Marco Viola

Marco Viola
Università degli Studi di Torino | UNITO · Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze dell'Educazione

PhD
Fixed-Term Assistant Professor (Rtd-A) @ Roma 3 University

About

57
Publications
27,585
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292
Citations
Citations since 2016
54 Research Items
292 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
I am into philosophy of science, especially philosophy of psychology and neuroscience. Favorite topics: emotion; face. Also, a little bit of HPS/sociology of science.
Additional affiliations
December 2018 - February 2019
Università degli Studi di Torino
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2018 - August 2018
Moscow State Pedagogical University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2016 - November 2016
Macquarie University
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
Vocal bursts are non-linguistic affectively-laden sounds with a crucial function in human communication, yet their affective structure is still debated. Studies showed that ratings of valence and arousal follow a V-shaped relationship in several kinds of stimuli: high arousal ratings are more likely to go on a par with very negative or very positiv...
Article
Full-text available
Debates on situated affectivity have mainly focused on tools that exert some positive influence on affective experience. Far less attention has been paid to artifacts that interact with the expression of affect, or to those that exert some negative influence. To shed light on that shadowy corner of our affec-tive social lives, I describe the workin...
Article
Full-text available
In this introduction we offer an overview of the 15 articles of the special issue What’s so special about faces? Visages at the crossroad between philosophy, semiotics and cognition, sorting them into five broad topics, i.e. (i) the attempt at overcoming the notion that there is a one-to-one mapping between certain emotions and facial expressions,...
Article
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Fueled by the rapid development of neuroscientific tools and techniques, some scholars consider the shift from traditional cognitive psychology toward cognitive neuroscience to be a revolution (most notably Boone and Piccinini). However, the term "revolution" in philosophy of science can easily be construed as involving a paradigm shift in the sens...
Preprint
Full-text available
Article
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The impression of trustworthiness based on someone's facial appearance biases our subsequent behavior toward that subject in a variety of contexts. In this study, we investigated whether facial trustworthiness also biases the credibility of utterances associated with that face (H1). We explored whether this bias is mitigated by utterances eliciting...
Preprint
Full-text available
(Despite an ENGLISH abstract, the main text is in ITALIAN) Face masks have been a precious ally in preventing the spread of Covid-19. However, notwithstanding their primary function not being social, by covering part of the face, the most salient organ in social exchanges, face masks also inevitably alter our social interactions in relevant respec...
Article
Full-text available
In their attempt to connect the workings of the human mind with their neural realizers, cognitive neuroscientists often bracket out individual differences to build a single, abstract model that purportedly represents (almost) every human being's brain. In this paper I first examine the rationale behind this model, which I call 'Platonic Brain Model...
Article
Full-text available
Within the field of neuroscience, it is assumed that the central nervous system is divided into two functionally distinct components: the brain, which does the cognizing, and the spinal cord, which is a conduit of information enabling the brain to do its job. We dub this the “Cinderella view” of the spinal cord. Here, we suggest it should be abando...
Article
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Inspired by the literature on extended/scaffolded mind, a debate concerning the contribution of extra-bodily resources to our (extended) emotions is recently gaining traction. Within this debate, inspired by the literature on cognitive artifacts (e.g. Fasoli 2018; Heersmink 2013), Piredda (2019) introduces the notion of "affective artifacts", indic...
Chapter
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Article
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According to the influential psychologist Paul Ekman, emotions have a distinctive and universal facial expression, whose functioning is essentially grounded in biology, and is only marginally influenced by culture. But then, as I will discuss in the present essay, if we accept Eco’s construal of the boundaries of semiotics, (natural) facial express...
Article
Full-text available
Covid-19 pandemics has fostered a pervasive use of facemasks all around the world. While they help in preventing infection, there are concerns related to the possible impact of facemasks on social communication. The present study investigates how emotion recognition, trust attribution and re-identification of faces differ when faces are seen withou...
Chapter
The present volume consists of new papers by leading philosophers of neuroscience advancing debates concerning foundational, conceptual and methodological issues in cognitive and systems neuroscience, as well as neuroscientifically inspired philosophy of mind. This introductory chapter presents the aims of the volume and provides a short overview o...
Article
Full-text available
According to several researchers, core affect lies at the foundation of our affective lives and may be characterized as a consciously accessible state combining arousal (activated-deactivated) and valence (pleasure-displeasure). The interaction between these two dimensions is still a matter of debate. In this paper we provide a novel hypothesis con...
Article
Full-text available
The initial online publication contained several typesetting errors.
