Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Piergiorgio is a post-doctoral research assistant working with Prof Heidi Johansen-Berg.
His research focuses on the Fit-to-Study Brain imaging sub-study: a year-long physical activity intervention in children aimed to improve cognitive abilities of those from disadvantaged households. He combines machine-learning approaches with multi-modal and quantitative MRI to study predictive factors and biological mechanisms underlying healthy brain plasticity. His research will provide a better understanding of how this large-scale intervention, involving 18,000 12-years-old children around the areas of Oxford, London and Birmingham, can foster brain plasticity underlying healthy cognitive development.
Piergiorgio is also interested in combining machine learning with network theory in order to better characterise large-scale brain plasticity following learning, neurostimulation, or recovery from damage. The human brain is a multi-scale, complex system, and its manipulation may lead to non trivial changes in function and structure. As brain changes are key for any form of adaptive human behaviour, understanding the mechanisms underlying system-level neuroplasticity may help us to develop novel individualised translational approaches.
Piergiorgio obtained his PhD at King’s College London (Feb 2017) for his work on the ontogeny of the human language brain network.
The network properties of the brain at the time of normal birth support the acquisition of language processing
Salvan P. et al, (2018)
Developments in diffusion MRI and tractography to study language network alterations following very preterm birth
Nosarti C. and Salvan P., (2018), F1000Research, 7
Language ability in preterm children is associated with arcuate fasciculi microstructure at term.
Salvan P. et al, (2017), Hum Brain Mapp, 38, 3836 - 3847
Road work on memory lane--functional and structural alterations to the learning and memory circuit in adults born very preterm.
Salvan P. et al, (2014), Neuroimage, 102 Pt 1, 152 - 161