGH PM, APRILE D, FERRI C, SEROTTI L, TIBERTI A, FAZZI E (2012). Improving upper limb motor functions through action observation treatment a pilot study in children with cerebral palsy.. DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE AND CHILD NEUROLOGY, vol. 54, p. 822-828, ISSN: 0012-1622
  1. GOUGH PM, RIGGIO L, CHERSI F, SATO M, FOGASSI L, BUCCINO G (2012). Nouns referring to tools and natural objects differentially modulates the motor system. NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA, vol. 50, p. 19-25, ISSN: 0028-3932
  1. SMALL SL, BUCCINO G, SOLODKIN A (2013). Brain repair after stroke- a novel neurological model. NATURE REVIEWS NEUROLOGY, vol. 9, p. 698-707, ISSN: 1759-4758
  1. MARINO BF, SIRIANNI M, VOLTA RD, MAGLIOCCO F, SILIPO F, QUATTRONE A, BUCCINO G (2014). Viewing photos and reading nouns of natural graspable objects similarly modulate motor responses.. FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, ISSN: 1662-5161, doi: doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00968
  1. BUCCINO G (2014). Action observation treatment: a novel tool in neurorehabilitation. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, ISSN: 0962-8436, doi: doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0185.
  1. DALLA VOLTA R, FASANO F, CERASA A, MANGONE G, QUATTRONE A, BUCCINO G (2015). Walking indoors, walking outdoors: an fMRI study.. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, ISSN: 1664-1078, doi: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01502.
  1. KLEPP A, NICCOLAI V, BUCCINO G, SCHNITZLER A, BIERMANN-RUBEN K (2015). Language-motor interference reflected in MEG beta oscillations. NEUROIMAGE, ISSN: 1053-8119, doi: doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.077
  1. BUCCINO G, COLAGE’ I, GOBBI N, BONACCORSO G (2016). Grounding meaning in experience: A broad perspective on embodied language.. NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS, vol. 69, p. 69-78, ISSN: 0149-7634, doi: doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.07.033.
  1. RUMPF JJ, WEGSCHEIDER M, HINSELMANN K, FRICKE C, KING BR, WEISE D, KLANN J, BINKOFSKI F, BUCCINO G, KARNI A, DOYON J (2017). Enhancement of motor consolidation by post-training transcranial direct current stimulation in older people.. NEUROBIOLOGY OF AGING, vol. 49, p. 1-8, ISSN: 0197-4580, doi: doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.09.003. Epub 2016 Sep 13
  1. BUCCINO G, MARINO BF, BULGARELLI C, MEZZADRI M (2017). Fluent speakers of a second language process graspable nouns expressed in L2 like in their native language. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, ISSN: 1664-1078, doi: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01306. eCollection 2017.
  1. BUCCINO G, DALLA VOLTA R, ARABIA G, MORELLI M, CHIRIACO C, LUPO A, SILIPO F, QUATTRONE A (2018). Processing graspable object images and their nouns is impaired in Parkinson's disease patients. CORTEX, vol. 100, p. 32-39, ISSN: 0010-9452, doi: doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.03.009.
  1. BUCCINO G, MOLINARO A, AMBROSI C, ARISI D, MASCARO L, PINARDI C, ROSSI A, GASPAROTTI R, FAZZI E, GALLI J (2018) Action Observation Treatment Improves Upper Limb Motor Functions in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Combined Clinical and Brain Imaging Study. NEURAL PLAST. 4843985. doi: 10.1155/2018/4843985. eCollection 2018.
  1. HOROUFCHIN H, BZDOK D, BUCCINO G, BORGHI AM, BINKOFSKI F. (2018) Action and object words are differentially anchored in the sensory motor system - A perspective on cognitive embodiment. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. Apr 26;8(1):6583. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24475-z.
  1. BUCCINO G, COLAGE’ I, SILIPO F, D’AMBROSIO P (2019) The concreteness of abstract language: an ancient issue and a new perspective. BRAIN STRUCT FUNCT May;224(4):1385-1401.doi: 10.1007/s00429-019-01851-7. Epub 2019 Mar 4.
  1. MOLINARO A, MICHELETTI S, PAGANI F, GAROFALO G, GALLI J, ROSSI A, FAZZI E, BUCCINO G (2020). Action Observation Treatment in a tele-rehabilitation setting: a pilot study in children with cerebral palsy. DISABIL REHABIL Aug 17:1-6. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2020.1793009. 

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