Sergio Della Sala


  • Psychology
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room F6, Psychology Building

7 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


Previous Posts

  • Professor of Neuropsychology and Honorary Consultant in Neurology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK (from January 1994 to March 2004).
  • Senior Consultant Neurologist, University Teaching Hospital, Milan and Head of the Neuropsychology Unit, Medical Centre of Veruno (NO), Clinica del Lavoro Foundation, Scientific Institute of Care and Research, University of Pavia (1986-1993).


Recent Books

  1. Della Sala. S., & Anderson, M. (Eds.) (2016) Le neuroscienze a scuola. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. Milan, Giunti Universale Scuola.  ISBN - EAN: 9788809788558.
  2. Macpherson, S.E. & Della Sala, S. (2015) The Handbook of Frontal Assessment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. Della Sala, S. & Anderson, M. (Eds.) (2012). Neuroscience in Education: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Oxford University Press.
  4. Kapur, N., Pascual-Leone, A., Ramachandran, V., Cole, J., Della Sala, S., Manly, T. & Mayes, A. (Eds.) (2011) The Paradoxical Brain. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Della Sala, S. (2010). Forgetting. Hove, U.K.: Psychology Press
  6. Della Sala, S. & Dewar, M. (2010). Mai fidarsi della mente. N+1 esperimenti per capire come ci inganna e perche. Bari: Editori Laterza.
  7. Della Sala, S. (Ed.) (2007). Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain. Oxford University Press.


Higher education and Degrees

  • Qualification as Clinical Psychologist  (Italian law n. 56, 18/2/89)
  • Post-doctoral degree in Psychology (Neuropsychology), Ph.D, University of Milan, 1989
  • Visiting Scientist, Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge, UK, 1982, 1983 and 1985
  • Post-doctoral Fellow in Neurology, University of Milan, 1984
  • Degree in Medicine and Surgery (M.D.) - with distinction - University of Milan, 1980
  • Health and Science, Pre-Med School, 1976-77, Berkeley University, Cal, USA
  • High School Leaving Certificate ("Liceo Classico" specializing in classical studies),   Milan, 1974

Responsibilities & affiliations

Recognitions & Awards

  • From 2016 Member of the editorial board of The Future of Science and Ethics.
  • 2015 Invited member of the Biomedical PhD review panel for the Alzheimer’s Society.
  • 2015-2016 Advisor for the (French) Agencie Nationale de la Research.
  • 2015 Invited Member of the Open Access Committee of the Psychonomic Society.
  • 2015 Editor of the “Memory” section of the “International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences”, Elsevier.
  • 2014 Member of the Habilitation à Diriger des Researches, Université Lille Nord de France.
  • 2014 Evaluation Committee Member for the French National Research Agency.
  • 2014-2016 Member of the Scottish Government Personal Research Fellowship Committee.
  • 2014-2016 Member of the Grants Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
  • 2013- 2014 Assessor for the research programme Future in Research (FIR).
  • 2014-2016 President of the British Neuropsychological Society.
  • 2013 International assessor for the Danish National Research Foundation.
  • 2012-2014 International Assessor for MIUR (Italian Ministry of Industry, University and Research) research proposals.
  • 2011-2012 Advisor for the (French) Agencie Nationale de la Research.
  • 2011 - Elected President of the CICAP, the Italian Society promoting Critical Thinking.
  • 2011 Elected President of the Italian antismoking campaign T-fumo.
  • 2011 Honorary member of the International CardiOncology Society (ICOS).
  • 2008-2012 Advisor for the Neuroscience Programme, San Paolo Foundation, Turin, Italy.
  • 2011 Elected Fellow of the APS – Association for Psychological Sciences.
  • 2005-2010 Examiner for the BPS exam/essay in Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • 2005-2010 Research output assessor for MIUR, Italian Ministry of Industry, University and Research.
  • 2009-2010 Advisor for the (French) Agencie Nationale de la Research.
  • 2009 Member of the APS (American Association for Psychological Science).
  • 2008-2009 Recipient of the Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science.
  • 2008-2010 President of the Federation of European Societies of Neuropsychology.
  • 2007-2010 Visiting Professor, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia.
  • 2007-2010 Advisor for the Italian Ministry of Industry, University and Research.
  • 2007-2009 Member of the Lloyds/TSB “Improving the quality of our lives as we grow older” Grant Awarding Committee.
  • 2006-2010 Honorary Professor, School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen.
  • 2006 External assessor, Research Quality, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • 2006 External assessor for German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), Neuropsychology and Neuroscience section.
  • 2006 External assessor for Republic of Ireland Health Research Board.
  • 2006 External assessor for France INSERM neuroscience and dementia units.
  • 2005 Member of the International Neuropsychology Society - INS - Scientific Committee.
  • 2005 Honorary member of the “Association of Neurosciences of Georgia”, Russia.
  • 2004-2006 External research proposals assessor for University of Padua, Italy.
  • 2003-2005 Elected member of the RSE Biomedical and Cognitive Science Sectional Committee.
  • 2005 Author of paper (Brain, 127: 825, 2004) selected by the BPS as best example of “What has Psychology done?” in the category “Mind and Memory”.
  • 2004 “Raine” Visiting Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Australia.
  • 2003 Honorary “friend” of the Festival della Scienza (Genova).
  • 2003 “Clear Fame” Visiting Professor, University of Padua, Italy.
  • 2002 Fellow Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE).
  • 2000 British Medical Association “Book Award Competition”: “Mind Myths” (Edited by SDS) commended book of the year in the category “Mental Health”.
  • 2000 Member of British Association for Communicating Science.
  • 2000 Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
  • 1999 Elected Member of the Executive Committee of the British Neuropsychological Society.
  • 1999 Elected Member of the World Federation of Neurology (Research Group on Cognitive Disorders).
  • 1998 Honorary Member of the Cuban Society of Neuroscience.
  • 1997 Fellow of the British Psychology Society (FBPsS).
  • 1996 USA Academy of Neuropsychology Award for the best research contribution of the year to Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • 1996 Honorary Member of the New York Academy of Science.

Undergraduate teaching

Office hours

Wednesday 9.30 - 11.30am

Current PhD students supervised

Research summary

Interests in cognitive neuropsychology, in particular in amnesia, visuo-spatial and representational neglect, apraxia and the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's Disease.