Main research areas

Cognitive Processes and their development

Cognitive processing is the peculiar activity that allow us to interact with the world. Amog the several processes, those most investigated within the CESLab are Prospective Memory (required when one have to remember to execute an action in a future moment), (selective and sustained) Attention, visuo-spatial Planning. In our lab, we are seeking to evaluate how these processes work, and how this information could be relevant for teachers to be known.

  • Basso, D., Corradini, G., & Cottini, C. (2023). "Teacher, forgive me, I forgot to do it!" The impact of children’s prospective memory and social skills on teachers’ evaluations of academic performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 17-32.
  • Basso, D., & Cottini, C. (2023). Cognitive neurosciences and education: not a gap to be bridged but a common field to be cultivated. Sustainability, 15, 1628.
  • Cottini, M., & Meier, B. (2020). Prospective memory monitoring and aftereffects of deactivated intentions across the lifespan. Cognitive Development, 53, 100844.
  • Basso, D., & Saracini, C. (2020). Differential involvement of left and right frontoparietal areas in visuospatial planning: A rTMS study. Neuropsychologia, 58, 107260.
  • Cottini, M., Basso, D., Saracini, C. & Palladino, P. (2019). Performance predictions and postdictions in prospective memory of school-aged children. Journal of experimental child psychology, 179, 38-55.
  • Cottini, M., Basso, D. & Palladino, P. (2018). The role of declarative and procedural metamemory on eventbased prospective memory in school-aged children. Journal of experimental child psychology, 166, 17-33.

Numerical cognition and education

In our investigations, we have seen that research in neuroscience is not driving teaching methods. The approaches in teaching mathematics are based on reliable pedagogical theories, but some kind of improvement could be suggested.

  • Tovazzi, A., Basso, D., Caprara, B., & Colombi, A.E. (2021). Pequeños bloques para grandes avances: Un enfoque didáctico basado en la neurociencia. In: A. R. Bodoque-Osma & S. Gonzáles-Víllora (Eds.), Neuroeducación: Desde la Psicología a la Motricidad. Editorial Morata, Madrid (pp. 215-232). ISBN: 9788418381591.
  • Tovazzi, A., Basso, D., & Saracini, C. (2019). Learning tools against developmental dyscalculia in primary school: A case study. In: L.G. Chova, A.L. Martinez, I.C., Torres (Eds.), 13th International Technology, Education And Development Conference (INTED 2019).Valencia: INTED Proceedings (p. 6755-6762).
  • Pross, A., & Basso, D. (2019). Shadow education in Italy and South Korea: Comparison of PISA data 2015 regarding private lessons in mathematics. In: L.G. Chova, A.L. Martinez, I.C., Torres (Eds.), 13th International Technology, Education And Development Conference (INTED 2019).Valencia: INTED Proceedings (p. 9459-9465).

Life-skills and Computational Thinking

The World Health Organization (WHO) has put forward the concept of Life-skills. We are willing to study how life-skills could be promoted, through two research lines: Peer-Tutoring among students, and didactics of Computational Thinking.

  • Moschella, M., & Basso, D. (2020). Computational Thinking, Spatial and Logical Skills. An investigation at primary school. Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica, 15(2), 69-89.
  • Imperio, A., Kleine Staarman, J., & Basso, D. (2020). Relevance of the socio-cultural perspective in the discussion about critical thinking. Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica, 15(1), 1-19.
  • Moschella, M. (2019). Observable computational thinking skills in primary school children: how and when teachers can discern abstraction, decomposition and use of algorithms. In: L.G. Chova, A.L. Martinez, I.C., Torres (Eds.), 13th International Technology, Education And Development Conference (INTED 2019).Valencia: INTED Proceedings (p. 6259-6267).
  • Basso, D., Fronza, I., Colombi, A. & Pahl, C. (2018). Improving assessment of computational thinking through a comprehensive framework. Proceedings of the 18th Koli calling international conference on computing education research, a15.
  • Colombi, A., Fronza, I., Pahl, C. & Basso, D. (2018). COCONATS: Combining computational thinking didactics and software engineering in K-12. Proceedings of the 19th annual SIG conference on information technology education, 162.

