Marco Iacoboni, MD, PhD


Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Professor in Residence

The Semel Institute


Brain Research Institute, Neuroscience GPB Home Area



Marco Iacoboni is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Lab at the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center. Iacoboni is a neurologist and neuroscientist originally from Rome, Italy. He joined the faculty of the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA in 1999. Iacoboni pioneered the research on mirror neurons, the “smart cells” in our brain that allow us to understand others. His research has been covered by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, The Economist, and major TV networks. Marco Iacoboni’s book on mirror neurons is entitled Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others.


Dr. Iacaboni’s  interest in perception-action coupling led him to the study of mirror neurons. Eventually this led him to study human imitation, empathy, and social cognition. As a neurologist, however, he has a strong interest in the neurobiological mechanisms of neuropsychiatric conditions and how to intervene on those mechanisms.

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