Leonor J. Romero Lauro

Assistant Professor






L.J.R.L. completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology, Linguistics and Neuroscience at the University of Milano-Bicocca in 2008.  She is now an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca and achieved the National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor in 2016. Together with Prof. Papagno she is responsible of the two TMS labs in the Department.

She has a broad background in the field of cognitive neuroscience and, more specifically, an excellent and longstanding expertise in field of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (NIBS), namely TMS, tDCS and TMS-EEG, as attested by several scientific international publications. Her expertise started in 1-year period abroad at Dr. Walsh’s lab at ICN, UCL, UK and was corroborated by another 1-period abroad in Dr. Cohen’s lab at the NINDS, NIH, US.  After a post-doc at the Department of Preclinical-Science, University of Milano, under the guidance of Prof. Massimini, she embraced TMS-EEG technique which is now her preferential method of investigation.

She teaches methods and techniques of Neuropsychological evaluation; she supervised over 100 undergraduate students for Bachelor and Master Degree, and tutored over 50 students for their training in experimental research. At the moment she is the supervisor of one post-doc fellows and three PhD students.


Her research interests mostly concern whether and how NIBS are able to influence behaviour. More specifically, she investigated the neural networks and mechanisms underlying several functions, such as verbal short-term memory, language, space perception, economic decisions and emotion regulation in both healthy and clinical population. In the last years she focused on exploring, by means of TMS-EEG, the modulation of cortical excitability and connectivity induced by tDCS.

Her interests go beyond experimental psychology and neuroscience, encompassing also clinical Psychology and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy. She achieved, in parallel to her doctoral course, a MSc in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapy. Combining her clinical and neuroscientific interests she is currently exploring the clinical application of NIBS. She is a scientific consultant for Fondazione Eris, which is applying NIBS in the treatment of Substance Use Disorders. She is leading two funded research projects: one (funded by NARSAD Foundation) exploring the use of tDCS to boost the effect of CBT therapy in the treatment of patients with anxiety and depressive disorders; another (funded by Ministero della Salute “Ricerca Finalizzata”) employing TMS-EEG to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with Consciousness Disorders.


Vergallito, A., Gallucci, A., Pisoni, A., Caselli, G., Ruggiero, G.M., Sassaroli, S. & Romero Lauro, L. J. (2021). Non-invasive brain stimulation effectiveness in anxiety disorder treatment: a meta-analysis on sham/behavior-controlled studies. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, accepted for publication

Romero Lauro, L. J., Vergallito, A., Anzani, S., & Vallar, G. (2020). Primary motor cortex and phonological recoding: A TMS-EMG study. Neuropsychologia, 139, 107368.

Vergallito, A., Lo Gerfo, E., Varoli, E., Brambilla, M., Sacchi, S., Anzani, S., & Romero Lauro, L. J. (2019). Positive self-perception and corticospinal excitability: Recalling positive behavior expands peripersonal space boundaries. Neuropsychologia, 135, 107-224.

Gerfo, E. L., Gallucci, A., Morese, R., Vergallito, A., Ottone, S., Ponzano, F., ... & Romero Lauro, L. J. (2019). The role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junction in third-party punishment behavior. NeuroImage, 200, 501-510.

Vergallito, A., Riva, P., Pisoni, A., & Romero Lauro, L. J. (2018). Modulation of negative emotions through anodal tDCS over the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia, 119, 128-135.

Pisoni, A., Romero Lauro, L. J., (co-first author) Vergallito, A., Maddaluno, O., & Bolognini, N. (2018). Cortical dynamics underpinning the self-other distinction of touch: A TMS-EEG study. NeuroImage, 178, 475–484.

Varoli, E., Pisoni, A., Mattavelli, G. C., Vergallito, A., Gallucci, A., Mauro, L. D., ... & Romero Lauro, L. J. (2018). Tracking the effect of cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation on cortical excitability and connectivity by means of TMS-EEG. Frontiers in neuroscience, 12, 319.

Giustolisi, B., Vergallito, A., Cecchetto, C., & Romero Lauro, L. J. (2018) Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over left inferior frontal gyrus enhances sentence comprehension. Brain and Language, 176, 36-41.

Pisoni, A., Mattavelli, G., Papagno, C., Rosanova, M., Casali, A.G. & Romero Lauro, L.J. (2017). Cognitive Enhancement Induced by Anodal tDCS Drives Circuit-Specific Cortical Plasticity. Cerebral Cortex, 1-9

Romero Lauro, L. J., Rosanova, M., Mattavelli, G., Convento, S., Pisoni, A., Opitz, A., Bolognini, N., & Vallar, G. (2014). TDCS increases cortical excitability: direct evidence from TMS-EEG. Cortex, 58, 99-111.