Research

My work has a strong focus on Cognitive Enhancement, the use of any means (e.g., video game, brain stimulation, neurofeedback or food supplements) aimed at enhancing performance in healthy individuals.

A second focus is on neuromodulation, which underlies many aspects of the dynamics and adaptivity of human cognition. Combining a cognitive neuroscience perspective with a focus on individual differences (i.e., genetic profile), I study, by means of a wide range of computerized tasks, whether and how cognitive processes and their neurobiological mechanisms are affected and enhanced by these factors across the life span in healthy population.

Among other things, I demonstrated the validity of eye blink rate as an index of dopaminergic activity to predict cognitive performance in healthy participants, which has opened a new research line in the field of individual differences. In the last three years I focused my interest on the effect of nutritional interventions (tyrosine, tryptophan, choline, probiotics) on cognition. In particular, while the existing research on the role of amino acids in cognitive processes has been mainly effect-driven, and thus only show that amino acids can have an effect but without explaining how, my current theory-driven work elucidate the underlying mechanism and the interplay between amino acids, neurotransmitter supplies and cognitive functioning.