Principal Investigator  
Olivier Collignon: Olivier is a PI at CIMeC and head of the Crossmodal Perception and Plasticity Lab. In his research, he tries to understand how the different senses interact to create perception/cognition and how sensory deprivation impacts the mind/brain architecture.
Lab manager  
Kaela Venuto: joined the Lab in 2015. With a background in international development work (Italian Foreign Office and the U.N. in Bosnia and not-for-profit organisations in Italy, the UK and Kosovo), and languages (bilingual Italian-English, fluent German and French and good Serbo-Croatian), she enjoys working in CIMeC’s international environment, especially on foreign grants. Besides managing MADVIS, she currently also administers CoPeST (PI: David Melcher) and Transfer Learning Within and Between Brains (PI: Giorgio Coricelli).

Download her CV. Email: kaela.venuto [at]

Stefania Benetti: Stefania received her PhD in Psychological Medicine from King's College London in 2013 and she joined the lab as a post-doctoral fellow the same year. Her research interests are broad and include: how language experience and sensory deprivation shapes the developing and adult brain, the neurobiological basis of cross-modal plasticity in deaf individuals and neurobiological predictors of speech-perception skills in cochlear implant recipients, the neurobiology of auditory verbal hallucinations and multisensory integration in psychosis.
Roberto Bottini: Roberto joined the lab in 2015. His research interests includes semantics, consciousness and abstract thinking. He's currently investigating how lack of vision modify the organisation of abstract cognition and the euro-cognitive basis of language and semantic processing.
Markus van Ackeren: Markus joined the lab in 2014. The primary focus of his current work is to understand how neurophysiological dynamics in occipital areas contribute to auditory and speech processing in the blind. Markus has done his PhD at the University of York, where he studied how oscillatory dynamics shape local and distributed network dynamics during lexical-semantic retrieval and integration.
Virginie Crollen: Virginie has done her PhD at the University Catholic of Louvain (Belgium) and joined the lab in 2016. Having worked mostly on numerical cognition, the focus of her current research is to  examine whether vision is crucial in the emergence of numerical representations and skills.  

Graduate (PhD) Students  
Ceren Battal: Ceren joined the lab in 2014. Her interests are brain plasticity and cross-modal recruitment of visual system in early and late blind individuals.
Stefania Ferraro: Stefania joined the lab in 2013. The focus of her research is using intracranial EEG recordings to investigate early multisensory intergration.
Stefania Mattioni: Stefania is doing her PhD, she joined the lab in November 2013. Her research project is about the functional reorganization of the ventral visual pathway in blind people and about the cross-modal nature of these areas.
Mohamed Tawfik: Mohamed joined the lab in 2013. He is interested in cross-modal plasticity in the blind population and the accompanying functional changes occurring as a result of visual deprivation. He is also interested in investigating multi-sensory integration of inputs from different modalities in the sighted individuals.

Masters students  

  • Audrey Doualot (Université du Québec à Montréal-UQAM)

University of Montreal (in collaboration with M. Lassonde and F. Lepore)



  • Virginie Crollen

Graduate Students

  • Genevieve Charbonneau
  • Maxime Pelland


  • Giulia Dormal
  • Giulia Elli (MSc student). Now in Sissa-Trieste.
  • Simon Girard
  • Hicrert Atilgan
  • Erica Giorgione
  • Ambra Ferrari. Now a PhD student in Brimingham (UK) with Prof Utahnoppeney
  • Joshua Zonca. Now a PhD student at CIMeC with Prof. Coricelli
  • Giuseppe Rabini. Now a PhD stuent at CIMeC with Prof. Pavani
  • Barbara Khalibinzwa
  • Francesca Barbero, Now PhD student at UcL, Belgium.
  • Francesca Baruffaldi. Now working at the Association for the Deaf in Trento