How our brain innovates thinking

March 15-21 2021


Speakers biographies 


Luisa Amendola

Member of the editorial board of Nodes.

After taking her degree in Law, in 2013 she obtained a PhD in Protection of Human Rights. She then became a Subject expert of Penal Law at the faculty of Scienze Politiche at the Università degli Studi di Catania.

In 2019 she obtained a degree in Decoration at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma.


Salvatore Gaetano Chiarella

Artist and researcher, member of the editorial board of Nodes.

He works in cognitive psychology and experimental neuroaesthetics. His production focuses on the creation of works that investigate the mechanisms involved in conscious perception and in the representation of the self. Since 2016 with Numero Cromatico and Sapienza Università di Roma he has conducted experimental research on the relationship between selective attention and visual sensory memory.

This research led to the production of Iconic Film 3:30 (2016) and Iconic Film (2020). Since 2018 he has been engaged in experimental studies of intersubjective experience. He has a PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the Consciousness and Cognition laboratory

of the Department of Psychology, Sapienza Università di Roma.

He collaborates with the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC) - CNR of Rome, University of Allahabad and KU Leuven.


Manuel Focareta

Artist and researcher, vice-president of Numero Cromatico and member of the editorial board of Nodes. 

His research focuses on poetry in relation to new communication technologies, visual communication and Artificial Intelligence.

His practice draws from the artist’s expressive abstinence, the use of generative processes in literary production and the study of the spatial and visual components of a text. From 2014 to 2017 he composed poems by using social media and dating apps, actively involving the users.

In the last years he started working with artificial neural networks with the aim of creating texts that are capable of evoking emotions in the viewers on crucial existential themes such as death, love, grief and loss. 


Dionigi Mattia Gagliardi

Artist and researcher, president of Numero Cromatico and editor-in-chief of Nodes.

His research focuses on the production of artworks deprived of the artist’s emotional contribution and uses neuroscience for the comprehension of art viewers’ psychological and rational response. Since 2015 he has been producing paintings by adopting the scientific method. The artworks from the series Test Verbovisivi have led to the development of a research project in collaboration with Sapienza Università di Roma, presented at ArtVerona 2019. It was the first neuroaesthetic experiment conducted in an Italian art fair. He promotes the importance of art theories as the basis for art production. 

Since 2016 he has been teaching in academies and he is now Professor at the Quasar Institute for Advanced Design in Rome. He is also a member of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics and the scientific committee of the Rivista di Psicologia dell’Arte


Marco Marini

Artist and researcher, secretary of Numero Cromatico and member of the editorial board of Nodes. Since 2010 he has been conducting studies on visual deprivation. His experiments target drawing, painting and performing actions that involve himself and the viewers.

He does so by creating events that investigate spontaneity, the relationship between the Self and the Other and between architectural spaces and urban landscapes in which visual deprivation functions

as a working strategy for the avoidance of spontaneous and emotional contents.

From 2010 to 2012 he was the coordinator of the teaching activities at the Musei Capitolini and of the courses Teoria della Percezione, Psicologia della Forma and Psicologia dell’Arte at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma.

Massimo Salgaro

Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Verona, Italy. Over the past 10 years he has been collaborating with the major institutions involved in empirical research on reading: from 2014 to 2018 he was working as the group coordinator of EREAD (Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitisation), from 2015 to 2019 he was treasurer of the IGEL Association (International Society for the Empirical Study

of Literature and Media). In 2016 he was Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt. He has been a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Paris (2018), Tongij University of Shanghai (2015), University of Göttingen (Humboldt-Fellow), Columbia University (2009). His areas of research range from German authors of the 20th and 21st century, empirical aesthetics, and digital humanities.


David Freedberg

Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art and Director of The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America. Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Accademia Nazionale di Agricoltura and Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti. He was Director of the Warburg Institute of London from 2015 to 2017. He promotes an interdisciplinary approach to scientific research and studies the relationship between vision, representation, movement and feeling. In 2001 he founded the project called Art, Humanities, and Neuroscience that investigates the psychological responded to visual art. 

In 1989 he published his famous book The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response and he is currently working on two new titles Dance, the Body and Emotion and Art and the Brain


Giulia Torromino

Researcher and founding member of Nodes, for which she has published and translated many articles on creativity and the relationship between art and neuroscience.

PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience since 2017, she is currently a post-doc at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM)

and the Istituto di Biologia Cellulare e Neurobiologia of the CNR.

In 2017 she was a scholar at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies of the Columbia University in New York. She undertook research periods in many research centres such as the Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute of New York, the Charles University in Pilsen,

the Aix-Marseille University in Marsiglia, the Champalimaud Center

for The Unknown in Lisboa and the DANDRITE center of the Aarhus University. 

We are glad to announce that Numero Cromatico is one of the two selected Italian organisations to host an event on the occasion of the Brain Awareness Week 2021, supported by Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI), European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB), Dana Foundation and Federation European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) to help promote brain sciences worldwide. How Our Brain Innovates Thinking consists of 6 online lessons - free and open to the public - and a workshop with the Istituto Omnicomprensivo di Orte. The event will take place from 15th to 21st March 2021.


The topic

The functioning and wellbeing of the human body are very relevant topics nowadays, not only in relation to medicine but also to other disciplinary fields such as art.

In recent years, on the one hand, artists and academics in the field of humanities focused their attention on the cognitive aspects of perception, bodily experiences, empathy and art psychology; on the other hand, there is an ever-growing interest from the scientific world towards the arts, architecture and design. 

Thus, the time is apt to outline a new hybrid territory between art and neuroscience, with the aim of training a more conscious citizenship on the challenges that the world is facing. 


The event

The event consists of 6 online lessons, free and open to the public, and a workshop with the Istituto Omnicomprensivo di Orte. 

The event will take place from 15th to 21st March 2021.



Tuesday, 16th March


8:30 am 

Origami Lab: exploring the brain 

Workshop by Luisa Amendola and Marco Marini held with the students of the Istituto Omnicomprensivo di Orte


2 pm 

The winner is: Empathy! Some considerations on the most studied and controversial reaction to literary texts

Massimo Salgaro


Thursday, 18th March


11:00 am

Theories and models of visual consciousness

between art and neuroscience

Salvatore Gaetano Chiarella

6:30 pm

The power of images between art and neuroscience

David Freedberg


Sunday, 21st March11.00 am

How to use the brain for building an art project

Giulia Torromino


5:00 pm

How we perceive the beauty of words

Manuel Focareta


6:30 pm

Beauty and brain: new frontiers of the artistic research 

Dionigi Mattia Gagliardi 

The events are free of charge and booking via email is mandatory. Write your name and the events you would like to attend to: numerocromatico@gmail.com