Dr. Alessandro Tavano

Main research areas

  • Oscillatory mechanisms of waiting time
  • Oscillatory hierarchy in language perception
  • Sensory prediction and response preparation processes
  • Top-down modulation of perceived stimulus statistics
  • The distinction between sensation (stimulus processing) and perception (contextual modelling)


Academic Education

2014Italian Habilitation as Associate Professor of Psychobiology
2010Master of Science in Psychology, University of Trieste
2009Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology, University of Trieste
2008-2009EEG training stay, University of Barcelona
2003Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Trieste
1999-2000Research stays as visiting Ph.D. candidate (UCL, London and McGill University, Montreal)
1998-1999Study abroad, individual research grant, Antwerp
1997-1998Long-term training course for Youth leaders, European Youth Center Strasbourg
1997Master of Arts in Linguistics and Literature, University of Trieste
1994-1995One year abroad, Erasmus program, Reading University


Since 2014Senior post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
2009-2014Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Cognitive and Biological Psychology, University of Leipzig
2002-2004Independent Associate Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Udine
2009Research Consultant, Research Institute “E. Medea”, Bosisio Parini, Italy
2003-2008Principal Investigator and Research Associate, Research Institute “E. Medea”, San Vito al Tagliamento, Italy
2002 Research Assistant, Research Institute “E. Medea”, San Vito al Tagliamento, Italy



Tavano, A., Schroger. E., Kotz, S.A. (2019). Beta power encodes contextual estimates of temporal event probability in the human brain. PLoS ONE 14(9): e0222420. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0222420

Tavano, A., Poeppel, D. (2019). A division of labor between power and phase coherence in encoding attention to stimulus streams. NeuroImage 193; 146–156 doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.03.018.

Caletti, E., Delvecchio, G., Andrella, A., Finos, L., Perlini, C., Tavano, A. et al. (2018). Prosody abilities in a large sample of affective and non-affective first episode psychosis patients. Comprehensive psychiatry, 86, 31-38.

Scharinger, M., Steinberg, J., Tavano, A. (2017) Integrating speech in time depends on temporal expectations and attention. Cortex. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.001.

Lorusso, M.L., Burigo, M., Tavano, A. et al. (2017). Learning and Using Abstract Words: Evidence from Clinical Populations. BioMed research international. doi.org/10.1155/2017/8627569

Kokinous, J.,  Tavano, A., Kotz, S. A., & Schröger, E. (2017).  Perceptual Integration of Faces and Voices Depends on the Interaction of Emotional Content and Spatial Frequency.  Biological Psychology, 123, 155-165.



Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

2014Best Talk Award, World Congress of International Association of Psychophysiology, Hiroshima
2003-2005Young Researcher´s Award, University of Udine
2001-2003Young Researcher´s Award, University of Trieste
2001Fullbright Fellowship, Italy-USA Fullbright Commission (declined)


  • Sensory Sharpening Effects of Attention and Expectation

    Attention to sensory stimuli is never uniformly distributed.  We tested whether time-based and feature-based aspects of sensory attention interact in facilitating the detection of new stimuli in a stream. We recorded behavioural and ...

  • Apparent Motion

    As early as 1912, Max Wertheimer reported in his famous paper on Gestalt psychology that two individual shapes may be perceived as a moving object if they are presented one after the other within a short time span. This phenomenon is called ...

  • Neuronal Processing of Metaphorical Movement

    This study uses EEG to examine the neuronal processing of verbs which reference physical movement in metaphorical and literal contexts. Rhetorical theory suggests that a language rich in imagery supports an especially lively cognitive and affective ...

  • Cortical tracking of complex spoken sentences

    Humans naturally tune in to the rhythm of speech (Giraud & Poeppel, 2012). Recent work has shown that low-frequency brain rhythms have been shown concurrently to track the main constituents in a linguistic hierarchy: phrases and sentences ...

  • Linguistic competence in the frequency domain

    Can rhythmic neural activity be driven to reveal purely internal linguistic competence? To answer this question, I record human electroencephalographic data as participants listen to isochronously delivered word stimuli composing chains of ...

  • Brain on Screen

    When we go to the cinema, we partake in a complex experience. How does a series of two-dimensional images and sounds blend into an immersive, sometimes lifelike narrative experience? And how do different individuals in the movie theater become ...

  • Temporal expectations

    In a series of auditory experiments using the roving standard paradigm, I manipulate both time-based (when) and feature-based (what) aspects of prediction to determine if and how they facilitate behavior. Electroencephalographic (EEG) data is ...