Renzo Lanfranco

PhD Psychology



I am interested in consciousness, visual perception, face perception, emotion processing, social cognition, metacognition, and psychopathology. More specifically, I am interested in the role of consciousness in visual cognition and metacognition, in the detection and recognition of faces, and in neuropsychiatric disorders that involve impairments in said functions. In addition, I am interested in the neural underpinnings of hypnosis and meditation, and in the contribution of hypnosis research to the understanding of consciousness and metacognition.

My PhD work at the University of Edinburgh dealt with face perception, emotion processing, metacognition, and awareness: Faces convey a wealth of information essential for social interaction. Many researchers have claimed that some facial features are processed unconsciously, including gaze direction, emotional expression, and their general configuration. By using masking techniques (e.g. Continuous Flash Suppression), I have investigated what facial features enjoy prioritised access to awareness and which ones do not. Next, by using a newly developed tachistoscope that allows sub-millisecond presentations, I have investigated how fast face perception is and whether it occurs through a series of well-defined processing steps or all at once. To accomplish this, I used electroencephalography (EEG) and different psychophysical techniques.


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience - Karolinska Institutet (starting October 2020).
  • P.hD. in Psychology (Human Cognitive Neuroscience) - University of Edinburgh, 2020.
  • M.Sc. Neuroscience - University of Chile, 2015.
  • Qualification of Clinical Psychologist and specialist in Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) - National Board of Clinical Psychology Accreditation (Chile), 2015.
  • M.Psych. Psychology - University of Valparaiso, 2009.
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology - University of Valparaiso, 2009.


  • Visiting PhD Researcher - Center For Research in Cognition & Neurosciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. 
  • Tutor and Lab Demonstrator - Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
  • Associate Researcher - Laboratory of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile.
  • Visiting MSc Researcher - MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • Adjunct Professor - Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Chile.
  • Lecturer of Neuropsychology - School of Psychology, University of Valparaiso, Chile.
  • Clinical Psychologist (CBT) - Clinical Institute of Neurosciences, Viña del Mar, Chile.



  • Canales-Johnson A., Lanfranco RC. “Tracking consciousness in the brain: a historical review of neural markers of state, content, and access of consciousness” [In Preparation; invited submission from Adaptive Behavior]
  • Lanfranco RC., Canales-Johnson A., Achoui D., Cleeremans A., Rabagliati H., Carmel D. “The minimal exposure duration required for face and emotion processing” [In Preparation]
  • Lanfranco RC., Canales-Johnson A., Cleeremans A., Rabagliati H., Carmel D. “The minimal exposure duration required for conscious access: evidence from event-related potentials” [In Preparation]
  • Lanfranco RC., Stein T., Rabagliati H., Carmel D. “Eye contact facilitates the unconscious detection of faces due to higher perceptual sensitivity” [In Preparation]
  • Lanfranco RC., Rabagliati H., Carmel D. “Disentangling perceptual sensitivity from decision criterion in the detection of emotional expressions accessing awareness” [In Preparation]
  • Lanfranco RC., Rivera-Rei A., Huepe D., Ibanez A., Canales-Johnson A. “Disentangling hypnotic hallucination from mental imagery: A study of adaptation effects on early brain potentials” [Submitted]
  • Tsikandilakis M., Kausel L.*, Boncompte G.*, Yu Z.*, Oxner M.*, Lanfranco RC.*, Bali P., Putasi U., Peirce J., López V., Mun Wai Tong E., William H., Carmel D., Chapman P. "In-group advantage, cross-cultural bias and subliminal processing of cultural familiarity under conditions of backwards masking" [Submitted]
  • Canales-Johnson A.*, Lanfranco RC.*, Noreika V., Morales, JP., Martínez-Pernia D., Valdés J., Ezquerro-Nassar A., Rivera-Rei A., Bekinschtein T., Rodríguez E., Chennu S., Ibáñez A., Huepe D. “In Your Phase! Neural Phase Synchronization underlies visual imagery of faces." [Submitted] – bioRxiv preprint:  
  • Tsikandilakis M., Kausel L.*, Boncompte G.*, Yu Z.*, Oxner M.*, Lanfranco RC.*, Bali P., Putasi U., Peirce J., López V., Mun Wai Tong E., William H., Carmel D., Chapman P. (2019) "There is no Face like home: Ratings for cultural familiarity to own and other facial dialects of emotion with and without conscious awareness in a British sample" Perception; 48: 918-947.
  • Martínez-Aguayo JC., Lanfranco RC., Arancibia M., Sepúlveda E., Madrid E. (2018) "Trypophobia: what do we know so far? A case report and comprehensive review of the literature" Frontiers in Psychiatry; 9: 15.
  • Lanfranco RC., Canales-Johnson A., Huepe D. (2014) “Hypnoanalgesia and the study of pain experience: from Cajal to modern neuroscienceFrontiers in Psychology; 5: 1126.
  • Lanfranco RC., Adolfi F., Ibáñez A. (2014) Hypnotic suggestion: a test for the voluntary action problem. Cognitive Neuroscience; 5: 209-210.
  • Lanfranco RC., Canales-Johnson A. (2014) [“Verbal fluency and Default-Mode Network connectivity: On potential biomarkers for dementias.”] Revista de Neurología; 59: 336.
  • Lanfranco RC., Canales-Johnson A. (2014) [“Facial mimicry in Borderline Personality Disorder: On empathy and beyond.”]. Revista Médica de Chile; 142: 1217-8.
  • Lips W., Mascayano F., Lanfranco R. (2014). “Diagnostic indicators of dissociative amnesia: a case report.” Psychiatria Danubina; 26: 70-3.
  • Lanfranco R., Manríquez P., Avello L., Canales-Johnson A. (2012) [“Evaluation of Alzheimer’s Disease in early-stage: biomarkers and neuropsychological tests.”] Revista Médica de Chile; 140: 1191-2000.
  • Canales-Johnson A., Lanfranco R., Vargas E., Ibáñez A. (2012) [“Neurobiology of hypnosis and its contribution to the comprehension of cognition and consciousness”]. Anales de Psicología; 28: 1003-10.
  • Lanfranco R., San Martín MC. (2013) [“Alterations of the Default-Mode Network related to Bipolar Affective Disorder: Functional Connectivity, Biomarkers and endophenotypes.”] Trastornos del Ánimo; Vol 9, Nº1: 6-17.
  • Lanfranco R. (2011) [“Alterations of the Default-Mode Network in Depression: A brief look into the intrinsic activity of the brain.”] Trastornos del Ánimo; Vol 7, Nº2: 138-47.
  • Lanfranco R. (2010) [“Clinical Hypnosis and Psychotherapy: An integrative proposal for the treatment of clinical depression.”] Trastornos del Ánimo; Vol, Nº1: 37-48.


