Principal Investigator  
Olivier Collignon: Olivier is a PI at CIMeC and head of the Crossmodal Perception and Plasticity Lab. He is the principal Investigator of the ERC project MADVIS. 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 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. She is currently a postdoc on the ERC MADVIS project. 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.
Valeria Occelli:  Valeria joined the lab in early 2016 on a Marie Curie Project. In May 2018 she became a postdoc in the ERC project MADVIS. The primary focus of her current work is to understand how oscillatory activity in occipital areas contributes to auditory processing in the blind. Valeria received her PhD at the University of Trento, where she studied multisensory integration processes in visually deprived people.

Roberto Bottini: Roberto received a degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Padua and a PhD in Anthropology and Epistemology of Complexity at the University of Bergamo. After that, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the New School for Social Research in New York, at the University of Milano-Bicocca and at CIMeC, University of Trento on the ERC MADVIS project. Currently, he is a Postdoc affiliated CIMeC and the School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste. His main interests are language processing and evolution, consciousness, abstract thinking and the cognitive neuroscience of blindness. View his personal website.

Virginie Crollen: Virginie received her PhD from the University Catholic of Louvain (Belgium) and joined the lab in 2016 on the ERC project MADVIS. She is now a Marie Curie fellow. 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.

  PhD graduates & candidates  
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. She received her PhD cum Laude in June 2018.
Stefania Ferraro: Stefania joined the lab in 2013. The focus of her research is using intracranial EEG recordings to investigate early multisensory intergration. She received her PhD in 2016.
Stefania Mattioni: Stefania 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. She received her PhD cum Laude in April 2018.
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. He is currently in Belgium at UCL finishing his PhD.



  • Giulia Dormal
  • Giulia Elli (MSc student). Now at Sissa-Trieste.
  • Simon Girard
  • Hicrert Atilgan
  • Erica Giorgione
  • Audrey Doualot (Université du Québec à Montréal-UQAM)
  • 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
  • Marco Barilari