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., 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

Tavano, A., Poeppel, D. (2018). Distinct neural mechanisms reflect time-based and feature-based aspects of sensory attention. (under review)

Tavano, A., Schroger. E., Kotz, S.A., Low beta power reflects perceived temporal probabilities for uncertain future events. doi: doi.org/10.1101/234070 (preprint)

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

Kokinous, J., Tavano A., Kotz SA., Schröger E. (2017) Perceptual integration of faces and voices depends on the interaction of emotional content and spatial frequency. Biol Psychol. Feb;123:155-165. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.12.007. 

Tavano, A., & Scharinger, M. (2015). Prediction in speech and language processing. Cortex, 68(0), 1-7. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2015.05.001

Kokinous, J., Kotz, S. A., Tavano, A., & Schröger, E. (2014). The role of emotion in dynamic audiovisual integration of faces and voices. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsu105

Tavano, A., Pesarin, A., Drioli, C., Perina, A., Murino, V., & Cristani, M. (2014). Automatic conversational scene analysis. Low-level acoustic feature classification of speech activity in children with Asperger syndrome and typically developing peers. PLoS One, 9(1): e85819.

Tavano, A., Widmann, A., Bendixen, A., Trujillo-Barreto, N. J., & Schröger, E. (2014). Temporal regularity facilitates higher- order sensory predictions in fast auditory sequences. European Journal of Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12404

Tavano, A., Grimm, S., Costa-Faidella, J., Slabu, L., Schröger, E., & Escera, C. (2012). Spectrotemporal processing drives fast access to memory traces for spoken words. Neuroimage, 60(4), 2300-2308.

Schwartze, M., Tavano, A. (shared first authorship), Schröger, E., & Kotz, S. (2011). Temporal aspects of prediction in audition: Cortical and subcortical neural mechanisms. International Journal of Psychophysiology (Special Issue on Prediction), 83(2), 200-207.

Cristani, M., Pesarin, A., Drioli, C., Tavano, A., Perina, A., & Murino, V. (2011). Generative modeling and classification of dialogs by a low-level turn-taking feature. Pattern Recognition, 44(8), 1785-1800. 

Tavano, A., & Borgatti, R. (2010). Evidence for a link among cognition, language and emotion in cerebellar malformations. Cortex, 46(7), 907-918. 

Tavano, A., Sponda, S., Fabbro, F., Perlini, C., Rambaldelli, G., Ferro, A., Cerruti, S., Tansella, M., & Brambilla, P. (2008). Specific linguistic and pragmatic deficits in Italian patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 102(1-3), 53-62. 

Tavano, A., Grasso, R., Gagliardi, C., Triulzi, F., Bresolin, N., Fabbro, & F., Borgatti, R. (2007). Disorders of cognitive and affective development in cerebellar malformations. Brain, 130(10), 2646-2660. 


Tavano, A., Perré, F., Ska, B., Côté, H., Joanette, Y. (2013). Protocollo Montréal di Valutazione della Abilità Comunicative. Italian Adaptation of the Protocole MEC. Protocole Montréal d’évaluation de la communication.

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

    [Translate to English:] 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 ...

  • 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 (Ding ...