Article
In this paper we discuss the so-called priority rule, an implicit norm that regulates the attribution of scientific prestige, described by Merton. It prescribes that the credit is only awarded to the first who makes a discovery. We discuss some theoretical arguments in favor of and against the rule. Then, we argue that the notion of ‘first discover...
Article
Full-text available
In order to contrast the COVID-19 pandemic, surgical facemasks have become very widespread, and compulsory in many contexts, including schools. Yet, while their value for health is beyond dispute, this safety is bought at the expense of some impairment in social communication, since the face is a very relevant bodily channel for both verbal and non...
Article
Full-text available
*Full text (in ITA) at OpenEdition: https://journals.openedition.org/qds/3706* In this short essay, two books recently published in Italy are examined: Massimiano Bucchi’s Come vincere un premio Nobel. Il premio più famoso della scienza, and Emiliano Brancaccio and Giacomo Bracci’s Il discorso del potere. Il premio Nobel per l’Economia tra scienza,...
Chapter
Following the taxonomy of four modes of cognition sketched by Roberto Casati (a syncretism of dual system theories of reasoning and distributed cognition), I describe four modes of addressing evolutionary salient tasks, i.e. those tasks like foraging and mating on which the survival of the species hinges upon. According to an influential tradition,...
Preprint
Full-text available
(Abstract ITA): Lungi dall'essere monolitiche, le discipline scientifiche si frammentano sovente in scuole di pensiero rivali. Il reclutamento accademico è teatro privilegiato di questa competizione: infatti, è stato osservato che il giudizio delle e dei selezionatori è condizionato dalla scuola di appartenenza delle e dei candidati; e dato che le...
Book
Full-text available
Le principali tematiche che oggi dominano il dibattito psicologico e neuroscientifico sulle emozioni hanno in realtà una storia che troppo spesso è stata dimenticata o semplicemente strumentalizzata ma che, adeguatamente conosciuta, può offrire elementi utili a fare chiarezza anche sugli aspetti più problematici e controversi delle teorie contempor...
Preprint
Full-text available
*To appear in T. Bertolotti (ed.), Cognition in 3E: Emergent, Embodied, Extended, Springer, Chaim: 2020*
Chapter
Is there any fruitful interplay between philosophy and neuroscience? In this paper, we provide four case studies showcasing that: (i) Philosophical questions can be tackled by recruiting neuroscientific evidence; (ii) the epistemological reflections of philosophers contribute to tackle some foundational issues of (cognitive) neuroscience. (i) will...
Book
Full-text available
Il volume Medicina, filosofia e cognizione è dedicato ai rapporti che la medicina ha con la filosofia, le scienze cognitive e le tecnologie. I diversi saggi raccolti propongono delle analisi interdisciplinari che spaziano dalla filosofia della scienza alla linguistica clinica, dalla sociologia alle neuroscienze, dall’intelligenza artificiale alla p...
Article
Full-text available
Versione semi-definitiva, accettata per la pubblicazione su Sistemi Intelligenti. Non citare. Le emozioni tra umani ed altri animali. Problemi epistemologici nella generalizzazione dei concetti
Preprint
Full-text available
Articolo vincitore del premio Best Paper AISC Vittorio Girotto 2017, in corso di pubblicazione su Sistemi Intelligenti. Versione provvisoria. Nel presente articolo intendiamo ragionare sulle interazioni tra filosofia e neuroscienze. Per farlo, ci avvarremo di quattro studi di caso che riteniamo rappresentino altrettanti dibattiti dove l’interazion...
Article
Full-text available
While some form of evaluation has always been employed in science (e.g. peer review, hiring), formal systems of evaluation of research and researchers have recently come to play a more prominent role in many countries because of the adoption of new models of governance. According to such models, the quality of the output of both researchers and the...
Preprint
Full-text available
* accepted for publication on the European Journal of Analytic Philosophy - https://www.ffri.hr/phil/casopis/index.html * /// ABSTRACT: While some form of evaluation has always been employed in science (e.g. peer review, hiring), formal systems of evaluation of research and researchers have recently come to play a more prominent role in many count...
Conference Paper
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Four contributions on the relationship between cognitive functions and neural structures
Article
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A commentary on Eliza Bliss-Moreau's "Constructing nonhuman animal emotion" (Current Opinion in Psychology, 17, 184-188). See the preprint on https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02070/full
Article
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Since neuroimaging methods allow researchers to study the human brain at work, the vexed mind-brain problem ceased to be just a metaphysical issue, and became a practical concern for Cognitive Neuroscientists: how could they carve mind and brain into distinct entities, and what is the relation between these two sets? In this paper, I discuss the cl...