  • Lanfranco R. (2017) ["Cognitive assessment in psychiatric disorders"]. In: Ivanovic-Zuvic F., Correa E., Florenzano R. "Texto de Psiquiatría". Ediciones de la Sociedad de Neurología, Psiquiatría y Neurocirugía de Chile.


  • Renzo C. Lanfranco, Andrés Canales-Johnson, Axel Cleeremans, Hugh Rabagliati, David Carmel. "The minimal exposure duration required for neural processing of faces and emotional expressions: evidence from event-related potentials and functional connectivity measures" 14th International Conference of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland (Poster accepted; conference postponed).
  • Renzo C. Lanfranco, Andrés Canales-Johnson, Dalila Achoui, Axel Cleeremans, Hugh Rabagliati, David Carmel. "The minimal exposure duration required for neural processing of faces and emotional expressions" British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2019.
  • Renzo C. Lanfranco, Dalila Achoui, Andrés Canales-Johnson, Axel Cleeremans, Hugh Rabagliati, David Carmel. "The minimal exposure duration required for facial expressions to reach perceptual awareness." Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness Conference. Western University, London Ontario, Canada, 2019.
  • Renzo C. Lanfranco, Dalila Achoui, Axel Cleeremans, Hugh Rabagliati, David Carmel. "The minimal duration required for face perception." Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology. Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, 2019.
  • Renzo C. Lanfranco, Andrés Canales-Johnson, Valdas Noreika, Juan Pablo Morales, David Martinez-Pernia, Joaquín Valdes, Alejandro Ezquerro-Nassar, Alvaro Rivera-Rei, Tristan Bekinschtein, Eugenio Rodriguez, Srivas Chennu, Agustín Ibanez, David Huepe. "Neural Phase Synchronization underlies visual imagery of faces." British Neuroscience Association Conference. Dublin, Ireland, 2019
  • Renzo C. Lanfranco, Hugh Rabagliati, David Carmel. "Different emotional expressions do not gain differential access to consciousness". Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness Conference. Jagiellonian University, Krákow, Poland, 2018.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Postgraduate Tutor - The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor and Lab demonstrator - Psychology 1

Tutor - Critical Analysis

PPLS Writing Centre Tutor - Psychology

Past project grants

- Four-year PhD Full Studentship
- British Psychological Society Research stays Grant
- Edinburgh University PPLS Research Support Grants
- Principal's Go Abroad Fund Grant

Conference details

Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC)

British Neuroscience Association

Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology

British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience

Dr David Carmel

Dr Hugh Rabagliati