Rosa Rugani

Postdoctoral Researcher

rugani@sas.upenn.edu

This I Believe

"Behavior, more than words, unveils motivation, cognition and perception."

My expertise and passion is to design experimental paradigms that allow me to investigate cognitive and perceptual abilities in a variety of animal species.

In the Platt lab, I work to unveil the origin of the Spatial Numerical Association (SNA). Humans represent numbers on a left to right oriented mental number line, with small numbers located on the left and large ones on the right space. It has been suggested that the left-to-right orientation of the mental number line emerges as a result of exposure to formal instruction. Recent evidence has shown that pre-verbal infants and animals associate numbers with space; suggesting that the SNA originates from pre-linguistic and biologically determined precursors. Our challenge is to explain how the neural substrate can determine a left-to-right orientation of the SNA.

My research activity is currently funded by a H2020-MSCA-IF-2017 Global fellowship “SNANeB - At the roots of Spatial Numerical Association: From behavioural observation to Neural Basis”, Prot. n. 795242- SNANeB.