Psychology Department at Harvard University

(617) 496 5705

William James Hall

(857) 204 4057

33 Kirkland Street

Cambridge, MA 02138



Harvard University


PhD, Psychology

“Assessing the Sense of Self”

Committee: B. Marx, K. McLaughlin, C. Moroni, M. Nock, C. Tzourio

Expected 2019

University Paris – La Sorbonne


PhD, summa cum laude, Philosophy

“The self and the other: personal identity experienced in the first person perspective”

Committee: C. Belin, J. Gayon, D. Ihde, F. Jouen, M. Kistler, T. Martin (chair)


Ecole Normale Supérieure


MS, summa cum laude, Neuropsychology


MS, magna cum laude, Cognitive Psychology


MA, magna cum laude, Philosophy


University Paris 10


BA, summa cum laude, Philosophy



Grants and Fellowships

2019 Recipient of the Harvard Dissertation Completion Fellowship


2017 Recipient of the Harvard Merit Research Fellowship


2016 Sackler Scholar in Psychobiology

“Role of the face in our sense of self: A study in recipients of a face transplant”


2013 Recipient of the Mind, Brain and Behavior grant


AAUW international postdoctoral fellowship


Visiting Student at Coma Science Group (Belgium)



Awards and Honors

Recipient of the 2018 Harvard Horizon Scholarship

   Distinguishes 8 graduate students across the University for exceptional research


Harvard University Bok Center Certificate of Teaching Excellence

2018, 2017 & 2016

French Certification as MCF (assistant professor)

    National teaching/research award


French Agrégation of Philosophy – rank: 9th            (43 posts/1076 candidates)


National teaching award


Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English


Ecole Normale Supérieure Fellowship – rank: 8th    (38 posts/1029 candidates)


National examination in Humanities, 4-years grant


1st rank in History of Philosophy


1st rank in Philosophy of Science



Clinical experience

VA Boston – PTSD Clinical Team


Advanced practicum in Evidence Based Treatments for PTSD (CBT, CPT, WET, PE)

McLean Hospital – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute


Practicum in Evidence Based Treatments for OCD (ERP, ACT)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Psychiatry & Plastic Surgery


Neuropsychology. Senior scientist.

The Second Step – Community housing for survivors of domestic violence

Practicum in Trauma-informed practice with adult IPV survivors (Narrative therapy)


AP-HP Avicenne Hospital & Beth Israel deaconess medical center


Post-doctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology

AP-HP Avicenne Hospital


Licensing internship in Neuropsychology

AP-HP Avicenne Hospital


Advanced practicum in Neuropsychology

Liege University, Belgium – Coma Science Group


Practicum in Neuropsychology of Disorders of Consciousness

Montreuil Hospital


Practicum in Geropsychology

Montfermeil Hospital


Practicum in Geropsychology

Avicenne Hospital


Practicum in Neuropsychology

Emile Gerard – Nursing Home


Practicum in Geropsychology





Peer Reviewed


Nizzi, M-C.Blandin, V., Demertzi, A. (In Press) Attitudes towards personhood in the locked-in syndrome: from third- to first-person perspective and to inter-personal significance. Neuroethics.

Oser, M., Nizzi, M-C.Zinser, J., Turk, M., Epstein, R., Bueno, E., Gitlin, D., Pomahac, B. (In Press) Longitudinal Analysis of Quality of Life and Psychosocial Functioning Two Years Following Facial Transplantation. Psychosomatics.

Nizzi, M-C.Tasigiorgos, S., Turk, M., Moroni, C., Bueno, E., Pomahac, B. (2017) Psychological outcomes in face transplant recipients: A literature review. Current Surgery Reports, 5:26.

Nizzi, M-C., Belin, C., Maillet, D., Moroni, C. (2016) The sense of self is supported by several independent cognitive processes in Alzheimer's disease, and self-reported age tracks cognitive impairment. Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil, 14(3): 341-350.

Nizzi, M-C. (2014) Technologie et futur du corps humain d’après sept œuvres de science-fiction. [Technology and the future of the human body] Implications Philosophiques, special issue “Philosophy and cinema”; available online on August 4th, 2014.

Nizzi, M-C. (2013) La notion de perte d’identité dans la représentation sociale de la maladie d’Alzheimer. [The notion of a loss of identity in the social representation of Alzheimer’s disease] Klesis, 27: 263-287.

Belin, C. Maillet, D., Nizzi, M-C., Sacko, A., Carpentier, A. (2012). Contribution of Alzheimer's biomarkers in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in nonamnesic presentations. Alzheimer's and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 8(4): 121.

