Zani Alberto Professore OrdinarioPsychologyM-PSI/01




Cognitive Psychophysiologist and Neuroscientist specialized in brain and mind interactions.


Professor Zani currently holds the position of Professor of General and Experimental Psychology at the School of Psychology of Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. For some 25 years Professor Zani has held positions as a senior researcher in several institutes of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR – National Research Council of Italy), including: the Institute of Psychology (CNR-IP), where he was Head of Cognitive Electrophysiology Lab; the Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology (CNR-IBFM), where he was a member of the steering scientific board (“Consiglio Scientifico”) and Head of the Electro-Functional Brain Imaging unit (EFBIu) engaged in investigating of the relationships between mind and brain from a cognitive neuroscience perspective; and, last but not the least, the Institute for the History of Philosophical and Scientific Thought in Modern Age (ISPF). Although Professor Zani has mainly dealt with experimental research during his career, he has at the same time given almost continuously over the years frontal lectures of academic courses ranging from Anatomical and Physiological Foundations of Psychic Activity, Physiological Psychology, and Neuroanatomy to Cognitive Psychology, Psychology, General Psychology and Sport Psychology.

Most recently he has been nominated an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Applied Social Neuroscience (CASN) founded in 2015 at Yoshida-gun, Fukui 910-1223, Japan.

Since 2012, Professor Zani has continuously served as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and concurrently serves as a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals such as, Frontiers in Psychology: Emotion Science Section, CPQ Neurology and Psychology, Psychology and PsychiatryPsychology and Behavioral Science International JournalBrain Sciences, etc. Among the six published books Professor Zani has authored, he has co-authored three monographs with Prof. Alice M. Proverbio (Milan Center for Neuroscience, University of Milan-Bicocca), including The Cognitive Electrophysiology of Mind and Brain (Academic Press; Foreword by Prof. Michael Posner)Cognitive Psychophysiology. The Neuro-Functional Substrates of Human Mind (Foreword by Prof. Michael Gazzaniga), and Instrumental Research Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: EEG and ERP (the latter two published in Italian). From this cooperation also derived the scientific editing of the Italian translation of "Cognitive Neuroscience. The Biology of the Mind" by Gazzaniga, Ivry, and Mangun, carried out for the Italian Zanichelli publishing house. In 2020 he has been Editor of ERP and EEG Markers of Brain Visual Attentional Processing monograph for the Swiss MDPI Books publishing house ( As a whole, Professor Zani has authored some 258 research articles and contributions to monographs and Congress Proceedings in the areas of performance-related human information processing, visual attention, object perception and categorization, language, and sociorelational neurocognition. His research articles are included in such respected peer-reviewed International journals as Trends in Cognitive SciencesScientific Reports NatureJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience, PLOS One, Neuropsychologia, etc. Having a wide-focus interest in mind and brain functions, Professor Zani investigates the localization of dynamic activations of neural networks subserving such cognitive domains as vision, visual perception, attention, emotions, and polyglotism. More in general, he deals with the theoretical analysis of the social, developmental and educational concepts and principles of cognitive neurosciences as well as with their neurofunctional mechanisms. Whenever interested, for thorough info about Professor Zani’s past and present activities see:




Recent Representative Publications

Spatial attention modulates earliest visual stimulus processing: An electrical neuroimaging study.

Zani A. and Proverbio A.M.

Heliyon (A Cell Press Journal, Elsevier), 6, e05570, 2020, Nov 23, 2020. 16 pp.


How voluntary orienting of attention and alerting modulate costs of conflict processing.

Zani A. and Proverbio A.M.

Scientific Reports Nature, 7, 46701, 2017. doi: 10.1038/srep46701 (2017).


The effect of background music on episodic memory and autonomic responses: listening to emotionally touching music enhances facial memory capacity.

Proverbio A.M.,  Lozano Nasi V., Arcari L.A., De Benedetto F., Guardamagna M., Gazzola M. & Zani A.

Scientific Reports Nature, 5, 2015, Article number: 15219; [Scientific Reports | doi: 10.1038/srep15219] 


Comprehending body language and mimics: an ERP and neuroimaging study on Italian actors and viewers.

Proverbio A.M., Calbi M., Manfredi M. & Zani A.

PLoS ONE (2014) 9(3): e91294. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091294.

Who needs a referee? How incorrect basketball actions are automatically detected by basketball players’ brain.

Proverbio A.M, Crotti N., Manfredi M., Adorni R. & Zani A.

Scientific Reports Nature, 2, 2012, 883; DOI:10.1038/srep00883.

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