Giulio received his medical degree and specialized in psychiatry at the University of Pisa, Italy. After serving as a medical officer in the Army, he obtained a Ph.D. in neuroscience as a fellow of the Scuola Superiore, based on his work on sleep regulation.
From 1990 to 2000, he was associated with The Neurosciences Institute, first in New York and then in San Diego. He is currently Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is studying consciousness and its disorders as well as the mechanisms and functions of sleep at the Center for Sleep and Consciousness.
In his work on consciousness, Giulio has addressed the problem of how the activities of functionally specialized areas of the brain can be integrated to give rise to a unified conscious experience. This work has recently led to the formulation of the information integration theory of consciousness. His group is currently investigating some of the predictions of the theory, with particular emphasis on the breakdown of information integration in various stages of sleep and in brain disorders such as schizophrenia.
Giulio’s work with the Center involves identifying the neural correlates of cognitive changes that result from meditation training. More specifically, he is interested in understanding how meditating can affect our brain states during sleep, as well as how it can lead to improvements in attentional performance while we are awake.