Nizzi, M-C., Demertzi, A., Gosseries, O., Bruno, M-A., Jouen, F., Laureys, S. (2012) From armchair to wheelchair: how patients with a locked-in syndrome integrate bodily changes in experienced identity. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(1): 431-437.


Book Chapters

Nizzi, M-C. (2015) “Representation of Alzheimer’s disease among non-specialists: a cross-cultural study between Paris and Boston”, in Swinnen, A. & Schweda, M. (eds), Popularizing Dementia: Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness, Aging Studies, vol. VI, Bielefeld: transcript 2015, pp. 333-358.

Bruno, M-A.; Nizzi, M-C.; Laureys, S.; Gosseries, O. (2015) “Consciousness in the locked-in syndrome”, in Laureys, S.; Gosseries, O. and Tononi G. (eds), The Neurology of Consciousness: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropathology. Edition No 2. Elsevier Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 181-98.

Nizzi, M-C. (2015) “Movies and Bodies: variations of the embodied self in science fiction techno-fantasies”, in Rosenburger, R. & Verbeek, P.P. (eds), Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human-Technology Relations, Lexington Books/Rowman Littlefield Press.

Nizzi, M-C. (2012) « La maladie d’Alzheimer et son impact sur l’identité de la personne » [Impact of Alzheimer’s disease on personal identity], in Hirsch, E., Gzil, F. (eds), Alzheimer, éthique et société, Paris, Erès.



Sytsma, J.M., Machery, E. (2012) « Comment étudier les intuitions du sens commun à propos de la conscience phénoménale » [How to study Folk Intuitions about Phenomenal Consciousness], traduction M-C. Nizzi, in Cova, F., Dutant, J., Machery, E., Nahmias, E., Nichols, S. (eds), Philosophie Expérimentale, Paris, Vuibert.


Scientific presentations

Nizzi, M-C., Gomez, S. & Ramirez, F. (Nov 2017). Combat Experience and Avoidant Coping as a Predictors for Suicidal Behavior and Psychiatric Comorbidity in US veterans. Poster presented at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Chicago, IL. * Poster award.

Nizzi, M-C. (Aug 2017). A third person attempt at getting to the first-person experience: assessing coping in non-communicative patients with a locked-in syndrome. Oral presentation at the Society for Social Studies of Science, Boston, MA.

Nizzi, M-C. & Laureys, S. (Mar 2017). Which coping strategies predict better outcome after a stroke? Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.

Nizzi, M-C. (Nov 2016). Which factors foster resilience in the Locked-in Syndrome? Oral presentation at the international workshop on Personhood in the Locked-In Syndrome, Barcelona, Spain. * Invited speaker.

Nizzi, M-C., Oser, M. & Zinser, J. (Apr 2016). In the face of change: which coping strategies predict better outcome after a face transplant surgery? Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, NY.

Nizzi, M-C. (Nov 2015). Movies and bodies: Variations of the embodied self in science-fiction techno fantasies. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Denver, CO.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jun 2015). Damasio’s error: a case study for interdisciplinary studies. Oral presentation at the Ustinov Annual Conference on What makes interdisciplinarity work? Durham, UK.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jan 2015).  The Resilience project. Oral presentation at the Annual Mind, Brain and Behavior Winter Retreat, Cambridge, MA. * Invited speaker.

Nizzi, M-C. (Aug 2014).  Personal identity through massive physical changes: how neuropsychology can inform the philosophy of mind. Oral presentation at the Body, Brain and Personal Identity International Summer School, Erice, Italy. * Invited speaker.

Nizzi, M-C., Maillet, D. & Belin, C. (Jul 2013). What maintains the self in Alzheimer’s disease: memory vs body. Poster presented to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Boston, MA.

Nizzi, M-C. (May 2013).  First person experience and neuropsychological methods in the LIS. Oral presentation at the Future directions in Phenomenology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jun 2012).  How to apply the philosophy of personal identity to clinical cases. Oral presentation at the Society of Applied Philosophy, St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jun 2012). Building bridges between sciences and the humanities. Oral presentation at the French Society of Neuropsychology, Lille.

Nizzi, M-C. (Dec 2011). How to better understand and respond to self disorders in patients with Alzheimer Disease. Oral presentation at the Ethics and Alzheimer for healthcare professional, Marseille.

Nizzi, M-C. (Nov 2011). From the armchair to the wheelchair. Oral presentation at the Society for Social Studies of Science, Cleveland.

