Cognitive Anthropology is the result of contributions from different disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, physical and cultural anthropology and philosophy, and is aimed at studying the mind (experience, reason, conceptual system). Its main aim is the knowledge of mental processes. The human genome, in fact, defines only part of the brain circuits, but most of the “wiring” is produced during ontogeny of each individual, so the mental identity of each can be studied in its nature as a “deposit” of mental identity of the community to which the individual belongs. This analysis can be extended to social groups and entire populations.

The Cognitive Anthropology Research Group, founded for the initiative of Prof. Chiarelli and with the collaboration of a group of graduates, Ph.D. students and postdocs in Anthropological Sciences, with the collaboration of professionals nationally and internationally.
The idea is to combine, compare and integrate comparative genomics and neuroscience, through comparative studies on morphogenesis and evolution of the brain in nonhuman primates and humans.
All who wish to collaborate with us can receive more information by contacting the Research Group at the e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Members of Research Group

Marcello Andriola (Cognitive Anthropologist)


Jacopo Annese (Biologist)


Vezio Biagiotti (Sociologist)


Fabrizio Chemeri (Cognitive Anthropologist)


Brunetto Chiarelli (Anthropologist)


Felice Cimatti (Philosopher of Mind)


Julia Etzler (Molecular Anthropologist)


Maria Giulia Fiore (Anthropologist and Geneticist)


Riccardo Furi (Philosopher of Mind)


Augusta Larosa (Sociologist)


Stefano Magherini (Biologist)


Simona Marongiu (Archaeologist)


Fulvio Palma (Biologist)


Francesca Romana Tramonti (Psychologist)



A Brain Italian Collector in U.S.A.

The project of Jacopo Annese, head of The Brain Observatory at the University of California, San Diego


On 27 April 2010 collaborating with the International Institute for Humankind Studies and theCognitive Anthropology Research Group (Lab. of Anthropology and Ethnology, University of Florence), Jacopo Annese, Italian researcher grown in Florence and now neuroanatomist at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), held at the “Leo Pardi” Dept. ofEvolutionary Biology, University of Florence (Italy), a seminar on goals aimed and results achieved in the American laboratory headed by him. At his Brain Observatory (, with funding from the Dana Foundation, a New York City nonprofit that supports research in neuroscience, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health (NIH), UCSD Health Sciences and private contributions, Annese plans to create an open-access digital brain library that aims to archive multiple views of individual human brains, including MRI scans, photographs, and thin slices dyed to reveal detailed anatomy. The Digital Brain Library at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, after including first a freely available online, digital, zoomable atlas of the brain of the most famous amnesic patient of all time, Henry Molaison, then will include donated brains from people both with neurological disorders, such as for example Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson’s, and with healthy brains of different ages. However for now, Molaison's brain is the star attraction because researchers have learned more about memory with just that one patient, known as H.M. in medical literature, than was learned in the previous 100 years of research on memory.

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