Creating a New Kind of Doctor
We recruit and train physician leaders as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as caring for individual patients.
Radical Collaboration. Real-World Impact.
Texas expertise fuels the discovery, delivery and diffusion of the next generation of preventions, diagnoses, treatments and cures.
World Class. Close to Home.
We’re working to make person-centered, integrated care the standard in Central Texas and beyond.
Health Starts Here
More Information
Meet Dell Med
We’re rethinking the role of academic medicine in improving health — and doing so with a unique focus on our community.
More Information
Make an Appointment Give Faculty Students Alumni Directory

Carola Salvi, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy


Carola Salvi, Ph.D., is a research scientist in Dell Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a professor at the John Cabot University of Rome. She graduated summa cum laude and received her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Milano-Bicocca. Prior to joining Dell Med, Salvi completed a T32 postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Salvi’s work focuses on neural mechanisms underlying problem solving, creativity and cognitive flexibility. She approached this field by investigating its relationship with the sensory system (i.e., recording biomarkers such as eye blinks and pupil dilation), the involvement of the right temporal lobe (using brain stimulation and imaging) and the dopamine system (studying Parkinson’s disease patients and using reward-based learning paradigms), the effects of its emotional component (the “aha” experience) detecting its association with stress-induced by risk-taking and monetary reward, and validating new scales for measuring it in the Italian language.

Salvi is an expert in a variety of research techniques (from eye-tracking to brain stimulation, imaging, and recently, virtual reality), and she has studied different populations (healthy young and older adults, TBI, stroke and Parkinson’s disease patients). Her theoretical questions expand from cognitive neuroscience and behavioral sciences to social psychology and psychophysiology.

Recently she began investigating the effects of fear of COVID-19 on social reasoning and beliefs. Her work counts the first Italian versions of the compound remote associates problems and the rebus puzzles, enabling researchers to investigate the insight problem among Italian speakers. Salvi pioneered several breakthroughs in the field of creativity, and her scientific work has been quoted in several media outlets such as the Washington Post, BBC, Time, The New York Times and Redbull TV.

In parallel to her scientific career, in 2021, Salvi started working on the theme of domestic violence, creating an art collection to raise awareness and funds to support this cause. Her paintings have been exposed at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Professional Affiliations
  • John Cabot University of Rome