Nizzi, M-C. (Oct 2011). From the armchair to the wheelchair. Oral presentation at the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences, Philadelphia.

Nizzi, M-C. (May 2011). Sense of self and body representation in locked-in syndrome patients. Oral presentation at the Toward a Science of Consciousness, University of Arizona, Stockholm.

Nizzi, M-C. (May 2010). First and third person perspective: self-consciousness in patients with Alzheimer Disease. Poster presentation at the French Society of Neuropsychology, Lille.

Nizzi, M-C. (May 2010). Post-phenomenological issue: patients reports on their sense of self. Oral presentation at the Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Consciousness, Boston.

Nizzi, M-C. (Apr 2010). Somatognosie in late stage Alzheimer patients. Oral presentation at the CHArt laboratory, EPHE, Paris. 

Nizzi, M-C. (Feb 2010). Identity and relation to one’s own body in the Locked-In Syndrome. Oral presentation at the PLC laboratory, University of Grenoble.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jan 2010). Aging, dementia and identity; a trans-disciplinary approach. Oral presentation at the Department of Gerontology, Intercity Hospital, Montfermeil.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jan 2010). Self-consciousness, from the soul to the brain. Oral presentation at the Department of Neurology, Avicenne Hospital, Bobigny.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jan 2010). The feeling of one’s own identity in the Locked-In Syndrome. Oral presentation at the Cyclotron Research Group, University of Liège.

Nizzi, M-C. (Nov 2009). Medical decision and non-communicative patients: is the patient still an agent? Oral presentation at the Philosophy of Science Society, ENS Paris.

Nizzi, M-C. (Sep 2009). Ethical issues in the treatment of non-communicative patients. Oral presentation at the SOPHA Project, University of Genève.

Nizzi, M-C. (Jun 2009). Motor imagery and procedural memory in Alzheimer’s disease. Oral presentation at the Jean Nicod Institute, Paris.

Nizzi, M-C. (May 2009). What defines me among others, the concept of identity in a first person’s perspective. Summer school of the CNRS about Consciousness. Cargèse, Corsica.

Nizzi, M-C. (Mar 2009). What is it like to be oneself: personal identity in the Locked-In Syndrome. Oral presentation at the Cyclotron laboratory, University of Liège.


Teaching Experience (sole instructor unless otherwise specified)

At Harvard University – College courses

* = Awarded Certificate of Teaching Excellence

The Self: what philosophy, psychology and neuroscience tell us.

- Rated co-best course at Harvard in 2018 -

Spring 2018*                    Spring 2017*                Spring 2016*

Spring 2013                      Spring 2012

Functional neuroimaging of psychiatric disorders: insight in the human brain-mind. (co-instructor)

Spring 2018*                    Spring 2017*                Spring 2016*

Consciousness: the last frontier of neuroscience? (co-instructor)

Spring 2016*                               

Abnormal Psychology (teaching fellow)

Fall 2015                         

Statistics using R (teaching fellow)

Fall 2014                         


At Harvard University – Summer School

Mind, Brain and Consciousness

Summer 2018                    Summer 2017               Summer 2016


Summer 2018                   


Summer 2018                    Summer 2017

Introduction to Philosophy of Mind through Science-fiction Movies

Summer 2017                    Summer 2016              


In France

Philosophy of Mind (University Paris 8 – St Denis / EPHE)

Spring 2010                      Spring 2011

Psychology of Aging (Private School of Healthcare)

Fall 2010             

Philosophy of Psychology (Lille 3 University, co-instructor)

Fall 2009             


Public and media presentations

Nizzi, M-C. (Apr 2018). Facing Change. Invited presentation at the 2018 Harvard Horizons Symposium, Sanders Theater, Harvard University. Available at:

Research featured in: Rowan Hooper (2018). Superhuman: Life at the Extremes of Mental and Physical Ability. Little, Brown. 352 pages.

Nizzi, M-C. (Mar 2018). Etre humain aujourd'hui: une realite mouvante entre science et science fiction. [Being human today: a dynamic reality at the frontier between science and science-fiction]. Invited presentation at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France.

Nizzi, M-C. (Sep 2017). The Self: where does it begin and where does it end? Invited presentation at the 2017 New Scientist Live event, London, UK.


Editorial service as reviewer

Biology and Philosophy - Springer

Since 2017

Journal of Consciousness Studies

Since 2015

Human Studies - Springer

Since 2013



Professional Associations

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)

Since 2017

Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT)

Since 2016

Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)

Since 2014

American Association for University Women (AAUW)

Since 2012

Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

Since 2011