Lecturer in Discipline of Psychology for the Department of Psychology at Columbia University in the city of New York. My recent research focuses on the psychological and neural mechanisms of attention on consciousness, with a particular interest in corssmodal/supramodal (i.e., auditory and visual) interactions. Compared to other modalities, the investigation of visual attentional functions has attracted to a greater interest in the past years, possibly due to the existence of a so called “modality dominance”, a bias towards the processing of visual stimuli to counteract the low altering effect of visual stimulation. A great extent of discoveries resulted from such focus on the visual modality but whether similar neural and behavioural mechanisms characterize also the other sensory modalities (e.g., auditory) is less clear.

After completing my Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology and Psychophysiology at the Department of Cognitive Psychology, Sapienza, University of Rome, I became increasingly interested in the neural basis of attention and cognitive control. As part of my training, under Dr. Jin Fan’s mentorship, the Director of the Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and with a dual-appointment at the  Department of Psychology, Queens College, CUNY, I have developed unimodal and crossmodal paradigms with  the conceptualization of attention as an organ system consisting of specialized functions and networks in the brain.

My major effort is currently devoted in conducting neuroimaging studies to investigate the anatomy, circuitry, and pathology of attentional networks, with a specific focus on “supramodal” (i.e., not associated with any specific modality) attention.



All of my research on Google Scholar

“Visual mental imagery engages the left fusiform gyrus, but not the early visual cortex: a meta-analysis of neuroimaging evidence”

Alfredo Spagna, Dounia Hajhajate, Jianghao Liu, Paolo Bartolomeo
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Right hemisphere superiority for executive control of attention

Alfredo Spagna, Tae Hyeong Kim, Tingting Wu, Jin Fan
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Deficit of supramodal executive control of attention in schizophrenia

Alfredo Spagna, Genxia He, Shengchun Jin, Liling Gao, Melissa-Ann Mackie, Yanghua Tian, Kai Wang, Jin Fan
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Supramodal executive control of attention

Alfredo Spagna, Melissa-Ann Mackie, Jin Fan
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Columbia Univ.


Lecturer in the Discipline of Psychology, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience & Behavior, Department of Psychology at Columbia University in the city of New York.
2020/2021 Courses 52%
Outreach Activities

Research and Outreach.

The Living Lab is an initiative created by Alfredo Spagna that fosters interdisciplinary collaborations that result in interactive events where audiences can engage research topics in new ways. Broadly, we seek to draw connections across work in various disciplines to tell societally relevant stories. We have done this by recruiting creative individuals belonging to contrasting areas of study (psychology, journalism, neuroscience, theater, and philosophy, just to name a few). We meet with the goal of demonstrating how these various disciplines can complement each other by organizing events that inspect socially relevant issues through these various lenses. Below, you will find a list of projects we are currently working on: