Dr Olivia Morgan Lapenta

Postdoctoral Fellow              

Research Program: Music Cognition and Action


The research of Dr Lapenta focuses on sensorimotor entrainment by studying the motor network processing of auditory and visual stimuli related to human actions. Her study aims to investigate the coherence between brain oscillations and muscle response during presentation of unimodal and/or bimodal action-related auditory and visual inputs. To this aim, she performs electroencephalographic and electromyography recordings. Further, her research intends to evaluate how musical training affects this process.

Dr Lapenta has a bachelor degree in Biological Sciences and a Master and a PhD in Developmental Disorders (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Brazil). In previous researches, she investigated mainly multisensory integration, action observation and imagery, but also food craving and social pain, using transcranial direct current stimulation, electroencephalography, transcranial magnetic stimulation and eye tracking techniques.

Research Interests

  • Action perception
  • Multisensory integration
  • Sensorimotor entrainment

Qualifications and Honours

  • February 2017 – July 2017: Postdoctoral fellow (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie).
    Grant: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.
  • 2016: PhD in Developmental Disorders (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie).
    Grant: Foundation of Research from the State of Sao Paulo.
  • September 2014 – May 2015: PhD program abroad (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia).
    Grant: Coordination of Improvement for Higher Education Personnel.
  • 2012: Master degree in Developmental Disorders (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie). Grant: Coordination of Improvement for Higher Education Personnel.
  • April – May 2010: Visiting research internship at Laboratory of Neuromodulation,
    Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (Harvard Medical School).
  • 2009: Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences (Mackenzie Presbyterian University). Awarded by Racine Institute as best final assignment of Biological Sciences course.


Donate, APG; Marques, LM; Lapenta, OM; Asthana, MK; Amodio, D; Boggio, PS. Ostracism via virtual chat room – effects on basic needs, anger and pain. PlosOne 12(9), e0184215, 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184215)

Lapenta, OM; Xavier, AP; Corrêa, SC; Boggio, PS. Human biological and nonbiological point-light movements: creation and validation of dataset. Behavior Research Methods, 49(6): 2083-2092, 2017 (doi:10.3758/s13428-016-0843-9).

Marques, LM; Lapenta, OM; Costa, TL; Boggio, PS. Multisensory integration processes underlying speech perception as revealed by the McGurk illusion. Language Cognition and Neuroscience 31(9): 1115-1129, 2016 (https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2016.1190023).

Costa, TL; Lapenta, OM; Boggio, PS; Ventura, DF. Transcranial direct current stimulation as a tool in the study of sensory-perceptual processing. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 77 (6): 1813-1840, 2015 (doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-0932-3).

Rego, GG; Lapenta, OM; Marques, LM; Costa, TL; Leite, J; Carvalho, S; Gonçalves, OFCN; Brunoni, AR; Fregni, F; Boggio, PS. Hemispheric dorsolateral prefrontal cortex lateralization in the regulation of empathy for pain. Neuroscience Letters, 594:12-16, 2015 (doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.03.042).

Lapenta, OM; Di Siervi, K; Macedo, EC; Fregni, F; Boggio, PS. Transcranial direct current stimulation modulates ERP-indexed inhibitory control and reduces food consumption. Appetite, 83: 42-48, 2014 (doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.08.005).

Lapenta, OM; Valasek, CA; Brunoni, A; Boggio, PS. An ethical discussion of the use of transcranial direct current stimulation for cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals: a fictional case study. Psychology & Neuroscience, 7(2): 175-180, 2014 (http://dx.doi.org/10.3922/j.psns.2014.010).

Lapenta, OM; Boggio, PS. Motor network activation during human action observation and imagery: Mu rhythm EEG evidence on typical and atypical neurodevelopment. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8: 759-766, 2014 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2014.03.019)

Marques, LM; Lapenta, OM.; Merabet, LB.; Bolognini, N; Boggio, PS. Tuning and disrupting the brain: Modulating the McGurk illusion with electrical stimulation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 1-9, 2014, 2014 (https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00533).

Lapenta, OM; Minati, L; Fregni, F; Boggio, PS. Je pense donc je fais: transcranial direct current stimulation modulates brain oscillations associated with motor imagery and movement observation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7: 256, 2013 (doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00256).

Lapenta, OM; Fregni, F; Oberman, LM, Boggio, PS. Bilateral temporal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation worsens male performance in a multisensory integration task. Neuroscience Letters, 527: 105-109, 2012 (doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.08.076).

Boggio, PS; Valasek, CA; Campanhã, C; Giglio, ACA; Baptista, NI; Lapenta, OM; Fregni, F. Non-invasive brain stimulation to assess and modulate neuroplasticity in Alzheimer s disease. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 21: 703-716, 2011 (doi: 10.1080/09602011.2011.617943).

Contact Olivia

Phone+61 2 9772 6570
LocationWestern Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)