Neuropsychology, Cognition, Everyday Action, Naturalistic Action, Cerebrovascular Disease, Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Schizophrenia


I have a broad background in neuropsychology, with specific training and expertise in the breakdown of everyday functioning in older adults with neurodegenerative cognitive disorders, including vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. While conducting studies on the executive and episodic memory deficits associated with cerebrovascular disease in graduate school, I developed a strong interest in the everyday, functional consequences of these deficits. As an NRSA postdoctoral fellow, I completed studies that characterized the breakdown of everyday functioning in older adults with various cognitive disorders. I also developed methods for reliably evaluating performance on complex daily activities, including novel paradigms and coding schemes for error types and error monitoring. Upon joining the faculty at Temple University in 2003, I established a laboratory focused on understanding everyday functional deficits using these novel methods. I also formed new collaborations at Temple, including a productive relationship with Dr. Deborah Drabick that has expanded my repertoire of statistical methods.

The research that I have completed at Temple has shown that individuals with dementia differ meaningfully in the type of difficulties that they experience with everyday tasks, with some individuals omitting large task segments and others completing task steps inaccurately. These distinct functional profiles are associated with different cognitive deficits and neuroimaging profiles. These findings and others have led to the development of a novel neuropsychological model for everyday, functional deficits in dementia. Our current research goals are to examine the utility of this model for 1) understanding the more subtle functional deficits reported in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment, 2) identifying older adults most at risk for pathological cognitive decline, and 3) informing interventions to improve functional outcomes. Through my collaborations with Drs. David Libon, Cate Price, and Thomas Floyd, I also continue to explore the cognitive effects of cerebrovascular disease in older adults through studies of cognitive aging, dementia, HIV, and cardiac surgery.


Selected Publications

  • *Seligman, S. Giovannetti, T., *Sestito, J., Libon, D.J. (in press). A New Approach to the Characterization of Subtle Errors in Everyday Action: Implications for Mild Cognitive Impairment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist.
  • *Seidel, G., Giovannetti, T., Price, C.C., *Tanner, J., *Mitchell, S., *Eppig, J., Libon, D.J. (in press). Neuroimaging correlates of everyday action in dementia. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
  • Bailey, H.R., Kurby, C.A., Giovannetti, T., Zacks, J.M. (2013). Action perception predicts action performance. Neuropsychologia
  • *Iampietro, M., Giovannetti, T., *Drabick, D.A.G., *Kessler, R.K. (2012). Empirically defined patterns of executive function deficits in schizophrenia and their relation to everyday functioning: A person-centered approach. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 26, 1166-1185.
  • Giovannetti, T., *Britnell, P., *Brennan, L., Siderowf, A., Grossman, M., Libon, D.J., *Eppig, J., *Seidel, G. (2012). Everyday action impairment in Parkinson’s disease dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychology Society, 18, 1-12.
  • *Bettcher, B.M., Giovannetti, T., Libon, D., *Eppig, J., *Wambach, D., *Klobusicky, E. (2011). Improving Everyday Error Detection One Picture at a Time: A Performance-Based Study of Everyday Task Training. Neuropsychology, 21, 771-783
  • *Bettcher, B.M., Giovannetti, T., Libon, D., *Eppig, J., *Wambach, D., *Klobusicky, E. (2011). To Err is Human, To Monitor Divine: Environmental Adaptations Reduce Everyday Errors but Do Not Improve Monitoring. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 33, 1049-1058.
  • *Seter, C., Giovannetti, T., *Kessler, R.K., *Worth, S. (2011). Everyday Action Planning in Schizophrenia. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 21, 224-249.
  • Giovannetti, T., *Bettcher, B.M., *Brennan, L., Libon, D.J., *Wambach, D., *Seter, C. (2010). Target-related distractors disrupt object selection in everyday action: Evidence from participants with dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 16, 484-494.
  • *Brennan, L., Giovannetti, T., Libon, D.J., *Bettcher, B.M., *Duey, K. (2009) The impact of goal cues on everyday action performance in dementia. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19, 562- 582.
  • *Bettcher, B.M., Giovannetti, T. (2009). From cognitive neuroscience to geriatric neuropsychology: What do current conceptualizations of the action error handling process mean for older adults? Neuropsychology Review, 19, 64-84.
  • Giovannetti, T., Hopkins, M.W., Crawford, J., Schmidt, K.S., Libon, D.J. (2008). Syntactic comprehension deficits are associated with MRI white matter alterations in dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14, 542 – 551.
  • Giovannetti, T., *Bettcher, B.M., *Brennan, L., Libon, D.J., *Kessler, R.K.,*Duey, K. (2008). Characterization of everyday functioning in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A direct assessment approach. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 25, 359 – 365.
  • Giovannetti, T., *Bettcher, B.M., *Brennan, L., Libon, D.J., *Kessler, R.K., *Duey, K. (2008). Coffee with jelly or unbuttered toast: Omissions and commissions are dissociable aspects of everyday action impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychology, 22, 235 – 245.
  • *Bettcher, B.M., Giovannetti, T., *MacMullen, L. (2008). Error detection and correction in dementia: A breakdown of error monitoring processes and their neuropsychological correlates. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14. 199 – 208.
  • Giovannetti T., Schwartz M.F., Buxbaum L.J. (2007). The Coffee Challenge: A new method for the study of everyday action errors. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29, 690 – 705.
  • *Kessler, R.K., Giovannetti, T., *MacMullen, L. (2007). Everyday action in schizophrenia: Performance patterns and underlying cognitive mechanisms. Neuropsychology, 21, 439 – 447.
  • Giovannetti, T., Libon, D.J., *Brennan, L., *Bettcher, B.M., *Sestito, N., *Kessler, R.K. (2007). Environmental adaptations improve everyday action performance in Alzheimer’s disease: Empirical support from performance-based assessment. Neuropsychology, 21, 448 – 457.
  • Giovannetti T., *Sestito N., Libon D., Schmidt, K., Gallo, J., *Gambino, M., *Chrysikou, E. (2006). The influence of personal experience on object knowledge in dementia. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 21, 607 – 614.
  • Giovannetti T., Schmidt, K., *Sestito N., Libon D, Gallo, J. (2006). Everyday action in dementia: Evidence for differential deficits in Alzheimer’s disease versus subcortical vascular dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 12, 45 – 53.
  • Giovannetti T., Buxbaum L.J., Biran I., Chatterjee A. (2005). Reduced endogenous control in anarchic hand syndrome: Evidence from naturalistic Action. Neuropsychologia, 43, 75 – 88.
  • Giovannetti T., Libon D.J., Hart T. (2002). Awareness and correction of naturalistic action errors in dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 8, 633 – 644.
  • Giovannetti, T., Libon, D.J., Buxbaum, L.J., Schwartz, M.F. (2002). Naturalistic action impairment in dementia. Neuropsychologia, 40, 1220 – 1232.

Courses Taught


  • Introduction to Psychology (Clinical Component)
  • Capstone (Clinical Neuropsychology)


  • Assessment I- Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment
  • Clinical Area Seminar (Clinical Neuropsychology)
  • Assessment Team