Exhibitors 2020

Brain white matter and behaviour

Brain white matter and behaviour

The project studies the anatomical imitation, and the related mental rotation competence, in three groups of people: control subjects, with intact interhemispheric connections; split-brain patients, completely or partially lacking connections; psychotic patients, with impaired connections. Both anatomical imitation and mental rotation competences require the presence of interhemispheric communication, which mainly occurs through the corpus callosum, the largest white matter structure in the human brain.


Università Politecnica delle Marche

Affiliation Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy
Work Address via Tronto 10/A, 60020, Ancona, Italy
Telephones Office +39 (0) 71 2206193 Mobile +39 3403448424
Fax +39 (0) 71 2206052
E-mail m.fabri@univpm.it
Citizenship Italian
Date of birth 19/12/1957
Gender Female

Professional experience:

August 2019 - Positive evaluation by Athen
July 2017 - Scientific National Abilitation to Full Professor, SSD BIO/09, Physiology.
March 2011 - Associate Professor, SSD BIO/09, Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Marche Polytechnic.

Present Position:
Associate Professor, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Physiology SSD BIO/09

Principal activity and responsibilities:
2018-present: Board Member of PhD Program in Human Health
2015: confirmed delegate of Associate Professors in the Academic Senate
2012: elected delegate of Associate Professors in the Academic Senate
2010: Brain Research Best Cover Award
2006 - 2012 Board Member of PhD Program in Neuroscience.
2004: Best Faculty Researcher Award, UNIVPM.
1998 – 2012: Equal Opportunity Committee, Marche Polytechnic University.

Scientific Activity:
Author of 217 contributions, 94 of them on international journals.

  1. Anatomical and physiological organization of associative and callosal connections between areas SI and SII, studied by neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and functional techniques.

    1. Identification of projecting neurons neurotransmitters of Mammals cerebral cortex, by neuroanatomical and immunohistochemical doulble labeling technique.

    2. Study of somatosensory areas of human cerebral cortex by fMRI.

    3. Study of human corpus callosum topography with imaging techniques.

    4. Cortical representation of gustatory sensitivity in man studied by fMRI.

    5. Study of imitative behaviour in man, with neuropsychological and imaging techniques.

Scientific Societies:
Italian Society of Physiology (SIF)
Italian Society of Neuroscience (SINS)
Italian Society of PsychoPhysiology (SIPF)
European Society for Neurosciences (ESN)
Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
International Brain Research Organization (IBRO).

International Collaborations:
Michael Corballis, Department of Psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand,
Markus Hausmann, University of Durham, England,
Paul Corballis, Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA.
Yair Pinto, Cognitive Neuroscience Group, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

Editorial Activity:
Referee for Acta Psychologica, Applied Acoustic, Brain Research, Brain Structure and Functions, Cognitive Neurodynamics, Cortex, Frontiers, Int J Biomed Imaging, JoVE, Neuroimage, Neurosci Lett, Neuroscience, PLos ONE, Psychological Research, Somatosensory and Motor Research, Symmetry

Other Activities:
Coordinator of Regione Marche for the organization of the National Brain Bee Competition (http://events.unitn.it/olimpiadi-neuroscienze) since the first edition (March 2010).
2020-26 May - President of Final Degree Committee for PhD, University of Verona

Other invited activities:
2008 - Meeting "From mind to brain", Auckland, New Zealand, Aug 15-16, in honour of Prof. M. Corballis retirement
2013- 33rd European Winter Conference on Brain Research at Brides les Bains, March 16 to 23.
2017- "Educational course on white matter fMRI activation", World Meeting of Human Brain Mapping Organization, Vancouver, Canada, 25 -29 june 2017 (not occurred)
2017-2018 - Invited Teacher for Continuing Education Course in Neuroscience, High School “Liceo Rinaldini”, Ancona.
2019- Symmetry: Guest editor for a special issue
2019- Lesson for Summer School, Pisa June 2020 (redrawn because of Covid2)
2020- Workshop withe matter activation, June 25, 2020, Toronto, Canada (redrawn because of Covid2)

Teaching Activity:
Higher education, Academic:
Physiolgy, First Cycle Degree in Imaging and Radiotherapy Techniques..
Physiology of motor systems, First Cycle Degree in Physiotherapy
Neurophysiology, First Cycle Degree in Speech Therapy.
Physiology of Nutrition, First Cycle Degree in Dietistic.
Human Physiology, Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering.
Neurophysiology, Post-graduate Schools in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Neurophysiology, Post-Graduate School in Neurosurgery.

