Emiliano Bruner 2017

Emiliano Bruner

Hominid Paleoneurobiology
Research Group Leader
Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana
Paseo Sierra de Atapuerca 3, 09002 Burgos (Spain)


I was born in Rome in 1972. Since 2007, I am Research Group Leader in Paleoneurology at the National Research Centre for Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain. See our Lab Blog: The Skull Box.

I got a University Degree in Biology and a PhD in Animal Biology, both at the University La Sapienza, Rome (Italy). My university career was mainly oriented in Zoology, but the final experimental thesis was in Human Ecology. Then, my PhD was on Human Paleoneurology, based on the application in paleoanthropology of the early toolkits in digital anatomy and computed morphometrics. I got post-doc grants in paleoneurology and human anatomy. As a student, I also received several grants as curator of osteological collections, in museums of zoology and anthropology. Although in the last twenty years I have been working mainly with modern humans and fossil hominids, I am still interested in zoology too, in particular in entomology and primatology.

My current research lines include comparative neuroanatomy (in particular, the morphology and evolution of the parietal cortex), functional craniology (brain-braincase integration), paleoneurology (fossil endocasts), the vascular system (craniovascular traits in present and past populations) and cognitive archaeology. In anatomy, I employ distinct methods and techniques, including multivariate statistics, geometric morphometrics, digital anatomy, and network analysis. In cognitive sciences, I am using electrodermal activity, eye-tracking, ergonomics and psychometrics, to investigate visuospatial integration and body perception. I am particularly interested in body cognition and mindfulness meditation.

I am also involved in dissemination, bridging anthropology and neurosciences. I have two on-line columns, one in the Spanish version of Scientific American (Investigación y Ciencia), and one in the magazine Jot Down. I am also interested in the relationships between anthropology, neuroscience and music.

I am a member of the Italian Institute of Anthropology and of the Italian Institute of Human Paleontology, and Adjoint Professor in Paleoneurology at the Center for Cognitive Archaeology, Colorado University.


I play and study guitar since I was thirteen. I have also been playing bass guitar in hard rock, progressive rock and funky rock bands. Then I moved to a jazz academy, eventually stepping into ethnic music, playing didgeridoo and percussions. I have been also studying wooden flutes (quenas) for ten years. And ukulele. I mainly play folk, jazz, blues, and tango.

Here a list of all my blogs, and a YouTube channel.


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  • A full view of the angular gyrus
    The journal Brain Structure and Function has recently published a collection of articles, a special issue, dedicated to the angular gyrus, a fundamental element of the parietal lobe. The Special Issue: Angular Gyrus is guest edited by Kathleen Rockland, research professor in anatomy and neurobiology, as well as William Graves, associate professor of psycholo […]

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RSS Neurophilosophy

  • Researchers develop non-invasive deep brain stimulation method
    Researchers at MIT have developed a new method of electrically stimulating deep brain tissues without opening the skullSince 1997, more than 100,000 Parkinson’s Disease patients have been treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical technique that involves the implantation of ultra-thin wire electrodes. The implanted device, sometimes referred to as […]


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