Article
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The existence of so-called ‘basic emotions’ and their defining attributes represents a long lasting and yet unsettled issue in psychology. Recently, neuroimaging evidence, especially related to the advent of neuroimaging meta-analytic methods, has revitalized this debate in the endeavor of systems and human neuroscience. The core theme focuses on t...
Article
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Since cognitive neuroscience aims at giving an integrated account of mind and brain, its ontology should include both neural and cognitive entities and specify their relations. According to what we call the standard ontological framework of cognitive neuroscience (SOFCN), the aim of cognitive neuroscience should be to establish one-to-one mappings...
Article
Full-text available
Twenty years ago, Paul Griffiths (1997) published his well renown book What Emotions Really Are?, in which he claimed that the phenomena designated by the vernacular word «emotion» does not belong to a single natural kind, and therefore no single theory of emotion can account for all of them. In this article we assess if his claim is still valid, b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This talk has two goals. First, we are going to provide a rational reconstruction of the Standard Ontological Framework of Cognitive Neuroscience (SOFCN), describing its assumptions (i.e. the decomposability of mind and brain; a one-to-one mapping between mental and brain entities) and the ensuing heuristics (i.e. the search for brain correlates of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Why (and how) Evaluation may compromise Epistemic Pluralism – and why (and how) we should care about it While some form of evaluation has ever been employed in science (e.g. peer review, hiring), evaluations of research and of researchers (ERRs) have recently assumed a more prominent roles in many countries as a consequence of the adoption of new m...
Article
Full-text available
This article aims at providing a rational reconstruction of the ontology of Cognitive Neuroscience. That should satisfy three desiderata: (a) an ontology of cognitive functions describing any operation of the mind; (b) an ontology of neural structure describing any part of the brain; (c) a one-to-one correspondence between each cognitive function a...
Article
Full-text available
NB: questo manoscritto altro non è che la versione pre-print di quest'altro: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307850013_L%27agenda_ontologica_della_neuroscienza_cognitiva_le_neuroscienze_come_arbitro_delle_categorie_psicologiche_e_viceversa?ev=prf_pub Questo articolo ambisce a fornire una ricostruzione razionale dell’ontologia della neuros...
Article
Full-text available
since the publication of Kitcher's influential paper The Division of Cognitive Labor, some philosophers wondered about these two related issues: (1) which is the optimal distribution of cognitive efforts among rival methods within a scientific community?, and (2) whether and how can a community achieve such an optimal distribution? Though not commi...

Questions

Questions (10)
Question
More specifically, starting on August 2022, EasyChair only allows small conferences (max 20 submissions) for free.
Would you reccomend other similar services?
Question
Not really much to add to the question itself.
It is quite established that neurotypical humans are particularly good at DETECTING* faces. Of course there are false positives, i.e. we sometimes see faces where there are none, in the so-called paraeidolieae. But these false positives (together with studies on infants) teach us something important, i.e. that the main heuristic for human face detection is finding sme T-shaped contrast.
As far as I know, many machine vision algorithms work in a similar fashion.
Based on this, I expect that sunglasses should NOT dampen face detection. If anything, they can even INCREASE it.
... but is it the case? Any data on that? I'll be glad if you could point me to some references!
Thank you
* * * *
* DETECTING is different from RECOGNISING or 'READING' faces. It's not about claiming "this face is X's face" or "this face suggests X's mental state (e.g. anger)", but simply "there is some face here"
Question
Field: psychology, affective science
Scenario: Suppose you are collecting ratings of valence and arousal (and whatever measure you like), both after stimulus presentation (i.e. STIMULUS PRESENTATION / VALENCE RATING / AROUSAL RATING). Now, suppose that a serious reviewer points out that the best practice is to keep them apart in order to prevent sujects' answers to the former affecting their answers to the latter variable (e.g. STIMULUS a PRESENTATION / VALENCE RATING for a / STIMULUS b PRESENTATION / AROUSAL RATING for b / STIMULUS a PRESENTATION / AROUSAL RATING for a)
Q1: what are the pros and the cons of keeping them separate, as the reviewer urge? Is there any paper discussing this?
Q2: is this affected by stimulus modality?
Q3: if you cannot keep them apart for pragmatic reasons (e.g. you have a high number of stimuli which cannot be presented multiple times), what can you do to mitigate whatever issue results from the adoption of the sub-optimal collection style?
Thanks in advance!
Question
As per title: I'm looking for a figure which represents the spinal cord, and that I can reuse in a paper of mine WITHOUT paying any fee -- although I'll be glad to pay in "researcher's currency", i.e. citation!
