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Elena Rusconi

elena rusconi image


Securing Threat Detection: Synergy of Technological and Neuropsychological Factors


PhD in Security Science (Faculty of Engineering Sciences, UCL, London, UK)

MRes in Security Science (Faculty of Engineering Sciences, UCL, London, UK)

DipCrim (Faculty of Lifelong Education, Birkbeck College, London, UK)

PhD in Cognitive Sciences (Faculty of Psychology, University of Padova, Italy)

Laurea in General and Experimental Psychology (Faculty of Psychology, University of Padova, Italy)


Burgen Scholar Award (2009) Academia Europaea

John Freeman Memorial Prize (2008) King's College London

Young Researcher Award (2002) Associazione Italiana di Psicologia




Disciplines: Cognitive Neuroscience; Security Science; Crime Science

Main Methods: Causal and Correlational Brain-Behaviour Research Techniques (e.g. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging); Mental Chronometry; Neuropsychology.


In Press/Published

Rusconi, E., Scott-Brown, K., Szymkowiak, A. (in press). Neuroscience perspectives on security. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Rusconi, E., Tamè, L., Furlan, M., Haggard, P., Demarchi, G., Adriani, M., Ferrari, P., Braun, C., Schwarzbach, J.V. (2014). Neural correlates of finger gnosis. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 9012-9023.

Rusconi, E., Mitchener-Nissen, T. (2014). The role of expectations, hype and ethics in neuroimaging and neuromodulation futures. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. 8:214.

Rusconi, E. (2014). Strait is the gate... to Mathematics. On the multiple components of mathematical difficulties. The Neuropsychotherapist, 5, 108-111.

Coricelli, G., Rusconi, E., Villeval, M.-C. (2014). Tax evasion and emotions in repeated interactions: An empirical test of re-integrative shaming theory. Journal of Economic Psychology, 40: 49-61.

McLean, J.F., Rusconi, E. (2014). Mathematical difficulties as decoupling of expectation and developmental trajectories. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00044

Rusconi, E., Mitchener-Nissen, T. (2013). Prospects of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging as lie detector. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:594. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00594

Rusconi, E., Dervinis, M., Verbruggen, F., Chambers, C.D. (2013). Critical timecourse of right frontoparietal involvement in mental number space. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25: 465-483.

Guagnano, G., Rusconi, E., Umiltà, C. (2013). Joint (mis-)representations: A reply to Welsh et al. Journal of Motor Behavior, 45: 7-8.

Fischer, M.H., Riello, M., Giordano, B.L., Rusconi, E. (2013). Singing numbers... in cognitive space - A dual-task study of the link between pitch, space and numbers. Topics in Cognitive Science, 5: 354-366

Rusconi, E., McCrory, E., Viding, E. (2012). Self-rated attention to detail predicts threat detection performance in security x-ray images. Security Journal, 25(4), 356-371.

Rusconi, E. (2012). Visual Inspection with X-rays. JDiBrief series. ISSN: 2050-4853.

Riello, M., Rusconi, E. (2011). Unimanual SNARC effect: hand matters. Frontiers in Psychology, 2: 372.

Tillmann, B., Rusconi, E., Traube, C., Butterworth, B., Umiltà, C., & Peretz, I. (2011). Congenital amusia: speech helps fine pitch discrimination. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130: 4089-4096.

Kleinschmidt, A. & Rusconi, E. (2011). Gerstmann meets Geschwind: a crossing (or kissing) variant of a disconnection syndrome? The Neuroscientist, 17: 633-644.

Chambers, C., Bestmann, S., & Rusconi, E. 'Thinking caps' are pseudoscience masquerading as neuroscience. The Guardian, 16.02.11.

Sandrini, M., Umiltà, C., Rusconi, E. (2011). The use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in cognitive neuroscience: A new synthesis of methodological issues. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, 516-536.

Rusconi, E. & Kleinschmidt, A. (2011). Gerstmann’s syndrome: where does it come from and what does that tell us? Future Neurology 6, 23-32.

Rusconi, E., Bueti, D., Walsh, V., & Butterworth, B. (2011). Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number. Cortex, 47, 2-13.

Coricelli, G., Rusconi, E. (2011). Probing the decisional brain with TMS and tDCS. In M. Schulte-Mecklenbeck, A. Kühberger & R. Ranyard (eds) A Handbook of Process Tracing Methods for Decision Research. Psychology Press. pp. 205-222.

Rusconi, E., Pinel, P., Dehaene, S., & Kleinschmidt, A. (2010). The enigma of Gerstmann’s syndrome revisited: A telling tale of vicissitudes in neuropsychology. Brain, 133, 320-332.

Guagnano, D., Rusconi, E., & Umiltà, C. (2010). Sharing a task or sharing space? On the effect of a confederate in action coding. Cognition, 114, 348-355.

