Bertini, Caterina

Cognitive Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation


Name: Caterina Bertini
Email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Position: Associate Professor
Primary affiliation: Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Bologna, Italy.
Other affiliation: Centro studi e ricerche in Neuroscienze Cognitive, Cesena, Italy.
Postal address: Dipartimento di Psicologia, viale Berti-Pichat, 5, 40127, Bologna, Italy.
Voice: (+39) 0547 338951
Facsimile: (+39) 0547 338952


My primary research interest is related to the neural bases and the cognitive mechanisms underlying the visual processing, both in neurologically intact participants and clinical populations with damage to the visual cortex, experiencing the loss of conscious vision in the half of the visual field contralateral to their lesion (i.e., visual field defects). My research is focused on the differential role and properties of the cortical (retino-geniculo-striate) visual pathway, responsible of conscious and detailed visual processes, and the subcortical (retino-colliculo-extrastriate) visual pathway, crucial for implicit visual processing, visually-guided behavior and multisensory interactions. Specifically, I am interested in investigating whether in V1-damaged patients, suffering visual field defects, the subcortical retino-colliculo-extrastriate pathway, usually spared after V1 lesion, can mediate unconscious visual abilities and whether sensory stimulation is able to translate non-conscious visual experience into visual awareness.

Key words: Vision, hemianopia, blindsight, multisensory integration, visual rehabilitation.


- 2010. Joint PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy.
- 2005. Degree in Neuropsychology, University of Bologna, Italy.

Positions and Employment:
- 2017-present. Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy.  
- 2014-2017. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy. 
- 2010-2014. Post-doc, Centro studi e ricerche in Neuroscienze Cognitive, Cesena, Italy.


1) Brain oscillations in the generation of visual awareness
Converging studies on the intact brain have shown that oscillations in the alpha band (7-13 Hz) represent the principal frequency range of the activity in the visual system and have a critical role in visual processing. However, damage to the primary visual cortex, altering the functionality of the visual system, might uncover different patterns of brain oscillations. Therefore, this research project aims at investigating the oscillatory mechanisms underlying the conscious and unconscious visual abilities of patients with damage of V1.

2) Neural plasticity and visual rehabilitation after V1 damage
Patients with visual field defects suffer from the loss of conscious vision in the hemifield contralateral to the brain damage and, consequently, show impairments in visual detection, visual exploration and visual scanning. However, intensive multisensory stimulation has been shown to boost the activity of the spared retino-colliculo-extrastriate pathway, promoting visual recovery. The aim of this project is to elucidate the neural bases, the electrophysiological correlates and oculomotor patterns underling the recovery of visual functions.

1. Bertini C, Cecere R, Làdavas E. (2017). Unseen fearful faces facilitate visual discrimination in the intact field. NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA. 2017 Jul 25. pii: S0028-3932(17)30283-X. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.07.029.
2. Grasso PA, Benassi M, Làdavas E, Bertini C. (2016). Audio-visual multisensory training enhances visual processing of motion stimuli in healthy participants: an electrophysiological study. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 44(10), p. 2748-2758.
3. Bertini C, Grasso PA., Làdavas E (2016). The role of the retino-colliculo-extrastriate pathway in visual awareness and visual field recovery. NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA, vol. 90, p. 72-79.
4. Borhani K, Làdavas E, Maier ME., Avenanti A, Bertini C (2015). Emotional and movement-related body postures modulate visual processing. SOCIAL COGNITIVE AND AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 10, p. 1092-1101.
5. Dundon NM., Làdavas E, Maier ME., Bertini C (2015). Multisensory stimulation in hemianopic patients boosts orienting responses to the hemianopic field and reduces attentional resources to the intact field. RESTORATIVE NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 33, p. 405-419.
6. Cecere R, Bertini C, Maier ME, Làdavas E. (2014). Unseen fearful faces influence face encoding: evidence from ERPs in hemianopic patients. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 26, p. 2564-2577.
7. Cecere R, Bertini C, Ladavas E (2013). Differential contribution of cortical and subcortical visual pathways to the implicit processing of emotional faces: a tDCS study. THE JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 33, p. 6469-6475.
8. Bertini C., Cecere R., Ladavas E. (2012). I am blind, but I "see" fear. CORTEX, vol. 49, p. 985-993.
9. Bertini C, Leo F, Avenanti A, Ladavas E (2010). Independent mechanisms for ventriloquism and multisensory integration as revealed by theta-burst stimulation. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 31, p. 1791- 1799
10. Passamonti C., Bertini C., Ladavas E.(2009). Audio-visual stimulation improves oculomotor patterns in patients with hemianopia. NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA, vol. 47(2), p. 546-555.


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