Question
I mean, you can easily find out that Galen was the pioneer, correcting Aristotle; and a bunch of other intersting historical things. But WHO exactly decided to establish this partition, WHEN, and for WHAT reason the spinal cord was clustered in the same overarching category with the brain, whereas both were distinct from the Peripheral Nervous System?
Question
To my knowledge, Lisa Feldman Barrett (LFB) calls her theory "Conceptual Act Theory" at least until her 2015 book with Russell.
However, to begin with her own 2017 book / her 2017 SCAN article she starts employing the name "Theory of Constructed Emotion".
Is that just a relabelling, or something substantal changed in her theory?
Question
I am looking for papers that prove that arousal increases due to consumption of coffee. Preferably, I am looking for the bare effect of coffee, i.e. I would rather not dwell into literature that uses coffee as a placebo.
Even better, I would need papers that proves that coffee does not only increases wakeful arousal, but also affective arousal (for the distinction, see Satpute, A. B., Kragel, P. A., Barrett, L. F., Wager, T. D., & Bianciardi, M. (2018). Deconstructing arousal into wakeful, autonomic and affective varieties. Neuroscience letters).
Thanks!
Question
If I've understood it correctly, a recent paper by
Aaron Winder
and colleagues ( ) shows that in mice altered cerebral blood volume in Resting State is poorly correlated with neural activity, and is more likely to refelct some neurovascular activity.
If the findings get replicated, they might contradict the widespread belief that resting state networks might indicate some psychological process (although a yet-to-be-identitied one).
Wouldn't that downplay all the 'hype' with Resting State Network, at least as far as they're taken to reveal some 'essential function' of the brain? Which implications might there be from such a reframing?
Question
Sometimes, cognitive neuroscientists talk about 'degenerate functions' in order to refer to a 'same' process implemented in multiple structures. I am aware of Noppeney, Price and Friston's attempts to operationalize the study of degenerate functions, but it dates back to 2004. Isn't there any recent theoretical reflection upon this topic? e.g. how do we ascertain that two functions are 'the same'? can someone provide some good example of degenerate function, and on how they have been / can be studied?
Question
Sometimes I read that resting state networks may be the "building block" or the "pychological primitives" of the mind. However, I can't see the reason why - possibly due to my limited understanding of the brain (I'm a philosopher of neuroscience: I only deal with the brain in mediated ways). Could someone please just give me some argument in favour (or contrary) to such claims and/or hint e toward some relevant paper exploring the issue?

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Projects (4)
Project
Thematical Topic for the journal TOPOI - An International Review of Philosophy (https://www.springer.com/journal/11245/) Guest editors: Marco Viola & Massimo Leone (University of Turin) Faces, or at least T-shaped face patterns, grab human beings’ attention since the very earlier days of life. And they remain the most relevant stimuli of the social environment. Possibly, since (quoting William James 1984) “the most important part of my environment is my fellow-man”, faces are among the most relevant stimuli of the environment tout court. While face is a vehicle of social information in many animals (Leopold & Rhodes 2010), its social role is eminently manifest in our species. Faces are the default channel to reveal one’s identity, both in everyday life and in forensic contexts (Leone 2020). Psychology construe faces as powerful tools for conveying affective states and several other social information (Jack & Schyns 2015). They trigger the formation of first impressions that, while often misguided, prime subsequent behavioral interactions (Todorov et al. 2015). The cognitive relevance of faces is also reflected in neural regions selective for face processing (Kanwisher et al. 1997; Haxby et al. 2000). The salience of faces is also witnessed by the pervasiveness of faces in the history of (several visual) arts: from sculptures to self-portraits, from photographs to facial bodily modifications, face remains a preferred subject of aesthetic expression (Belting 2017). The digital era has further inflated the ubiquity of facial representations: the social networks we navigate are often (and sometimes also literally) “face books”; emoticons and emojis that often accompany, and sometimes even vicariate, written communications; increasingly realistic and dynamic virtual faces are employed in videogames to elicit emotional reactions, or as avatar to mediate users’ interactions in online platforms. Unsurprisingly, social robotics is concerned with how realistic a face should be in order to avoid the uncanny feeling prompt by face-like patterns that, while resembling actual faces enough for being considered as such, are also different enough to make us feel uneasy (Mori 1970). Not to mention how the rapid sophistication of technology to read out identity and mental states from faces, urgently calls for both epistemological and moral analyses. And the same can be said about the rapid sophistication of deepfake technologies capable of creating and even moving fake faces (as shown by the website thispersondoesnotexists.com, or by Star Wars movies). The history abounds with scientific (and pseudoscientific?) attempts of systematizing face reading, ranging from physiognomy to modern face