[Dr. Carola Salvi, Ph.D]

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Postdoctoral researcher at

Northwestern University, Shirley Ryan Abilitylab of Chicago

345 East Superior Street

Chicago, Illinois 60611 

Download CV HERE                                                                                     



Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy, Experimental Psychology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Neuroscience

    University of Milano-Bicocca, (Advisor: Prof. Emanuela Bricolo)

    Started Winter 2009; Convocation Winter 2013

2009-2013    Full, Merit Fellowship with stipend:

Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca

2010-2011 Visiting Sponsored Period:

Creative Brain lab of Mark Beeman,

Northwestern  University, Evanston, IL

M.S.c. Master of Science, Psychology of Organizations, and Consumer Behavior 

        Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca

    (Advisors: Prof. Paolo Cherubini, Paolo Legrenzi)

    Started Winter 2004; Convocation Winter 2007.

    With distinction and highest possible honors, (110 of 110 possible, plus laude)

B.S.   Honors Bachelor of Science, Psychology

         Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca

    (Advisors: Prof. Maria Bagassi)

    Started Fall 2001; Convocation spring 2004.

Sponsored Visiting Periods

2010-14-15    Creative Brain lab of Mark Beeman, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston,IL


2007        S.S.A.V. Advanced Studies School of Venice

2005        University of Milano-Bicocca (Research Coordinator)

2004        University of Milano-Bicocca (RA position)


2015-present T32,NIH-funded Postdoctoral position in the Neuroscience of Human Cognition at Northwestern            


Summer 2016  University of Michigan NIH-funded Selected Course in fMRI

2013-14      Progetto professionalita` “Ivano Becchi”, sponsored by Prof. Andrea Moro University of Pavia

2009-13      Full Merit Fellowship: Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca

2008         Research award “DOTE Ricercatori”, Auxologico Hospital of Milan and University of Milano-Bicocca

2008         Professional qualification for the Italian Psychological Association

2004-07      Full Merit-Based Fellowship: Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca

2001-04      Full Merit-Based Scholarship: Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca


Research Expertise

Programming Languages / Software: SPSS, Statistica, Experiment Builder, Data Analysis, E-Prime, Superlab.

Methodologies: Behavioral, Eye Tracking, fMRI, Patients.

Editorial and Peer Review Activities

EDITOR: AIRIcerca, Frontiers

Peer reviewer: Thinking and Reasoning, AIRIcerca, APSSC-Psychological Science, Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Frontiers.

Membership in Professional Organizations

Cognitive Neuroscience Society

American Psychological Association

NAAM, “Ricerche Umanistico Scientifiche”


2014-2017 Tutor   

Italian Language, Art and Culture

2008-2010,2013 Visiting Instructor   

Psychology of Creativity, Thinking and Reasoning, Psychology, Methodology of Research in Cognitive, Neuroscience at the Human Sciences Liceo “P.Secco Suardo” of Bergamo

2011-2012 Lecturer   

Social, General psychology, Psychology of Creativity, Eye Movements and Attention at University of Milano-Bicocca.

2010 Instructor   

Workshop on psychology of creativity (Brera Academy of Arts)

2008 Trainer, Lecturer

Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Finance, Psychology of thinking and reasoning at SSAV, UNICREDIT


Have researched, or planned and given lectures, in each of the following areas:

Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Methodology of Research in Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Decision Making, Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity.


Ph.D:       Look Outside the Box, to Think Outside the Box: Insight, Eye Movements, and Solution Accuracy.

            Advisor: Emanuela Bricolo http://hdl.handle.net/10281/43703

M.S.:       An experimental study on fixation and the mechanization processes of problem solving: groupthink

            effects. Advisor: Paolo Cherubini; Paolo Legrenzi

B.S.:       Pragmatic analysis and processes of solution in probabilistic reasoning and problem solving.

            Advisor: Maria Bagassi                            

Journal Articles

  1. Salvi, C., Bowden, E. & Beeman, M. (In preparation). The link between risk taking and Aha! moments

  2. Santarnecchi, E., Sprugnoli, G., Bricolo, E., Constantini, G., Liew, S. L., Musaeus, C. S., Salvi, C., Pascual-Leone, A., Rossi A. & Rossi, S. (submitted). Transcranial Oscillatory Neuromodulation Of Insight Problem Solving abilities.

  3. Salvi, C., Costantini, G., Pace, A. & Palmieri , M. (submitted). Item-response theory approach to the validation of the Italian Remote Associate Task and of the Anagram Task.

  4. Cristofori, I., Salvi, C.,  Beeman, M. & Grafman, J. (submitted). The Effects of Reward on Problem Solving.

  5. Hogeveen, J., Salvi, C., & Grafman, J. (2016). “Emotional intelligence”: Lessons from Lesions. Trends in Neurosciences, 39(10), 694–705. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2016.08.007

  6. Palmiero, M., Piccardi, L., Nori, R., Palermo, L., Salvi, C., Guariglia, C. (2016) Editorial: Creativity and Mental Imagery. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01280. PMID: 27610094

  7. Salvi, C., Bowden, E. (2016). Looking Nowhere for Creativity: Where do we look when we look for new ideas?. Frontiers in Psychology ·Salvi&Bowden2016.pdf

  8. Salvi, C., Cristofori, I., Beeman, M. & Grafman, J. (2016). The politics of insight. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1136338.

