Adress: Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin
Room: JK 31/224
Telephone Number: +49 (0)30 838-65588
Neuropragmatics: Rosario´s main interest is on the neural basis of understanding and performing communicative actions in the context of speech, gestures and intonation, taking into account social interaction, and common ground. Critical questions are: Which cortical areas are relevant for communicative acts processing and when in time they first emerge in the brain, and how are these cognitive processes instantiated in deprived conditions, such as aphasia and language impairments.
Neurosemantics: Rosario is also interested in how different semantic word categories (e.g. animal, tool, action) are processed, stored and acquired in undeprived and deprived populations, in particular, exploring the neural material features critical for higher cognitive functions. To this end, Rosario applies neurobiologically constrained cortex model used to simulate language and symbolic processing as it is well known to happen in human learners.
Neuroimaging techniques and Neurocomputational modelling: Rosario coordinates neuroscience experiments (EEG experiments) to explore the neural correlates of language processing in different modalities (speech, gestures, intonation etc.). Additionally, he is responsible for developing precise mathematical brain models of active neural matter capable of processing different aspects of cognition (language, symbols, thought).
From 2014 to 2016, Rosario held a research assistant position in Neurocomputational Modelling of Language Learning for the interdisciplinary BABEL project between Plymouth, Manchester and Berlin universities; 2016-2019 Rosario held is PhD at the Brain Language Lab (Freie Universität Berlin), which was founded by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), where he also completed the doctoral M&B program.
Currently, Rosario is holding a 50% lecturer position (Vertretung der Professur für Neurowissenschaft der Sprache und Pragmatik) at the Freie Universität Berlin and a 50% postdoctoral fellow position at the Cluster of Excellence Matters of activity (DFG EXC2025/1) in the subproject “Cutting” of the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.
- Language and semantic processing in sighted and deprived populations;
- Neuropragmatics: neural basis of communicative actions expressed through speech, and gestures, taking into account social interaction, and common ground;
- Neurobiologically constrained cortex model for language learning and cognitive processes;
- Electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potentials (ERPs) and EEG source localisation
- Pulvermüller, F., Tomasello, R., Henningsen-Schomers, MR., Wennekers, T. 2021. Biological constraints on neural network models of cognitive function. Nature Review Neuroscience. doi: 10.1038/s41583-021-00473-5.
- Boux, I.*, Tomasello, R.*, Grisoni, L., Pulvermüller, F. 2021. Brain signatures predict communicative function of speech production in interaction. Cortex 135, 127-145. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2020.11.008 *Both authors contributed equally to this work.
- Grisoni, L., Tomasello, R. Pulvermüller, F., 2020. Correlated Brain Indexes of Semantic Prediction and Prediction Error: Brain Localization and Category Specificity. Cereb. Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa308.
- Schilling, A., Tomasello, R., Henningsen-Schomers, M.R., Zankl, A., Surendra, K., Haller, M., Karl, V., Uhrig, P., Maier, A., Krauss, P., 2020. Analysis of continuous neuronal activity evoked by natural speech with computational corpus linguistics methods. Lang. Cogn. Neurosci. 1–20. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2020.1803375.
- Tomasello, R., Kim, C., Dreyer, F. R., Grisoni, L., & Pulvermüller, F. 2019. Neurophysiological evidence for rapid processing of verbal and gestural information in understanding communicative actions. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 16285. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52158-w.
Tomasello, R., Garagnani, M., Wennekers, T., Pulvermüller, F. 2019. Recruitment of visual cortex for language processing in blind individuals is explained by Hebbian learning. Scientific Reports 9(1):3579. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39864-1.
Tomasello, R., Garagnani, M., Wennekers, T. & Pulvermüller, F. 2018. A neurobiologically constrained cortex model of semantic grounding with spiking neurons and brain-like connectivity. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 12, 88.
Shebani, Z., Carota, F., Hauk, O., Rowe, J.B., Barsalou, L.B., Tomasello, R., Pulvermuller, F. 2018. Brain correlates of action word memory. bioRxiv 412676.
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.