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The Department welcomes Cinzia Cecchetto as RTDA from June 2024

I obtained my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience in January 2017 from the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste. Since the beginning of my doctoral studies, I have been particularly drawn to research topics at the intersection of social neuroscience and olfactory perception. During my PhD, I interned at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, where I received training in conducting chemosensory research in humans. After earning my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Neuroimaging Lab of the Institute of Psychology at the University of Graz in Austria. There, while deepening my expertise in brain imaging research, I designed and coordinated a project demonstrating that social information presented through social odors is integrated with social information acquired during the encoding of faces. This social olfactory cue, presented during the recognition phase, helps participants recognize faces faster. Additionally, I provided new evidence that an odor presented as context during an fMRI task induces changes in functional connectivity in olfactory networks during post-task resting-state that are significantly different from those induced by the same task without an odor context. In 2019, I joined the Department of General Psychology at the University of Padova as a postdoctoral researcher. In recent years, my research has focused on investigating the impact of mental health on olfactory abilities and vice versa. Although there is evidence of an association between mental disorders, particularly affective disorders, and olfactory dysfunctions, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Recently, my work has aimed not only to clarify these mechanisms through both behavioral and EEG studies, but also to explore the potential of using odors in developing effective treatments. Outside of academia, I enjoy long walks in the mountains with my dog, gardening, reading, and cooking.