Media and technology (at school)

In the current world, Media and technologies deserve a special attention. The research in the CESLab focuses on the one hand, on the way in which the could be helpful as a didactical tool; on the other hand, on the positive/negative impact that they may exert on our society.

  • Basso, D., Lecci, G., & Colombi A.E. (2023). Students’ eyes like reality-based sceneries in e-learning. In: Villa, D., Zuccoli, F. (Eds): Proceedings of the 3rd International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Image and Imagination. IMG 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 631, 799-808. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-25906-7_88.
  • Ellecosta, N., & Basso, D. (2023). Knowledge and Appreciation of Manga Comics in an Italian Sample. In: Villa, D., Zuccoli, F. (Eds): Proceedings of the 3rd International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Image and Imagination. IMG 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 631, 486–495. Springer, Cham.
  • Luigini, A., Fanini, B., Basso, A., & Basso, D. (2020). Heritage education through serious games. A web-based proposal for primary schools to cope with distance learning. Vitruvio, 5(2), 93-105.
  • Luigini, A., Parricchi, M., Basso, A., & Basso, D. (2020). Immersive and participatory serious games for heritage education, applied to the cultural heritage of South Tyrol. IxD&A, 43, 47-69.


All other interests that are not included in the previous areas. For example, papers in collaboration with other research groups.

  • Tovazzi, A., Giovannini, S., & Basso, D. (2020). A new method for evaluating knowledge, beliefs and neuromyths about the mind and brain among Italian teachers. Mind, Brain and Education, 14(2), 187-198.
  • Borgianni, Y., Maccioni, L., & Basso, D. (2019). Exploratory study on the perception of additively manufactured end-use products with specific questionnaires and eye-tracking. International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 13, 743–759.
  • Maccioni, L., Borgianni, Y., & Basso, D. (2019). Value perception of green products: an exploratory study combining conscious answers and unconscious behavioral aspects. Sustainability, 11(5), 1226.

Granted projects

Neurocognition of arithmetic (re-)learning

The research project is divided in two steps. In the first one, two different learning methods (based on memory or strategies) will be compared. In the second one, four different teaching methods will be tested against each other to evaluate their efficacy. Granted by the Euregio (March 2022-February 2025), 500,000.00 Euro (to unibz: 123,427.50 Euro)

RIDE - Robotics for the Inclusive Development of Atypical and Typical Children (2019-1-HU01-KA201-061275)

Within this research project, we aim to develop and test a modular matrix which helps teachers and children through robotics, supporting the development of computational and cognitive skills in the children age range 6-14 years. Granted by the Erasmus+ program (September 2019-August 2022), 359,193 Euro (to unibz: 73,642 Euro)

Mind Wandering: cognitive characteristics and good practices

The first aim of this project is to investigate whether and how a stable dimension, such as cognitive style might affect and predict different types of MW experiences. The second aim of this project is to study how different learning environments at the university level may influence MW experience. Granted by the Central Research Committee, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (November 2016-October 2019), 67,900 Euro

Resources available in the Laboratory

Tobii x60 Eye-tracking system

The portable eye-tracker, which could be easily used with children in their schools.

Shimmer 3, GSR system

To measure Galvanic Skin Resistence, an indicator of stress and arousal.

E-Prime 2

The most used experimental software in psychological laboratories, equipped with a module for easy communication with the Tobii eye-tracker.

Noldus, the Observer TX

A fundamental resource to gather and analyze observational data.

Other cognitive tasks

A series of tests and tasks are available to investigate cognitive processing: the Corsi block tapping test, the Tower of London, Bar-On EQ-i, FE-PS,...

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