Dr. Sclocco has a background in bioengineering and signal processing, with specific training in non-invasive neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI, EEG) and peripheral autonomic data analyses. Since the beginning of her career, she have been interested in the interactions between the central and peripheral autonomic nervous systems. Thus, she built her expertise in autonomic neuroimaging, combining fMRI with peripheral measurements (e.g., heart rate variability, skin conductance), in order to better understand the central autonomic network – i.e., the brain circuitry controlling and responding to autonomic modulation. During her postdoctorate training, she also gained expertise in applying the techniques above to investigate potential mechanisms supporting autonomic-based electrical transcutaneous neuromodulation – i.e., respiratory-gated transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), specifically using ultrahigh- and high-field fMRI to assess response in autonomic brainstem nuclei.

Recently, she has begun to explore the brain-gut axis, with new projects combining brain and stomach imaging to assess the effects of tVNS on gastric function. She has started developing an analysis pipeline for 4D gastric MRI data that allows the evaluation of multiple aspects of gastric function (e.g., emptying, motility) with a single, non-invasive test.


PhD in Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Select Publications

1. Sclocco R, Beissner F, Desbordes G, Polimeni JR, Wald LL, Kettner NW, Kim J, Garcia RG, Renvall V, Bianchi AM, Cerutti S, Napadow V, Barbieri R. Neuroimaging brainstem circuitry supporting cardiovagal response to pain: a combined heart rate variability/ultrahigh-field (7 T) functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2016 May 13;374(2067):20150189. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0189. PMID: 27044996; PMCID: PMC4822448.

2. Sclocco R, Garcia RG, Kettner NW, Isenburg K, Fisher HP, Hubbard CS, Ay I, Polimeni JR, Goldstein J, Makris N, Toschi N, Barbieri R, Napadow V. The influence of respiration on brainstem and cardiovagal response to auricular vagus nerve stimulation: A multimodal ultrahigh-field (7T) fMRI study. Brain Stimul. 2019 Jul-Aug;12(4):911-921. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.02.003. Epub 2019 Feb 10. PMID: 30803865; PMCID: PMC6592731.

3. Sclocco R, Garcia RG, Kettner NW, Fisher HP, Isenburg K, Makarovsky M, Stowell JA, Goldstein J, Barbieri R, Napadow V. Stimulus frequency modulates brainstem response to respiratory-gated transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation. Brain Stimul. 2020 Jul-Aug;13(4):970-978. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2020.03.011. Epub 2020 Mar 27. PMID: 32380448.


2019: Young Investigator Forum, American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society

2019: Poster of Distinction, American Gastroenterological Association

2016: Abstract Travel Award, National Science Foundation


Napadow Lab
Center for Integrative Pain Neuroimaging (CIPNi)