Adress: Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin
Room: JK 31/224
Telephone Number: +49 (0)30 838-56619
In 2010 I completed my Bachelor in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Catania (Italy) and I did my Master degree at the Free University of Berlin in European Languages - “Structure and Use”. Due to my great interest in linguistic issues and comparative research, I had a chance to spend several semesters in other universities: at the University of Hannover (during the bachelor's studies) and at the University of Coimbra in Portugal (during the master's studies). I have been working at the Brain Language laboratory since January 2013 and became very interested in the neuroscience of language. I carried out my research for my Master Thesis on the Whorfian effect and the categorical perception of colour (EEG and behavioural experiments). From 2014 to 2016, I held a research assistant position in Neurocomputational Modelling of Language Learning for the BABEL Project; an international collaboration between the University of Plymouth, Brain Language Laboratory (FUB) and University of Manchester. I´m currently finishing my PhD generously founded by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (HU) with the title “Word learning, category specificity, hubs and time course of semantic brain areas: A neurobiologically constrained cortex model and brain imaging studies” at the Freie Universität Berlin.
My main interest is on the interplay between gesture and language in communication, in particular investigating the neural signature of different communicative acts expressed through speech, and gestures, taking into account social interaction, and common ground. My main research questions are where the communicative acts are represented in the human brain and when its processing takes place in healthy people and stroke patients. I´m also interested in how different semantic word categories (e.g. animal, tool, action) are processed, stored and acquired in the human brain, specifically simulating the acquisition of different word categories in neurobiologically constrained neural models.
• Brain mechanisms of language processing
• Neuropragmatic – language as a tool, i.e. speech acts and gestures
• Neurocomputational modelling of language learning and cognitive processes
Tomasello, R., Garagnani, M., Wennekers, T. & Pulvermüller, F. 2018. A neurobiologically constrained cortex model of semantic grounding with spiking neurons and brain-like connectivity. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 12, 88.
Tomasello, R., Garagnani, M., Wennekers, T., & Pulvermüller, F. 2017. Brain connections of words, perceptions and actions: A neurobiological model of spatio-temporal semantic activation in the human cortex. Neuropsychologia, 98:111–29
Garagnani M, Lucchese G, Tomasello R, Wennekers T, Pulvermüller F. 2017. A Spiking Neurocomputational Model of High-Frequency Oscillatory Brain Responses to Words and Pseudowords. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 10:1–19.