2001 – 2006: component of the unit directed by Prof. T. Manzoni, local coordinator, and by G. Berlucchi, national coordinator, receiving MIUR grants (PRIN) up to € 115.981.
2001-2019: grants UNIVPM (RSA) up to € 65.230.
2010: MIUR PRIN.2007, local coordinator (since november, after retirement of Prof. T. Manzoni)
2011-2013: MIUR PRIN.2009, national coordinator (€ 38.000)
2017-2019: grant UNIVPM PSA 2016 (€ 43.000)

2011 - Second level Master in “Teledidattica applicata alle Scienze della Salute e TC in
Medicina”, UNIVPM
1989 – 1991 - Visiting researcher (fellowship CNR-NATO), Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University Medical School a St. Louis (USA).
1988 – 2011 - Assistant professor (SSD BIO/09), Department of Neuroscience, Section of Physiology, Marche Polytechnical Unversity.
1983 - PhD Student of PhD Program in Neurological and Neurosensorial Sciences, Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ancona.
1981 - Degree in Biological Sciences , University of Pisa, 110/110 cum laude.
1976 - Degree in Classical High School, School "G. Galilei" of Pisa.

Native language: Italian
Excellent English and Good French

Most relevant recent publications:
Bibliometric Indices: Number of citations 2742, h-index=25 (Web of Science); number of citations 1849, h-index=27 (Scopus); number of citations 2598, h-index=29 (Google Scholar).
Full lenght papers:

  1. Pizzini F.B., Polonara G., Mascioli G., Beltramello A., Moroni R., Paggi A., Salvolini U., Tassinari G., Fabri M. Diffusion tensor tracking of callosal fibers several years alter callosotomy. Brain Res., 1312, 10-17, 2010.

  2. Corballis M.C., Birse K., Paggi A., Manzoni T., Pierpaoli C., Fabri M. Mirror-image discrimination and reversal in the disonnected hemispheres. Neuropsycología, 48, 1664-1669, 2010.

  3. Miller M.B., Sinnott-Armstrong W., Young L., King D., Paggi A., Fabri M., Polonara G., Gazzaniga M.S. Abnormal moral reasoning in complete and partial callosotomy patients. Neuropsycologia, 48, 2215-2220, 2010.

  4. Salvolini U., Polonara G., Mascioli G., Fabri M., Manzoni T. Organisation topographique du corps calleux chez l'homme. Etude cartographique en imagerie par résonance magnétique fonctionnelle (IRMf). Bull. Acad. Natle Méd., 194, 17-31, 2010.

  5. Fabri M., Polonara G., Mascioli G., Salvolini U., Manzoni T. Topographical organization of human corpus callosum: an fMRI mapping study. Brain Res., 1370, 99-111, 2011.

  6. Polonara G., Salvolini S., Fabri M., Mascioli G., Cavola G.L., Neri P., Mariotti C., Giovannini A., Salvolini U. Unilateral visual loss due to ischaemic injury in the right calcarine region: a functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tension imaging follow-up study. Int. Ophthalmol., 31, 129-134, 2011.

  7. Barbaresi P., Quaranta A., Amoroso S., Mensà E., Fabri M. Immunocytochemical localization of calretinin-containing neurons in the rat periaqueductal gray and co-localization with enzymes producing nitric oxide (NO): a double, double-labeling study. Synapse, 66, 291-307, 2012.

  8. Mascioli G., Salvolini S., Cavola G.L., Fabri M., Giovannini A., Mariotti C., Salvolini L., Polonara G. Functional MRI examination of visual pathways in patients with unilateral optic neuritis. Radiol. Res. Pract., 2012: 265306, 2012. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

  9. Fabri M., Polonara G. Functional topography of the human corpus callosum: an fMRI mapping study. Neural Plast. 2013; doi: 10.1155/2013/251308. Epub 2013 Feb 14. articolo su invito per uno Special Issue sulle connessioni interemisferiche.

