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GIPSI - research Group on Inferential Processes in Social Interaction



Sector ERC

SH4_8 - Use of language: pragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, second language teaching and learning, lexicography, terminology


Research topics

Assessment and rehabilitation of communicative pragmatic ability

Pragmatic skill refers to the ability to communicate intentions in a given context, going beyond the literal meaning of an expressive act. Not only language, but also other expressive means, as extra-linguistic and paralinguistic, contribute to the realization of such capacity.

The interest of the research group focuses on determining the role of cognitive skills such as inferential ability, i.e. the ability to go behind the literal meaning of an utterance, executive functions and theory of the mind, in affecting the difficulties encountered in understanding and producing different types of pragmatic phenomena, such as direct and indirect communicative acts, ironies, deceits and communicative failures.

Within the Cognitive Science perspective, our interest does not simply concern healthy adults, but it also focuses on the development of such skills in children and on their decay in people with acquired brain lesions such as traumatic brain injury and vascular brain damage and psychiatric disorders, i.e. schizophrenia.

Moreover, the interest of the GIPSI research group in this domain also addresses the rehabilitation of communicative disorders affecting patients in the above mentioned pathological conditions.

The group also belongs to - An Italian Network of Experimental Pragmatics (

Recently, the research group activity also focuses on the assessment of communicative pragmatic ability, Executive Function (EF) and Theory of Mind (ToM) in aging (project ATTIVAmente, and on the development of pragmatic ability from a cross- cultural perspective.


Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind is a complex cognitive skill that allows people to attribute mental states to oneself and others, and to use this knowledge to regulate one's own behavior and that of other people.

Within the Cognitive Science perspective, the interest of the research group focuses on the study and the evaluation of the theory of mind during its developmental trajectory from newborn to infant and adolescent, as well as its deficit in people in different clinical conditions, such as people with schizophrenia, bulimia, alcohol disorder and heart disease.



Beside the topics described above, the interest of the research group focuses on the investigation of the neural correlates underlying the decision making processes during economic interaction.  


National scientific collaborations:

  • Valentina Bambini, University of Pavia
  • Andrea Marini, University of Trieste
  • Fiorenzo Laghi, University of Rome


International scientific collaborations: 

  • Soile Lokousa, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Giorgia Silani e Klaus Lamm, University of Wien
  • Alan Leslie, Rutgers University, NJ, Usa


Research grants:  

  • 2016-2019: The interpretative brain: Understanding and promoting pragmatic abilities across lifespan and in mental illness, Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) Research Project of National Interest (PRIN).
  • 2013‐2015: Rehabilitation of communication skills in people with schizophrenia, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino (CRT) Foundation


 Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR), "ex 60%":

  • 2012‐2014: Rehabilitation of pragmatic communication skills in schizophrenic patients
  • 2007‐2009: Development and decay of linguistic and extralinguistic abilities
  • 2006‐2008: Creation of an instrument for the evaluation of the Theory of Mind
  • 2005‐2007: The comprehension of simple and complex communication acts
  • 2004‐2006: The role of context in the attribution of communicative intention
  • 2003‐2005: Pretend play in 1526 month olds children
  • 2002‐2004: Recognition and repair of communicative failures and theory of mind



Research equipment 

  • fMRI (Philips, 3 Tesla)
  • Eye Tracker MR compatible (Arrington Research)
  • Olygraph MR compatible: Skin conductance, HR, MEP, Oximetry (Biopac MP150)







Parola, A., Berardinelli, L., Bosco, F.M. (2018). Cognitive abilities and theory of mind in explaining communicative-pragmatic disorders in patients with schizophrenia, Psychiatry Research, 260, 144-151.  Doi:

Bosco FM & Gabbatore I. (2017). Sincere, deceitful, and ironic communicative acts and the role of the Theory of Mind in childhood. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:21.           Doi:

Bosco, F.M., Gabbatore, I (2017). Theory of mind in recognizing and recovering communicative failures. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1, 57-88. Doi: https:10.1017/S0142716416000047

Bosco, F.M, Parola, A. (2017). Schizophrenia. Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology, 11, 267-290.

