Corrado Corradi-Dell’Acqua carried out his PhD at the Cognitive Neuroscience Sector of the International School for Advanced Studies, under the supervision of Professor Raffaella Rumiati. His PhD project focused on investigating the neural correlates of body representations. In particular, he attempted to disentangle the neural signatures of the Body Schema (held to be an egocentric model of the orientation of one’s own body in space and in time) from those of the Body Structural Description (held to be an allocentric model of the “body-shape” coding the position of each body segment within a standard body). He is still involved in this line of research by testing, in collaboration with Professor Rumiati and his staff, the involvement of these body models in everyday situations (e.g., imitation).
His previous post-doctoral experience was carried out both at SISSA and at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine of the Jülich Research Centre (Germany) with Professor Gereon R. Fink. During this time, not only did he follow the same line of research carried out during his PhD, but also investigated the neural mechanisms underlying economical choices made either for oneself (first-person) and on behalf of another person (third-person), by means of the Ultimatum Game task. Furthermore, he collaborated in projects investigating first vs. third person distinction in the context of lexical processing of motor verbs and in the context of motor agency.
In late 2009 he joined the Swiss NCCR for Affective Sciences in Geneva, in the laboratory of prof. Patrik Vuilleumier. In this environment, he extended his earlier interests developed on body and motor representations to the domain of affective, and in particular painful, experiences. In particular, he employed multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) and showed that insular and cingulate cortex disclosed activity patterns which were observable both when participants felt a painful (rather than painless) stimulus on their hand and when they were cued about others’ pain (rather than about harmless events). The same patterns were also elicited when processing aversive, but painless, stimuli (aversive pictures, disgusting tastes) thus suggesting that at least part of the “pain-related” activity might reflect non-specific properties of the stimuli employed. Furthermore, he also investigated how the processing of others' pain interacts with mentalizing and agency. His research interest went also beyond the topic of pain, and involved the processing of emotionally-salient cues from facial expressions, and the formation and development of impressions about people.
In 2015 he joined the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FAPSE) at the University of Geneva, and established his own research group as part of an SNSF Professorship program.