  10. Barbaresi P., Mensà E., Lariccia V., Pugnaloni A., Amoroso S., Fabri M. Differential distribution of parvalbumin- and calbindin-D28K-immunoreactive neurons in the rat periaqueductal gray matter and their colocalization with enzymes producing nitric oxide. Brain Res Bull., 99: 48-62, 2013.

  11. Barbaresi P., Fabri M., Mensà E. NO-producing neurons in the rat corpus callosum. Brain and Behav., 4; 317-336, 2014. doi: 10.1002/brb3.218.

  12. Polonara G., Mascioli G., N. Foschi, Salvolini U., Pierpaoli C., Manzoni T.§, Fabri M.*, Barbaresi P. Further evidence for the topography and connectivity of the corpus callosum: an fMRI study of patients with partial callosal resection. J.Neuroimaging, 2014. doi: 10.1111/jon.12136.

  13. Pierpaoli C., Ferrante L., Manzoni T., Fabri M. Anatomical or mirror mode imitation? A behavioral approach. Arch. Ital. Biol., 152: 20-31, 2014.

  14. Barbaresi P., Mensà E., Lariccia V., Desiato G., Fabri M., Gratteri S. Intracallosal neuronal nitric oxide synthase neurons colocalize with neurokinin 1 substance P receptor in the rat. J. Comp. Neurol., DOI 10.1002/cne.23695, 2015.

  15. Fabri M., Pierpaoli C., Barbaresi P., Polonara G. Functional topography of the corpus callosum investigated by DTI and fMRI. World J Radiol., 6: 895-906. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i12.895. Invited Review. 2014.

  16. Prete G., D'Ascenzo S., Laeng B., Fabri M., Foschi N., Tommasi L. Conscious and unconscious processing of facial expressions: Evidence from two split-brain patients. J Neuropsychol. 2015a Dec 11. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12034.

  17. Prete G, Fabri M, Foschi N, Brancucci A, Tommasi L. The "consonance effect" and the hemispheres: A study on a split-brain patient. Laterality. 2015b Sep 26:1-13.

  18. Prete G, Laeng B, Fabri M, Foschi N, Tommasi L. Right hemisphere or valence hypothesis, or both? The processing of hybrid faces in the intact and callosotomized brain. Neuropsychologia. 2015c 7. pii: S0028-3932(15)00003-2. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.01.002.

  19. Prete G, Marzoli D, Brancucci A, Fabri M, Foschi N, Tommasi L. The processing of chimeric and dichotic emotional stimuli by connected and disconnected cerebral hemispheres. Behav Brain Res. 2014 Sep 1;271: 354-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.06.034.

  20. Mascioli G., Berlucchi G., Pierpaoli C., Salvolini U., Barbaresi P., Fabri M., Polonara G. Functional MRI cortical activations from unilateral tactile-taste stimulations of the tongue. Physiol. Behav. 151: 221-229, 2015.

  21. Prete G., Fabri M., Foschi N, Tommasi L. Face gender categorization and hemispheric asymmetries: Contrasting evidence from connected and disconnected brains. Neuroscience 339: 210-218, 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.10.021.

  22. Prete G., Fabri M., Foschi N., Tommasi L. Geometry, landmarks and the cerebral hemispheres: 2D spatial reorientation in split-brain patients.
    J Neuropsychol. 2016 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12115, 2016.

  23. Pinto Y., Neville D.A., Otten M., Corballis P.M., Lamme V.A.F., de Haan E.H.F, Foschi N., Fabri M. Split brain, undivided consciousness. Brain, Jan 24. pii: aww358. doi: 10.1093/brain/aww358, 2017.

  24. Cangiotti A.M., Lorenzi T., Zingaretti M.C., Fabri M., Morroni M. Polarized Ends of Human Macula Densa Cells: Ultrastructural Investigation and Morphofunctional Correlations.
    Anat. Rec., 301: 922-931, 2018. doi: 10.1002/ar.23759. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

  25. Pierpaoli C., Foschi N., Cagnetti C., Ferrante L., Manzoni T.†, Polonara G., Fabri M. Imitation strategies in callosotomized patients. Arch. Ital. Biol., 156: 12-26, 2018. doi: 10.12871/00039829201812.

