Santarnecchi Lab

About the lab

PI: Emiliano Santarnecchi

Dr. Santarnecchi’s lab focuses on combining multimodal neuroimaging (e.g., MRI, fMRI, DTI, PET) and electrophysiology (e.g., EEG, EMG, MEG) methods for the identification of novel biomarkers and the development of therapeutic approaches for patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions.


Dr. Santarnecchi’s research is centered around the development of personalized, network-based Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (NiBS) approaches to modulate brain plasticity, guide connectome rewiring and enhance cognitive function, with the ultimate goal of promoting Brain Health and healthy Aging. His team is currently working on machine learning and AI-based solutions for perturbation-based brain connectivity analysis (TMS-EEG, fMRI), NIBS approaches to modulate sleep and memory, high-frequency transcranial electrical stimulation interventions for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal dementia, and novel fMRI markers of disease progression in patients with brain tumors. 

See his Precision Neuroscience & Neuromodulation Program page for more information.



Research Assistants

Selected Publications

  • Sprugnoli G, Monti L, Lippa L, Neri F, Mencarelli L, Ruffini G, Salvador R, Oliveri G, Batani B, Momi D, Cerase A, Pascual-Leone A, Rossi A, Rossi S, Santarnecchi E. Reduction of intratumoral brain perfusion by noninvasive transcranial electrical stimulation. Science Advances August 2019; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9309
  • Ozdemir RA, Tadayon E, Boucher P, Momi D, Karakhanyan K. K., Fox MD, Halko, MA, Pascual-Leone A., Shafi MM, Santarnecchi E. Individualized Perturbation of the Human Connectome Reveals Reproducible Biomarkers of Network Dynamics Relevant to Cognition. PNAS 2020, Mar 19. pii: 201911240. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1911240117
  • Sprugnoli G, Cagle Y, Santarnecchi E. Impact of Microgravity and Cosmic Radiations during Space Exploration as a window into Neurodegeneration on Earth. JAMA Neurology 2019; Nov 25. DOI: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.4003
  • DhaynautM, SprugnoliG, Cappon D, MaconeJ, SanchezJS, NormandinA, Nicolas Guehl, Koch G, PaciorekR, ConnorA, Press D, JohnsonK, Pascual-LeoneA, Georges El-Fakhri G, Santarnecchi E. Impact of 40Hz tACS on cerebral Tau burden in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: A Case Series. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-215072
  • Santarnecchi E, Polizzotto NR, Godone M, Giovannelli F, Feurra M, Matzen L, Rossi A, Rossi S. Frequency-dependent enhancement of fluid intelligence induced by transcranial oscillatory potentials. Current Biology 2013 Aug 5;23(15):1449-53.
  • Burke MJ*, Romanella SM*, Mencarelli L, Greben R, Fox MD, Kaptchuk TJ, Pascual-Leone A, Santarnecchi E. Placebo effects and neuromodulation for depression: A meta-analysis and evaluation of shared mechanisms. Molecular Psychiatry 2021 (accepted). DOI: 10.1038/s41380-021-01397
  • Menardi A., Rossi S., Koch G., Hampel H., Vergallo A., Nitsche MA, Stern Y, Borroni B, Cappa SF, Cotelli M, Ruffini G, El-Fakhri G, Rossini PM, Dickerson B, Antal A., Babiloni C, Lefaucheur JP, Dubois B, Deco G, Ziemann U, Pascual-Leone A, Santarnecchi E. Toward noninvasive brain stimulation 2.0 in Alzheimer’s disease. Ageing Research Reviews 75, 3 2022, 101555. DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101555
  • Sprugnoli G, Rossi S, Rotenberg A, Pascual-Leone A, El-Fakhri G, Golby AJ, Santarnecchi E. Personalized, Image-Guided, Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Gliomas: Rationale, Challenges and Opportunities. Lancet EBiomedicine 2021 Volume 70, 103514, August 01. DOI: 1016/j.ebiom.2021.103514

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