  9. Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Bowden, E., Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2016). Insight solutions are correct more often than those achieved by analysis. Thinking and Reasoning DOI: 10.1080/13546783.2016.1141798 pdf

  10. Salvi, C., (2015). Cosa fa scattare nel cervello un lampo di genio. Fondazione Umberto Veronesi. http://www.fondazioneveronesi.it/i-blog-della-fondazione/il-blog-di-airicerca/cosa-avviene-nel-nostro-cervello-quando-abbiamo-un-lampo-di-genio/

  11. Bricolo, E., Salvi, C., Martelli, M., Arduino, L. S. & Daini, R. (2015). The effects of crowding on eye movement patterns in reading. Acta Psychologica, 160, 23-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.06.003 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691815300147 pdf

  12. Salvi, C., Costantini, G., Bricolo, E., Perugini, M., & Beeman, M. (2015) Rebus puzzles and compound remote associate problems: an Italian version. Behavioral Research Methods. 1-22. DOI: 10.3758/s13428-015-0597-9 http://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13428-015-0597-9#page-1 pdf

  13. Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Franconeri, S., Kounios, J. & Beeman, M.(2015). Sudden Insight is associated with shutting down visual inputs. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. DOI: 10.3758/s13423-015-0845-0 http://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-015-0845-0 pdf

  14. Bricolo, E., Salvi, C., Martelli, M., Arduino, L.S., & Daini, R. (2010). Crowding affects eye-movements patterns in word reading. Perception 39, supplement, 29. DOI 10.1177/03010066100390S101

  15. Legrenzi, P., & Salvi, C. (2008). I due sistemi dell’intelligenza umana. SISTEMI INTELLIGENTI /a. XX, n. 1, Aprile 2008. Il Mulino: Bologna. http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1422/26719

Scholarly Conference Presentations

  1. Sprugnoli, G., Liew, S.L., Bricolo, E., Costantini, G., Salvi, C., Musaeus, c. S., Rossi, s., Rossi, A., Pasqual-Leone, A., & Santarnecchi, E. (2017) Going beyond the Eureka moment: enhancement of insightful solutions by means of tACS and tRNS. Conference Paper inBrain Stimulation 10(2):402

  2. Salvi, C., Bowden, E. & Beeman, M. (2016). The link between risk taking and Aha! moments. Association for Psychological Science, 28th Annual Convention (APS), Chicago, Illinois.

  3. Salvi, C., Cristofori, I., Beeman, M. & Grafman, J. (2016). How subliminal reward enhances Aha! moments. Society for Neuroscience. New York. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3204.4400

  4. Cristofori, I., Forneris, F., Cassetta, L., Grasselli, G., Salvi, C., Gravina, T. (2015) The AIRInforma experiment: Peer-reviewed public dissemination of science in Italy. Society for Neuroscience. Chicago.

  5. Beeman, M., Kounios, J. & Salvi, C. (2013) The "Aha!" Moment: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Insight. In Learning & the Brain.

  6. Salvi, C., Collier, K., A., Bricolo, E., Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2012). “Aha” is right: insight solutions are more likely to be correct than are analytic solutions. Association for Psychological Science, 24th Annual Convention (APS), Chicago, Illinois.

  7. Salvi, C., Franconeri, S., Bricolo, E., Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2012). Looking outside the box: blinks and eye movements associated with insight versus analytic problem solving. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 19th Annual Meeting (CNS), Chicago, Illinois.

  8. Bricolo, E., Salvi, C., Martelli, M., Arduino, L.S. & Daini, R. (2010). Crowding affects eye-movements patterns in word reading. 33rd European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), Lausanne, Switzerland.

  9. Salvi C., Daini R., Arduino L.S., Martelli M., Bricolo E. (2010). Relazione tra crowding e lettura: Uno studio con i movimenti oculari. Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale (AIP), Bologna.

  10. Salvi.C. (2009). Competition and group effect in mechanization process. Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making (SPUDM 22). Bi-annual conference run by the European Association of Decision Making. Rovereto (TN).

  11. Salvi, C. (2007). Effetti di fissazione e meccanizzazione nella soluzione di problemi: modulazioni dovute al pensiero di gruppo. AIP Congresso Annuale Sezione Italiana di Psicologia. Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale. Como 2007.

Invited talks

  1. Salvi, C., (2016). Should we try and enhance insight problem solving? Why and how. Loyola University. Chicago.

  2. Salvi, C., (2016). Aha! moments, the link between subliminal reward, risk taking and the dopamine system. NUIN Small talks. Northwestern University.

  3. Salvi, C., (2015). Nutrire la mente. Creativita`, Cinema e Stile di vita. WORLD EXPO - KIP Pavilion.

  4. Thomas, D., (Salvi, C., moderator) (2015). From School Gardens to Urban Farms: Redefining Chicago’s Foodways. WORLD EXPO - KIP Pavilion.

  5. Salvi, C., (2014). Eureka! When the right solution arrives in a blink of an eye. Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Jordan Grafman’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, September 12th.

  6. Salvi, C., (2014). Eureka! When the right solution arrives in a blink of an eye. University of Illinois at Chicago, Psychology dep. Cognitive Brown Bag Series.

  7. Salvi, C., (2014). Aha! Look outside the box to think outside the box. University of Chicago, Psychology dep. Human Performance Lab.

  8. Salvi, C., (2009). L’influenza dei supporti tecnologici nel processo decisionale. Furniture Trend Update (FUTSU), Pordenone.