Giacomo Rizzolatti

Giacomo Rizzolatti

Giacomo Rizzolatti, born 28 April 1937 in Ukraine, Professor of Human Physiology, University of Parma. Director of Parma Brain Center for Social and Motor Cognition, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member of Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Foreign member of the Académie Francaise des Sciences, Foreign Member National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Honors and Awards

  • 2011 Prince de Asturias Prize for Science and Technology, Spain
  • 2010 Prix Signoret, Neuropsychology,  Fondation IPSEN
  • 2009 Laurea Honoris Causa, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • 2007 Grawemeyer Prize for Psychology, University of Louiseville, USA 
  • 2006 Laurea Honoris Causa, University St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2000 Prize “Feltrinelli” for Medicine, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
  • 1999 Laurea Honoris Causa, University Claude Bernard  Lyon, France
  • 1989 Member of Academia Europaea

Current research interest

I have at present three main lines of research. The first, carried out with a new type of multielectrode linear probes, concerns the laminar organization of the premotor cortex of the monkey and the characterization of the types of neurons that this area houses. The second line, run with Prof Guy Orban and the surgeons of the Epilepsy Center of the Niguarda Hospital in Milan, aims to study the organization of the premotor and parietal cortex in humans, and to describe the functional properties of human mirror neurons. This study is carried out using a new type of depth electrodes that allow the intracranial recording of single neurons from the parietal and frontal lobe. The third line of research concerns the study of action perception in typically developing children and children with autism. Behavioral tests and multichannel high density EEG are the techniques employed.