  26. Vignini A., Borroni F., Sabbatinelli J., Pugnaloni S., Alia S., Taus M., Ferrante L., Mazzanti L., Fabri M. General decrease of taste sensitivity is related to increase of BMI: A simple method to monitor eating behavior. Disease Markers,Volume 2019, Article ID 2978026, 8 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2978026

  27. Pugnaloni S., Vignini A., Borroni F., Sabbatinelli J., Alia S., Fabri M., Taus M., Mazzanti L., Berardi R. Modifications of taste sensitivity in cancer patients: a method for the evaluations of dysgeusia. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jun 15. doi: 10.1007/s00520-019-04930-x.

  28. Lorenzi T., Sagrati A., Montanari E., Tagliabracci A., Barbaresi P., Fabri M., Morroni M. Letter: The Indusium Griseum: Anatomic Study with Potential Application to Callosotomy. Neurosurgery. 2019 Jul 15. pii: nyz236. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyz236. [Epub ahead of print]

  29. Ceravolo MG, Fabri M, Fattobene L, Polonara G, Raggetti GM. Cash, Card or Smartphone: The Neural Correlates of Payment Methods. Front. Neurosci. 13:1188, 2019. doi:10.3389/fnins. 2019.01188. 2019

  30. De Haan EHF, Fabri M, Dijkerman HC, Foschi N, Lattanzi S,Pinto Y. Unified tactile detection and localisation in split-brain patients. Cortex, 124: 217-223, 2020.

  31. Pugnaloni S, Alia S, Mancini M, Santoro V, Di Paolo A, Rabini RA, Fiorini R, Sabbatinelli J, Fabri M, Mazzanti L, Vignini A. A Study on the Relationship between Type 2 Diabetes and Taste Function in Patients with Good Glycemic Control. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1112; doi:10.3390/nu12041112. 2020.

  32. Fabri M., Fortuna S. Maria Montessori and Neuroscience: the Trailblazing Insights of an Exceptional Mind. The Neuroscientist, 2020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/ 1073858420902677.

  33. Pierpaoli C., Polonara G., Salvolini U., Fabri M. Cortical activation during imitative behavior. J Syst Integr Neurosci, 7: 1-12, 2020.

  34. Prete G, Fabri M, Foschi N, Tommasi L. Voice gender categorization in the connected and disconnected hemispheres. Soc Neurosci, 2020. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/ 17470919.2020.1734654.

  35. Sansonetti R, Pierpaoli C, Ferrante L, Fabri F, Nardi B. Imitation strategies in subjects with schizophrenia: a behavioural approach. Arch. Ital. Biol., 158: 3-16, 2020. DOI 10.12871/00039829202011

  36. Pierpaoli C, Ferrante L, Foschi N, Lattanzi S, Sansonetti R, Polonara G, Mari M, Nardi B, Fabri M. Mental rotation ability: right or left hemisphere competence? What we can learn from callosotomized patients and psychotic patients. Symmetry, 12: 1137; 2020. doi:10.3390/sym12071137.

  37. Lorenzi T, Grciotti L. Sagrati A, Reguzzoni M, Protasoni M, Minardi D, Milanese G, Cremona O, Fabri M, Morone M. Normal human macula densa morphology and cell turnover: A histological, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemical investigation. Anat. Rec. 2020, 1-13. DOI: 10.1002/ar.24465.

  38. Lorenzi T, Sagrati A, Montanari E, Senzacqua M, Tagliabracci A, Fabri M. (2019) Neuronal Nitric Oxyde Synthase expression in astrocyte is related to the agonal time. Brain Struct. and Funct., submitted.
    Chapters in books

  39. Polonara G., Mascioli G., Salvolini U., Fabri M., Manzoni T. Cortical representation of cutaneous receptors in primary somatic sensory cortex of man: a functional imaging study. In: Somatosensory Cortex: Roles, Interventions and Traumas, F. Columbus Ed., Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 51-77.

  40. Fabri M., Foschi N., Pierpaoli C., Polonara G. Studies On Split-Brain Human Subjects. In: Lateralized brain functions, G.Vallortigara and L. Rogers Eds., Neuromethods, 122:. 29-78, 2017.

Ancona, 19 ottobre 2020

Mara Fabri

  Università Politecnica delle Marche

Data updated on 2020-12-13 - 11.41.04 pm