Who I am

Who I am

My main passion is scientific research.
I have written a book about why we see the world the way we do (“Il colore della luna. Come vediamo e perché”; Laterza, 2007). It contains nearly 100 figures; each figure has a caption that presents some unexpected piece of information. The book has been translated into other languages and has won the 2008 Giovanni Maria Pace Prize for the best Italian book of scientific popularization.

I have also illustrated several children’s books. Some of my other interests: reading (fiction and nonfiction), computers and new technologies, mathematical games, illustration, architecture and design, photography, cinema, plants and gardens, new ideas, and anything that still has no explanation.

Academic experience

  • Laurea, University of Padua (Experimental Psychology, summa cum laude)
  • Research Scientist (Department of General Psychology, University of Padua)
  • Visiting scientist (Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
  • Research Fellow (Center for Adaptive Systems, Boston University, Boston, USA)
  • Research Associate (Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA)
  • Visiting scientist (Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK)
  • Visiting scientist (Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Reading, UK)


  • “Exceptional reviewer” (Journal of Vision)
  • Team Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study & Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy (with E. Mingolla, Boston University; L. Spillmann, University of Freiburg; T. Watanabe, University of Tokio)

Professional services

  • Member of the Board of Editors, The Open Psychology Journal
  • Guest editor, Perception
  • Judge, Best Illusion of the Year Contest (First Edition, 2005)

Ad hoc reviewer for

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Psychological Review, Psychological Science, PLoS ONE, Cortex, Perception, Perception & Psychophysics, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Evolution & Human Behavior, Psychological Research, Animal Cognition, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Applied Cognitive Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Social Behavior and Personality, Psychiatry Research, Human Nature, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of the Optical Society of America, Acta Psychologica, Cognition, Vision Research, Journal of Vision

Scientific publications

I have published over 60 scientific papers in refereed international journals, two books on visual perception (also used as textbooks in several Italian universities), and a few chapters in national and international volumes.

Media coverage

My work has been covered by scientific magazines, newspapers and news agencies, among which:

Nature; Scientific American; Reuters Health; New York Magazine; Psychology Today; BBC Future; Bild der Wissenschaft, Der Spiegel, Der Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit (Germany); SonntagsZeitung (Switzerland); National Geographic (Hungary); Het Parool (Holland); Newton (Japan); The Tribune (India); Klik Magazin (Croatia); Krstarica Magazin (Serbia); La Repubblica, L’Espresso, Il Messaggero, Il Nuovo, Il Gazzettino, La Stampa; Focus; Newton Italia; Mente e Cervello (Italy).

My work “The best men are (not always) already taken: Female preference for single versus attached males depends on conception risk” has been covered in the 2012 scientific documentary From Kiss to Kiss, The Biochemistry of Love, Mona Lisa Production (France).


My work has been cited 2102 times (Google Scholar, May 2019).


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