Valerio Villani


Personal profile

Educational background

I completed both my BSc and MSc at the University of Padua, where I specialised in Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology under the supervision of Prof. Antonino Vallesi and Prof. Ettore Ambrosini.

I continued my training between Brescia and Rome, where I gained experience in non-invasive brain stimulation and physiological/pathological ageing. Accordingly, I joined Prof. Carlo Miniussi's laboratory at the IRCCS "The Saint John of God Clinical Research Centre" and attended a postgraduate course in Psychogeriatrics at "La Sapienza" University of Rome.

At the end of 2017 I joined the Lab of Action and Body headed by Prof. Manos Tsakiris. Here, I have been investigating interoception with behavioural, physiological (ECG, BP, and Pupillometry), and non-invasive stimulation (auricular vagus nerve stimulation) techniques. 

Research interests

My current research interest lies in the field of interoception and embodied cognition. In particular, I am interested in understanding how interoception impacts on the expression of implicit race bias. To this aim, I use a combination of functional imaging and computational tools in my PhD project.

I am also interested in executive functioning and aging, as well as the use of different methods to explore cognition (e.g., TMS -EEG coregistration).


I teach statistics workshops at RHUL, as part of the course in Psychological Research Methods and Analysis (PS2010).

Education/Academic qualification

Psychogeriatrics, Postgraduate course, University of Rome La Sapienza

Feb 2017Mar 2018

Cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology, Master of Science, Department of Neuroscience, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Dec 2012Apr 2016

Psychology of personality and interpersonal relationships, Bachelor of Science, University of Padua

Oct 2009Dec 2012


  • Affective neuroscience
  • Interoception
  • fMRI
  • EEG
  • Social cognition
  • Social categorisation
  • Prejudice
  • Racism
  • Experimental psychology
  • Implicit behavioural measures
  • Computational modelling
  • Physiology
  • ECG
  • Skin conductance
  • Blood pressure
  • Programming
  • R
  • Matlab
  • Python

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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