Francesca is interested in studying how meaning is mapped onto linguistic structure, and in the underlying neural representations within specialised brain networks. To what extent does our brain represent abstract linguistic symbols (e.g., words, sentences, discourse) as being linked to the sensory, motor, and emotional information derived from our perceptual experience and interactions with the world?
With her initial background in Computational linguistics and ancient languages like Sanskrit, she likes to think of language as a mathematical poetry to be explored cross-linguistically with an interdisciplinary approach. She combines computational, corpus linguistic, and behavioural methods with neuroimaging techniques to compare linguistic patterns with their brain response patterns and uncover the mysteries of how we understand each other when we communicate.
After her PhD in Italy, she worked in France, at the University of Cambridge, Freie Universität and Humboldt Universität in Berlin, before joining the Neural Dynamics of Speech Production and Neurobiology of Language groups at the MPI in Nijmegen.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling and trekking, painting and sketching.