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GIPSI - research Group on Inferential Processes in Social Interaction



Settore 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.

Recently, the interst of research group also has been focusing on the application of machine learning technique in order to in deep anlayze patients' pragmatic deficits and their performance profiles. 


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.  

The group belongs to XPRAG.it - An Italian Network of Experimental Pragmatics (https://xpragit.weebly.com/torino-psicologia.html)

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, http://www.hu4a.it/progetti/details/28/51-attivamente.html) and on the development of pragmatic ability from a cross- cultural perspective.

Please also visit the Research gate web site: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Francesca_Bosco  

National scientific collaborations:

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


International scientific collaborations: 

  • Rogerio Lopes Salvini, Federal University of Goiàs, Brasil 

  • Soile Lokousa, University of Oulu, Finland

  • Giorgia Silani e Klaus Lamm, University of Wien, Austria

  • Alan Leslie, Rutgers University, NJ, Usa


Research grants:  

  • 2018-2020: Internalization ex-post founding, Unversity of Turn, Compagnia di San Paolo, Turin, PI Francesca M. Bosco

  • 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), Local PI Francesca M. Bosco

  • 2013‐2015: Rehabilitation of communication skills in people with schizophrenia, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino (CRT) Foundation PI Francesca M. Bosco


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

  • 2016-2018: Comunicative pragmatic ability in helath aging
  • 2015-2017: Economic games: behavioral and neuronal aspects
  • 2014-2016: Rehabilitation of pragmatic communication skills in  patients with traumatic brain injury
  • 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


Participation in  research projects


  • Brain Computer Interfaces and Artificial Intelligence for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino (CRT) Foundatio, Italy PI Cristina Gena
  • Walk Safe Project, PI Arianna Astolfi & Anna Pellegrino, Polytechinc of Turin




  • 2018:  Differences and similarities in the pragmatic development: A cross-cultural approach,  Compagnia di San Paolo - Bando per l'internazionalizzazione della ricerca,    one year post-doc position, Ilaria gabbatore

Research equipment 

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



Prodotti della ricerca

Gabbatore, I., Bosco, F. M., Mäkinen, L., Ebeling, H., Hurtig, T., & Loukusa, S. (2019). Investigating pragmatic abilities in young Finnish adults using the Assessment Battery for Communication.Intercultural Pragmatics, 16, 27-56. DOI: 10.1515/ip-2019-0002.

Colle, L., Gabbatore, I., Riberi, E., Borroz, E., Bosco, F.M., Keller, R. (2019). Mindreading abilities and borderline personality disorder: A comprehensive assessment using the Theory of Mind Assessment Scale. Psychiatry Research, 272, 609-617. Doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.102

Parola, A., Bosco, F.M., Gabbatore, I., Galetto, V., Zettin, M., Marini, A. (2019). The impact of the Cognitive Pragmatic Treatment on the pragmatic and informative skills of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Journal of Neurolinguistics, 51, 53-62. DOI:10.1097/HTR.0000000000000087

Bosco, F.M., Gabbatore, I., Angeleri, R., Zettin, M., & Parola, A. (2018). Do executive function and theory of mind predict pragmatic abilities following traumatic brain injury? An analysis of sincere, deceitful and ironic communicative acts. Journal of Communication Disorders, 75, 102-117. Doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.05.002

Bosco, F.M., Parola, A., Angeleri, R., Galetto, V., Zettin, M., & Gabbatore, I. (2018). Improvement of Communication Skills after Traumatic Brain Injury: The Efficacy of the Cognitive Pragmatic Treatment Program using the Communicative Activities of Daily Living. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 33(7), 875-888. DOI: 10.1093/arclin/acy041

Bosco, F.M., Tirassa, M., & Gabbatore, I. (2018). Why Pragmatics and Theory of Mind Do Not (Completely) Overlap. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. 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. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01453

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2017.11.051

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: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00021

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. http://www.springer.com/series/11797

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2017.01.007

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.06.010

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: https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1612078

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: https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1612078

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroling.2017.03.005

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 https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-psichiatrica/issue.php?cod=R17Y2016N03

Bosco F.M., Gabbatore I. (2016). Theory of mind in recognizing and recovering communicative failures. Applied Psycholinguistics, 19, 1-32, Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716416000047

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: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00166

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. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00566

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. https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-psichiatrica/article.php?cod=R17Y2016N01A0022

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: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.05.004

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: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166357

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: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroling.2015.12.003

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: https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2016.1138961

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. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00048

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: http://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12114

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: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01011

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: https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105313510337

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: http://doi.org/10.1097/HTR.0000000000000087

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: https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agt148

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2014.01.003

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. https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-psichiatrica/article.php?cod=R17Y2014N02A0045

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: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12054

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: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000913000081

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2013.01.003

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: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-011-0174-9

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2012.03.002

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2012.01.005

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: https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2012.658156

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2011.08.011

Bosco F.M., Colle L., Tirassa M. (2009). The complexity of theory of mind. Consciosness and Cognition, 18, 323-324. Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2008.12.007

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2008.01.002

Bosco F.M., Bucciarelli M. (2008). Simple and Complex Deceits and Ironies. Journal of Pragmatics, 40, 583-607. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2007.05.004

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2008.06.006

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2005.06.011

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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2005.09.006

Tirassa M, Bosco F.M., Colle L. (2006). Sharedness and privateness in human early social life. Cognitive Systems Research, 7, 128-139. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogsys.2006.01.002

Tirassa M., Bosco F.M., Colle L., (2006). Rethinking the ontogeny of mindreading. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 197-217. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2005.06.005

Bosco F.M., Bucciarelli M., Bara B.G. (2004). The fundamental context categories in understanding communicative intention. Journal of Pragmatics, 36, 467- 488. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(03)00055-9

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