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Sale Alessandro

SALEDirector of Research
Via Giuseppe Moruzzi, 1
56124 - Pisa
Tel 050-3153196
Fax 0503153220
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Translational Neuroscience

Lab site

Research summary

My research activity is primarily focused on the influence of environmental stimulation on central nervous system development and plasticity, with particular emphasis on the effects elicited by paradigms of non invasive enriched experience on both the healthy and the pathological brain. Ongoing research is particularly oriented towards the application of basic research findings to humans.

My research approach is multidisciplinary and strongly oriented towards in vivo assays,
with a combination of different electrophysiological (visual evoked potentials, single unit, field potential and EEG recordings),behavioral and neurochemical techniques.
Research’s Topics
1. Study of the effects of environmental stimulation and perceptual learning in the treatment of severe visual deficits (amblyopia).
2. Environmental and pharmacological therapies for plasticity impairment in the Down syndrome.
3. Train the Brain: study of the beneficial effects of motor and cognitive enrichment on brain aging and dementia.


Representative publications

Sale A, Noale M, Cintoli S, Tognoni G, Braschi C, Berardi N, Maggi S, Maffei L; Train the Brain Consortium. Long-term beneficial impact of the randomised trial 'Train the Brain', a motor/cognitive intervention in mild cognitive impairment people: effects at the 14-month follow-up. Age Ageing. 2023 May 1;52(5):afad067

Sansevero G, Torelli C, Mazziotti R, Consorti A, Pizzorusso T, Berardi N, Sale A. Running towards amblyopia recovery. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 29;10(1):12661.

Sansevero G, Baroncelli L, Scali M, Sale A. Intranasal BDNF administration promotes visual function recovery in adult amblyopic rats. Neuropharmacology. 2019, 145(Pt A):114-122.

Lunghi C, Sframeli AT, Lepri A, Lepri M, Lisi D, Sale A (equal contribution with MC Morrone), Morrone. A new counterintuitive training for adult amblyopia. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2018, 6(2):274-284.

Sale A. A Systematic Look at Environmental Modulation and Its Impact in Brain Development. Trends Neurosci. 2018 Jan;41(1):4-17.

Alessandro Sale is Editor of the book "Environmental Experience and Plasticity of the Developing Brain" (2016), Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN:978-1-118-93165-3

Baroncelli, L., Scali, L., Sansevero, G., Olimpico, F., Manno, I., Costa, M., Sale, A. Experience affects critical period plasticity in the visual cortex through an epigenetic regulation of histone post-translational modifications. Journal of Neuroscience (2016) 36: 3430-40.

Lunghi, C., Sale, A. A cycling lane for brain rewiring. Current Biology
(2015) 25, R1122-R1123.

Sale, A., Berardi, N., Maffei, L. Environment and brain plasticity: towards an endogenous pharmacotherapy. Environment and brain plasticity: towards an endogenous pharmacotherapy. Physiological Reviews (2014) 94: 189-234.

Sale, A., Vetencourt, J.F.M., Medini, P., Cenni, M.C., Maffei, L.
Environmental enrichment in adulthood promotes amblyopia recovery through a reduction of intracortical inhibition. Nature Neuroscience (2007) 10:679-681.