Bosco, F.M., Parola, A., Sacco, K., Zettin, M., Angeleri, R. (2017). Communicative-pragmatic disorders in traumatic brain injury: The role of theory of mind and executive functions. Brain and Language, 168, 73-83. Doi:

Bosco, F.M. Parola, A., Valentini, M.C., Morese, R. (2017). Neural correlates underlying the comprehension of deceitful and ironic communicative intentions. Cortex, 94, 73-86. Doi:

Gabbatore, I., Bosco, F.M., Geda, E., Gastaldo, L., Duca, S., Costa, T., Bara, B.G., Sacco, K. (2017). Cognitive Pragmatic rehabilitation program in schizophrenia: A single case fMRI study. Neural Plasticity, art. n. 1612078. Doi:

Bosco, F.M., Gabbatore, I. (2017). Sincere, deceitful, and ironic communicative acts and the role of the theory of mind in childhood. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, art. n. 21. Doi:

Marini, A., Zettin, M., Bencich, E. Bosco, F.M., Galetto, V. (2017). Severity effects on discourse production after TBI. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 44, 91-106. Doi:

Angeleri R., Gabbatore I., Bosco F.M., Sacco K., Colle L. (2016). Pragmatic abilities in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: A study with the ABaCo battery. Minerva Psichiatrica, 57, 93-103, ISSN: 0391-1772

Bosco F.M., Gabbatore I. (2016). Theory of mind in recognizing and recovering communicative failures. Applied Psycholinguistics, 19, 1-32, Doi:

Bosco F. M., Gabbatore I.., Gastaldo L., Sacco K. (2016). Communicative-Pragmatic Treatment in schizophrenia: A pilot study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-12. Doi:

Bosco, F. M., Gabbatore, I., Tirassa, M., & Testa, S. (2016). Psychometric Properties of the Theory of Mind Assessment Scale in a Sample of Adolescents and Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 566.

Capozzi F., Bosco F.M., Tirassa, M. (2016). Noetic and autonoetic memory in persons with a diagnosis of schizophrenia: An explorative study. Minerva Psichiatrica, vol. 57, p. 22-33.

Laghi F., Terrinoni A., Cerutti R., Fantini F., Galosi S., Ferrara M., Bosco F.M. (2016). Theory of mind in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) adolescents. Consciousness and Cognition, 43, 38-47. Doi:

Morese R., Rabellino D., Sambataro F., Perussia F., Valentini M. C., Bara B. G., Bosco F.M. (2016). Group Membership Modulates the Neural Circuitry Underlying Third Party Punishment. Plos One, 1-14. Doi: 1932-6203, doi:

Parola, A., Gabbatore, I. , Bosco, F.M., Bara, B.G., Cossa, F.M., Gindri, P., Sacco, K. (2016). Assessment of pragmatic impairment in right hemisphere damage. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 39, 10-25. Doi:

Rabellino D., Morese R., Ciaramidaro A., Bara B.G., Bosco F.M. (2016). Third-party punishment: altruistic and anti-social behaviours in in-group and out-group settings. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28, 486-495. Doi:

Sacco, K., Gabbatore, I., Geda, E., Duca, S., Cauda, F., Bara, B. G., & Bosco, F. M. (2016). Rehabilitation of Communicative Abilities in Patients with a History of TBI: Behavioral Improvements and Cerebral Changes in Resting-State Activity. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10, 48.

Bosco, F. M., Angeleri, R., Sacco, K., & Bara, B. G. (2015). Explaining pragmatic performance in traumatic brain injury: a process perspective on communicative errors. International journal of language & communication disorders, 50(1), 63-83. Doi:

Brizio, A., Gabbatore, I., Tirassa, M., Bosco, F.M. (2015) "No more a child, not yet an adult": studying social cognition in adolescence. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1011. Doi:

Chiavarino, C., Bianchino, C., Brach-Prever, S., Riggi, C., Palumbo, L., Bara, B. G., & Bosco, F. M. (2015). Theory of mind deficit in adult patients with congenital heart disease. Journal of health psychology, 20(10), 1253-1262. Doi:

Gabbatore I, Sacco, K., Angeleri, R., Zettin, M, Bara B. G., Bosco, F. M. (2015). Cognitive Pragmatic Treatment: A Rehabilitative Program for Traumatic Brain Injury Individuals. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 30 (5), E14-E28. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Capozzi, F., Colle, L. Marostica, P. & Tirassa, M. (2014). Theory of Mind deficit in subjects with alcohol use disorder: An analysis of mindreading processes. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 49, 299-307. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Gabbatore I., Tirassa M. (2014). A broad assessment of theory of mind in adolescence: The complexity of mindreading. Consciouness and Cognition, 24, 84-97. Doi:

Gabbatore, I., Angeleri, R., Bosco, F. M., Cossa, F. M., Bara, B. G., Sacco (2014). Assessment of Communicative Abilities in Aphasic Patients. Minerva Psichiatrica, 55(2), 45-55.