Rusconi, E., Pinel, P., Eger, E., Thirion, B., LeBihan, D. Dehaene, S., & Kleinschmidt, A. (2009). A disconnection account of Gerstmann syndrome: functional neuroanatomy evidence. Annals of Neurology, 66, 654-662.

Rusconi, E., & Bestmann, S. (2009). On tickling brains to investigate minds. Cortex, 45, 1021-1024.

Rusconi, E., & Bestmann, S. (eds) (2009). The contribution of TMS to structure-function mapping in the human brain. Action, perception and higher functions. Cortex Special Issue, 45(9), 1021-1118.

Rusconi, E., Gonzaga, M., Adriani, M., Braun, C., & Haggard, P. (2009). Know thyself: Behavioral evidence for a structural representation of the human body. PLoS ONE: 4(5) e5418. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005418

Sandrini, M., & Rusconi, E. (2009). A brain for numbers. Cortex, 45, 796-803.

Rusconi, E., Umiltà, C., & Galfano G. (2008). Seeing the brain through the architect’s eyes: a rejoinder to Gevers and Notebaert. Cognitive Neuropsychology.

Rusconi, E., & Umiltà, C. (2008). Mathematics and TMS. In E. Wassermann (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Transcranial Stimulation. Oxford University Press.

Rusconi, E., Turatto, M., & Umiltà, C. (2007). Two orienting mechanisms in posterior parietal lobule: an rTMS study of the Simon and SNARC effects. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 24, 373-392.

Rusconi, E., Galfano, G., & Job, R. (2007). Bilingualism and mathematical cognition (pp.153-174). In I. Kecskes and L. Albertazzi (Eds.) Cognitive Aspects of Bilingualism. Springer.

Galfano, G., Rusconi, E., & Umiltà, C. (2006). Number magnitude orients attention, but not against one’s will. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 13, 869-874.

Rusconi, E., Umiltà, C., Galfano, G. (2006). Breaking ranks: number and space may march to the beat of a different drum. Cortex, 42, 1124-1127.

Rusconi, E., Kwan, B., Giordano, B., Umiltà, C., & Butterworth, B. (2006). Spatial representation of pitch height: the SMARC effect. Cognition, 99, 113-129.

Rusconi, E., Priftis, K., Rusconi, M. L., & Umiltà, C. (2006). Arithmetic priming from neglected numbers. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 23, 227-239.

Rusconi, E., Galfano, G., Rebonato, E., & Umiltà, C. (2006). Bidirectional links in the network of multiplication facts. Psychological Research, 70, 32-42.

Rusconi, E., Walsh, V., & Butterworth, B. (2005). Dexterity with numbers: rTMS over left angular gyrus disrupts finger gnosis and number processing. Neuropsychologia, 43, 1609-1624.

Rusconi, E., Kwan, B., Giordano, B., Umiltà, C., & Butterworth, B. (2005). The mental space of pitch height. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1060, 195-197.

Rusconi, E., Galfano, G., Speriani, V., & Umiltà, C. (2004). Capacity and contextual constraints on product activation: Evidence from task-irrelevant fact retrieval. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: 57A, 1485-1511.

Mapelli, D., Rusconi, E., & Umiltà, C. (2003). The SNARC effect: An instance of the Simon effect? Cognition, 88, B1-B10.

Galfano, G., Rusconi, E., & Umiltà, C. (2003). Automatic activation of multiplication facts: Evidence from the nodes adjacent to the product. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: 56A, 31-61.

Priftis, K., Rusconi, E., Umiltà, C., & Zorzi, M. (2003). Pure agnosia for mirror stimuli after right inferior parietal lesion. Brain, 126, 908-919.

Zorzi, M., Mapelli, D., Rusconi, E., & Umiltà, C. (2003). Automatic spatial coding of perceived gaze direction is revealed by the Simon effect. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 10, 423-429.


Conferences Attended
2009 - 4th European Security Research Conference - Stockholm, Sweden
2009 - National Environmental Crime Conference - London, UK
2010 - Bob Hare's Workshop "Psychopathy: from laboratory to courtroom" - Canterbury, UK
2010 - 4th International Crime Science Conference - London, UK
2011 - HOSDB 2011: UK Innovation for Global Security - Farnborough, UK
2011 - RUSI Science and Technology - Whitehall
2011 - 5th International Crime Science Conference - London, UK

Invited Talks
"A disconnection account of Gerstmann’s syndrome" Unidad de Neurología. Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos, Toledo, Spain. 26.02.2010

"Revisiting Gerstmann’s syndrome" Department of Experimental Psychology. University of Ghent, Belgium. 08.04.2010

"Psychological trait predicts threat detection performance in security
x-ray images" Home Office Scientific Development Branch, St. Albans, Hertfordshire. 25.08.2010

"Self-rated attention to detail predicts threat detection performance in security
x-ray images" Department for Transport, London. 07.09.2011

"Individual traits and performance in security threat detection with x-ray images" Department of Psychology, University of Dundee. 29.03.2012

"Lie Detection" IITG CNR, AISC. Rome, 03.12.2012