Daniela LENTI BOERO, M.D., PhD.


Born: 10 July 1948, in Milan, Italy, married
Academic Training
  • Medical Degree in 1974, University of Milan.
  • Medical Specialisations: Anaesthesiology. Medical Psychology
  • PhD. : Psychobiology and Animal Ethologyin 1990.
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship: Psychobiology of the human newborn

  • Present position
    University Researcher in Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology,
    Teacher of Environmental Education. Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione, Urbino.

    Address:Istituto di Psicologia. Via Saffi 15. 61029 Urbino. Italy .
    Phone: ++39 -0165 - 936185 (home, winter and field season) ; ++39-02 - 67072923 (home city)
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Memberships (international only):
    - International Society for Human Ethology, from 1988.
    - Association for Politics and Life Sciences, from 1994.
    - Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, from 1996.

    Teaching and Research

    Temporary teaching positions:
    - 1990-1991. "Evolution of culture and human impact on the environment" course given at the Istituto di Geografia Umana, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia. Università di Milano.
    - 1993/1994 "Physiological Psychology", course given at the Corso di Laurea in Psicologia della Facoltà di Magistero, Università di Urbino.
    - 1993/1994 "Psychology of cognitive processes" course given at Corso di Laurea in Scienze della Comunicazione, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Università di Torino.

    Present research interests

  • Environmental Education.
  • Behavioural Ecology of Marmots.
  • Human newborn crying in a comparative perspective.
  • Human crying and neurological disorders.
  • Experimental teaching of observation techniques.
  • Political communication and non-verbal behaviour.
  • Cognitive Ethology of parrots.

  • Research Projects and Grants:
  • Fondazione Paolo Pini per lo Studio dell'Epilessia.
  • C.N.R. (National Council for Research) in a joint project on informatics and bioacoustics.
  • Mariani Foundation.
  • M.U.R.S.T. (Ministry of University and Scientific Research) project on comparative bioacoustics of human new-born.
  • Local grants at the University of Urbino
  • Research experiences:

  • Monitoring of drug effects on behaviour in epileptic children.
  • Ethology of Alpine Marmots.
  • Bioacoustic and Psychobiology of newborn cries.
  • Environmental Psychology and Environmental Education.
  • Evolutionary Psychology.
  • Comparative Cognitive Ethology, in particular parrots.
  • Evolutionary Psychology of leadership and political communication.
  • Ethology and Communication:
    - From 1981 to 1993. Field study on the general ethology and population dynamics of the Alpine Marmot. Carried at the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso, Valle d'Aosta, Italy. Founded by the University of Milan and by the National PhD Research Grant.

    Main findings: Alpine marmots, living at high elevation (2300 m) delimit their territories by means of olfactory cues, the monogamous couple being the most active of the social group in scent marking. Important place in the territories are the burrows and spotting places, from were marmots can control the boundaries of their territories, any territory has one and only one hybernaculum, which persists across years and is the limiting resource for new settlements. During Summer the social interactions are generally amicable within a group inhabiting a territory and agonistic among adjacent groups, however this pattern may vary during the mating season and this deserves further investigation; reciprocal grooming is exhibited only within the parental couple. Marmots utter a single whistle when in presence of aerial predators, and multiple whistle when in presence of terrestrial predators. This was considered an indication of referential ability, (but see other studies). In the studied area young disperse from the second and third year of age and new coming couples do not have litter in the first year of settlement, adult females have a greater tendency to change their partners than adult males.

    - From 1981 to 1986. Behavioural monitoring of drug effect in epileptic children. Founded by the Fondazione per l'Associazione Paolo Pini and by Knoll International. Main findings: some drugs, in particular phenobarbiturate induce hyperactivity and behavioural modification that disappear when the therapy is withdrown. - 1988 and 1989. Computer Techniques for the analysis, recognition and manipulation of audio signal in human and animal communication. Founded by the C.N.R. (National Council of Research).

    - From 1995: Acoustic cues of individuality, contextual and pathological states and ontogeny of communication in human infants and comparative avian and mammal models. Founded by the Ministry of University and Scientific Research.
    Main findings: normal human infants have individually and contextually distinctive crying features, eavier infants emit cries at lower frequency. Infants with congenital hypothyroidism have different cry types from the control group which persist after the instauration of therapy and the normalization of hormal parameters. Asphyxiated heavily brain damaged infants are still able to cry, though the cry pattern is altered, this suggest the role of lower brain center in controlling sound emission when upper centers are destroyed.

    Environmental Psychology and Education:

    Teaching experiences:

  • Cultural evolution and human impact on the environment. Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia. Università degli Studi di Milano. (1991-1992).
  • Psychology of Cognitive Processes. Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia. Università degli Studi di Torino. (1993-1994).
  • Physiological Psychology. Facoltà di Magistero. Università degli Studi di Urbino. (1993-1994).
  • Ecology at the post graduate school for Tutors. Università degli Studi di Urbino (1998-1999).
  • Environmental Education (from Aa. 1999-2000 until present).
  • - 1981 and 1984. Techniques and Activities for Environmental Education. Founded by the Regione Lombardia.

    - 1992-1993. Human Dimension of Global Change. Main findings: A) Children in elementary and secondary school mostly derive their environmental knowledge from the media, even when they live near protected areas. In order to activate enviromental interest it is necessary to plan specific activities inside the protected areas and provoque an emotional relationship with it.
    B) The evolution of human culture has been organized by non-predictive and chaotic models. The main steps have been: a) the "domestication" of instruments; b) the domestication of the genome of plants and animals; c) the domestication of energy; d) the domestication of communication. Since our origin every step has been a multiplier of our impact on the environment, however the present domestication of communication might have a soft impact.

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