Luca Turella

Via delle Regole, 101 - 38060 Mattarello
tel. 0461 283098
luca.turella[at]unitn [dot] it

2007 - 2010           PhD student (funded by Fondazione Cariparo), University of Padova, Italy & University of Tübingen, Germany.

2007 - 2008           Visiting PhD Student, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Germany.

2005                     MSc in Experimental Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Padova, Italy.

2003                     BA in Psychological Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Padova, Italy.

Carriera accademica ed attività didattica

2022- Present         Associate Professor, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, Italy.

2019 - 2022       Tenured Assistant Professor (Researcher type B), Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, Italy.

2014 - 2019       Assistant Professor (funded by FIRB 2013 grant), Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, Italy.

2014 - Present       PI of Motor Control Group, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, Italy.

2012 - 2014           Postdoc, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, Italy.

2011 - 2012           Postdoc, Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy.

2010 - 2011           Postdoc, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Italy.

2006                     Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Padova, Italy.

Interessi di ricerca

Throughout the academic career of Dr. Turella, his core interest has been the understanding of the functioning of the fronto-parietal “motor” system in healthy participants and in patients (multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain tumour, Parkinson). During his PhD, he focused his interest on investigating the possible role of action representations in understanding other people’s intentions. He realised that we know more about how our brain encodes other people’s actions than about how we decide and choose our interactions with the environment. Therefore, understanding the neural basis of our own and others’ action representations has been his parallel research path as a postdoctoral researcher and as Principal Investigator at CIMeC, when he was awarded the FIRB 2013 grant. With this award, he started the “Motor Control” group in 2014.

Two main ideas have guided his research experience to this point. He is convinced that cognition can be fully understood only by considering its aim, i.e. producing intelligent and adaptive behaviour. Moreover, the only way to understand the neural substrates of higher cognitive functions is through a multi-method approach (behaviour, kinematics, fMRI, MEG/EEG, TMS) exploiting advanced analytical methods (MVPA, connectivity).

His scientific aim is to obtain crucial insights on the normal organization of the motor system and on the reorganization mechanisms which may occur after brain damage, paving the way for new treatments of motor deficits, as a basis for the development of novel neuro-prosthetics and rehabilitation systems.

Attività di ricerca

In my lab, we are conducting MEG and fMRI studies adopting advanced multivariate and connectivity analysis approaches to elucidate the neural substrates underlying the representations of actions.

Appartenenza a società e comitati scientifici

Review Editor for the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.


Premi e riconoscimenti


Convegni e conferenze

10)Turella, L. “Neuroimaging evidence for multiple levels of abstraction in the human cortical motor system”. Italian Society for Psychophysiology (SIPF), Torino, Italy, November 2018.

9)Turella, L. “Across-time MEG decoding reveals the temporal organization of action representations”. 19th World Congress of Psychophysiology, Lucca, September 2018.

8)Turella, L. ”The Cortical System underlying Hand Actions”. Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy, December 2017.

7)Turella, L. ” Neural encoding of actions within and outside fronto-parietal motor networks”. Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK, November 2017.

6)Turella, L. ” Neural representations of motor intentions”. Department of Psychology, North-Umbria University Newcastle, Newcastle, UK, November 2017.

5)Turella, L. ”Neural encoding and temporal dynamics of hand actions within the human brain”. Department of Neuroscience, Biomedical and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy, September 2017.

4)Turella, L. ”Neural correlates of object encoding for goal-related actions”. 6th Conference of the Mediterranean Neuroscience Society (MNS), St. Julian, Malta, June 2017.

3)Turella, L. ”Hierarchical organization of action encoding within the human brain”. Vision Science Society (VSS), St. Pete Beach, USA, May 2016.

2)Turella, L.  ”Hierarchical action coding within the human brain”. Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Chicago, USA, October 2015.

1)Turella, L.  “Neural dynamics underlying action representations for motor planning”. Italian Society of Physiology (SIF), Genova, Italy, September 2015

Altre attività

Associate Guest Editor for the special Research Topic of “Neural Implementations of Expertise” in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (ResearchTopicLink).


If you would like to have further information on my research activity do not hesitate to contact me.