Sara Garofalo
PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience, JOINT International Cognitive Neuroscience PhD Program
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Sara Garofalo has been a PhD student at the Centre for studies and research in Cognitive Neuroscience of the University of Bologna. Her first research experiences were in the Social Cognitive Neuroscience field. During master thesis and research training she investigated the neural bases of Theory of Mind and the influence of emotion on cognitive processes, with particular attention to its psychophysiological modulations. Currently, her main interest is focused on neural and behavioral correlates of reinforcement learning, especially with respect to prefrontal cortex role. In her first publication, she investigated how mediofrontal ERP signals of prediction error can be modulated by the omission of a predicted feedback, during aversive Pavlovian conditioning. Following this result, she is currently testing a new hypothesis about timing prediction error, using a similar paradigm. She is also interested in interactions between Pavlovian and Instrumental learning processes and in cue-triggered behavior in human primates. On this topic, she conducted a first study about human Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer (paper in preparation), using an appetitive reinforcement learning paradigm. Currently she is running new experiments in both healthy humans (with prefrontal cortex stimulation) and patients with mPFC lesions, in order to investigate prefrontal cortex role in this process.

Her updated profile can be found on Researchgate or Academia.


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