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Welcome to my website. My name is Alessandro Scoccia Pappagallo (well, I guess that was pretty clear) and I am currently an MRes student at University of Sussex in Brighton. I was born in Rome the 16th of April 1989 but I moved to Avezzano when I was ten. After graduated at “Liceo Classico Alessandro Torlonia” I moved back to Rome in order to study at La Sapienza, the biggest university in Rome where I started a BSc in Cognitive Psychology. In 2011 I graduated under the supervision of Enrico di Pace my professor of General Psychology and Psychology of Conscious States. In the same year I decided to study abroad and after being accepted at University of Sussex for a MSc in the informatics department (artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience) I moved to the wonderful city of Brighton. Next year after graduating under the supervision of Matthew Egbert with a dissertation about the relationship between neural complexity and fitness in static networks I was offered a position as MRes student in the psychology department of the same university.
And here I am.
La Sapienza - University of Rome
The Sapienza University of Rome, officially Sapienza – Università di Roma, also called simply Sapienza formerly known as Università degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, is a coeducational, autonomous state university in Rome, Italy. It is the largest Italian university by enrollment and the oldest of Rome’s four state-funded universities. In Italian, sapienza means “wisdom” or “knowledge”. In 2010 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 190th overall in the world (from Wikipedia, September 2012).
Modules: Basics of Neurobiology and Genetics (cum laude), English Language, Basics of General Psychology, Story of the Psychology (cum laude), Basics of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Basics of Psychology and Physiological Psychology, Computer Science, Cognitive Neuroscience, Basics of Social Psychology, Basics of Psychometrics, Basics of Dynamic Psychology, Basics of Clinical Psychology, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (cum laude), Psychobiology, Psychology of the Personality, Psychology of Conscious States, Theory and Practice of Testing, Psychiatry and General Psychopathology, Basics of Psychology Of Work And Organisations. Final Dissertation (under the supervision of Enrico di Pace).
University of Sussex
Since 1996, the University of Sussex has been offering a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems. Students initially follow taught courses, in preparation for an individual research project leading to a Masters thesis. [...] The study of natural and artificial evolutionary and adaptive systems are at the heart of important emerging approaches to artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computational biology and related areas. Sussex is internationally renowned for its research in these interdisciplinary areas and has probably the world’s largest group in this field. The EASY MSc provides a solid grounding in the major themes of the area, including: artificial life, adaptive systems, biologically inspired robotics, complex adaptive systems, dynamical systems approaches to cognition, evolutionary systems and evolutionary computing, natural and artificial neural systems (from here).
Modules: Mathematics and Computational Methods for Complex Systems, Intelligence in Animals and Machines, Artificial Life, Object-Oriented Programming, Neural Networks, Adaptive Systems, Computational Neuroscience, Neuroscience of Consciousness, Final Dissertation (under the supervision of Matthew Egbert).
University of Sussex
This MRes has been specifically designed for students who are intending to go on to study for doctoral qualifications across a range of specialisms within psychology or to a career in psychological research. A particular feature of this degree is the two-term research apprenticeship taught in our highly research-oriented School. The MRes provides a strong grounding in the methods and concepts of psychology and offers advanced research training (from here).
Modules: Ethics, Philosophy and Methods, Research Internship (under the supervision of Anil Seth), Linear Models in Statistics, Social Neuroscience, Structural Equation Modelling, Experiment Generators: Use of EPrime (workshop), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (workshop), Eye Tracking (workshop), Multilevel Modelling (workshop), Longitudinal Data Analysis (workshop), Meta Analysis (workshop). Final Dissertation (under the supervision of Ryota Kanai).
My main interest is consciousness: its development, its definition, its functions, everything. As a computational neuroscientist my main purpose is to develop a range of mathematical tools helpful for the analysis of the brain, both theoretically and practically. Because of this I am deeply interested in what are called “quantitative models of consciousness”, like the ones proposed by Giulio Tononi (with his ‘integrated information theory’ framework) or by Anil Seth (with Granger causality).
Reading I am an avid reader (you can find my complete bookshelf here on aNobii). I do not have a favorite genre since I like to read different things according to my mood, my schedule and my needs. I love scientific essays: Edelman & Tononi’s “A universe of consciousness” and Carroll’s “From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time” are two good exmples. Having attended a senior high school specializing in classical studies I also carried on a passion for literature, both ancient and modern.
Cinema I always had a natural aversion to the act of watching movies: the idea to be sit for two hours without the possibility to stop or doing something else scare me (I am one of the annoying people that consider a crime to watch a movie in two parts). Anyway, I keep track of all the movies I have ever seen here on iCheckMovies. Speaking in general I am quite fond of all Quentin Tarantino’s movies (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2) and most Tim Burton’s movies (Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie). My favorite movie is for sure Casablanca whilst I always had strong feelings for Fincher’s Fight Club as well. Under the clinical point of view you may be interested to know that I watched Young Frankenstein around 200 times.
Music While most people consider music a pleasure I tend to consider it a need. I listen to different genres as Rock (Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC, Queen), Grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam), Glam rock (David Bowie, The Darkness, Alice Cooper), Punk rock (Sex Pistols, The Clash, Joy Division, Minor Threat), Pop-punk (Blink 182, Sum41, The Offspring, Good Charlotte), Metal (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Judas Priest), Alternative rock (Biffy Clyro, The Killers, Japandroids, Cloud Nothing), Electronic (Saycet, Hot Chip, Four Tet, The xx), 8-bit/Chiptune (Firebrand Boy, Nullsleep, Sabrepulse, Henry Homesweet), Jazz (Miles Davis, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke), Classical (Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, Mozart) and pretty much every other combination of sounds produced by man’s tools.
Sports Even if most people would refuse to believe it since I can remember I have always practiced sports (not always with great results, though). I tried: football, basketball, fencing, swimming and horse riding. The first sport I started to play seriously with good results was for sure volleyball, that I played for around 4-5 years continuously. But my real true love is fighting, in all its forms. I am a certified wing-chun trainer whilst I tried a vast number of different martial arts and fighting sports: muay thai, brazilian ju-jitsu, krav maga, kick boxe, MMA to name a few. Sporadically I also go surfing and snowboarding (two passions unfortunately I had little time to carry on).