Laghi F., Cotugno, A., Cecere F., Sirolli A., Palazzoni D. & Bosco, F. M. (2014). An exploratory assessment of theory of mind and psychological impairment in patients with bulimia nervosa. British Journal of Psychology, 105, 509 - 523. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Angeleri, R., Colle L., Sacco K., Bara B.G. (2013). Communicative abilities in children: An assessment through different phenomena and expressive mean. Journal of Child Language, 46, 294-308. Doi:

Colle L., Angeleri R., Vallana M., Sacco K., Bara B.G., Bosco F.M. (2013). Understanding the communicative impairments in schizophrenia: A preliminary study. Journal of Communication Disorders, 46, 294-308. Doi:

Angeleri, R., Bosco F.M., Gabbatore, I., Bara, B. G., & Sacco, K. (2012). Assessment battery for communication: Normative data. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 845-61.                                    Doi:

Bosco F.M., Angeleri R., Zuffranieri, M. Bruno G. Bara, Sacco K. (2012).Assessment battery for communication: Development of two equivalent forms. Journal of Communication Disorders, 45, 290-303. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Bono A., Bara B. G. (2012). Recognition and Repair of communicative failures: The interaction between theory of mind and cognitive complexity in schizophrenic patients. Journal of Communication Disorders, 145, 181-197. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Vallana, M. & Bucciarelli M. (2012). The inferential chain makes the difference between familiar and novel figurative expressions. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 24, 525-540. Doi:

Castellino N., Bosco F.M., Marshall W. L, Marshall L. E. & Veglia F. (2011). Mindreading abilities in sexual offenders: An analysis of theory of mind processes. Consciousness and Cognition, 20, 1612-1624. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Colle L., Tirassa M. (2009). The complexity of theory of mind. Consciosness and Cognition, 18, 323-324. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Vallana, M., Bucciarelli, M. (2009). Comprehension of communicative intentions: The case of figurative language. Journal of Cognitive Science 10, 245-277.

Angeleri R. Bosco F.M., Zettin M., Sacco K., Colle L., Bara B.G. (2008). Communicative impairment in traumatic brain injury: A complete pragmatic assessment. Brain and Language, 107, 229-245. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Bucciarelli M. (2008). Simple and Complex Deceits and Ironies. Journal of Pragmatics, 40, 583-607. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Colle L., De Fazio, S., Bono A., Ruberti, S., Tirassa M. (2008). Th.o.m.a.s.: An exploratory assessment of Theory of Mind in schizophrenic subjects. Consciousness and Cognition, 18, 306-319. Doi:

Sacco K,. Angeleri R., Bosco F.M., Colle L., Mate D. Bara B.G. (2008). Assessment Battery for Communication - ABaCo: A new instrument for the evaluation of pragmatic abilities. Journal of Cognitive Science, 2, 111-157.

Tirassa M., Bosco F.M. (2008). On the nature and role of intersubjectivity in human communication. Emerging Communication: Studies in New Technologies and Practices in Communication, 10, 81-95.

Bosco F.M., Bucciarelli M., Bara B. G. (2006). Recognition and repair of communicative failures: A developmental perspective. Journal of Pragmatics, 38, 1398-1429. Doi:

Bosco, F.M., Friedman, O., Lesile A. (2006). Recognition of pretend and real actions in play by one- and two-year-olds: Early success and why they fail. Cognitive Development, 21, 3-10. Doi:

Tirassa M, Bosco F.M., Colle L. (2006). Sharedness and privateness in human early social life. Cognitive Systems Research, 7, 128-139. Doi:

Tirassa M., Bosco F.M., Colle L., (2006). Rethinking the ontogeny of mindreading. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 197-217. Doi:

Bosco F.M., Bucciarelli M., Bara B.G. (2004). The fundamental context categories in understanding communicative intention. Journal of Pragmatics, 36, 467- 488. Doi:

Last update: 25/09/2018 11:31
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