recognition algorithms. What about philosophy? Surprisingly, with the exception of some classical continental philosophers such as Levinas or Deleuze and Guattari, philosophers have paid scant attention to the face when compared with other fields. Contemporary analytic philosophy sometimes invokes evidence from the psychology of face perception to support of the existence of high-level visual properties (e.g. Fish 2013; Block 2014). On some occasions, philosophers have dialogued with scientific theories to adjudicate the meaning and function of facial expressions (e.g. Scarantino 2017; Glazer 2019). However, many territories remain unexplored yet. Having ventured in these uncharted lands as a part of the ERC project FACETS (Face Aesthetics in Contemporary E-Technological Societies), we urge other scholars to join us in this exploration. In particular, we welcome contribution on the topic of face reading (broadly construed) across times and disciplines, which is at the core of our work package VISAGES (Visage Intelligence Systems from Antiquity to the Genesis of E-Societies). We thus welcome any paper aimed at advancing the research on the abovementioned topics. Papers at the crossroads between philosophy, semiotics and cognitive and/or other social sciences are especially welcome. Topics: A list of possible topics includes (but is not limited to): - Face decoding across history & cultures - Nature and Nurture in face perception - The role of face in social interactions - The face in the digital world - Epistemology and ethics of face recognition - Epistemology and ethics of deepfakes - The meaning and function of facial expressions - Face and personhood - The ontological status of high-level visual properties in face - Facial artifacts (e.g. masks) and face prosthetics - The aesthetic properties of face representations - Animal faces - Cultural variability in face perception/representations Deadline: 15th December 2021 Maximum length: barring previous agreement with the guest editors, manuscripts should not exceed 9,000 words (including abstract, keywords, references, footnotes, and captions) Confirmed Invited speakers - Per Aage Brandt (Case Western Reserve University) - Maria Giulia Dondero (University of Liège) - Paul Dumouchel (Ritsumeikan University) - Vittorio Gallese (University of Parma) - Rachael E. Jack (University of Glasgow) - Claudio Paolucci (University of Bologna) - Joulia Smortchkova (University of Oxford) - Maria Patrizia Violi (University of Bologna) - Alberto Voltolini (University of Turin) - Jordan Zlatev (University of Lund) References Belting, H. (2017). Face and mask: a double history. Princeton University Press. Block, N. (2014). Seeing-as in the light of vision science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 89(3), 560-572. Fish, W. (2013). High-level properties and visual experience. Philosophical studies, 162(1), 43-55. Glazer, T. (2019). The Social Amplification View of facial expression. Biology & Philosophy, 34(2), 1-18. Haxby, J. V., Hoffman, E. A., & Gobbini, M. I. (2000). The distributed human neural system for face perception. Trends in cognitive sciences, 4(6), 223-233. Jack, R. E., & Schyns, P. G. (2015). The human face as a dynamic tool for social communication. Current Biology, 25(14), R621-R634. Kanwisher, N., McDermott, J., & Chun, M. M. (1997). The fusiform face area: a module in human extrastriate cortex specialized for face perception. Journal of neuroscience, 17(11), 4302-4311. Leone, M. (2020). From Fingers to Faces: Visual Semiotics and Digital Forensics. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law-Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique, 1-21. Leopold, D. A., & Rhodes, G. (2010). A comparative view of face perception. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 124(3), 233-251. Mori, M. (1970), The Uncanny Valley, Energy, 7 (4), 33–35. Newen, A. (2017). Defending the liberal-content view of perceptual experience: direct social perception of emotions and person impressions. Synthese, 194(3), 761-785. Scarantino, A. (2017). How to do things with emotional expressions: The theory of affective pragmatics. Psychological Inquiry, 28(2-3), 165-185. Todorov, A., Olivola, C. Y., Dotsch, R., & Mende-Siedlecki, P. (2015). Social attributions from faces: Determinants, consequences, accuracy, and functional significance. Annual review of psychology, 66, 519-545.
Project
To translate in Italian a significant amount of entries concerning the research themes of philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and philosophy of science. The idea is to make bachelor and MA students more akin to the these branches of philosophy in their native language and to develop the debate on philosophy of mind and the other disciplines in the italian universities and among students. These entries are taken directly by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy website (https://plato.stanford.edu/). All the current translations are available on our main site, which can be found at the following link: https://www.gavagaitranslations.com/.
Archived project
"How do we best design social institutions for the advancement of learning? The philosophers have ignored the social structure of science. The point, however, is to change it". By accepting Kitcher’s challenge, this special issue of RT aims at making social epistemology interact with research policy, taking a critical-normative stance towards actual practices. Deadline for authors: June 31, 2017. Guest editors: Eugenio Petrovich and Marco Viola. More details on http://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/roars/announcement/view/489