We are a growing team of researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Department for Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex.

Current research staff

Silvia Rigato
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Research interests: Face perception and processing in infancy. I am interested in the infants ability of integrating the information coming from the eye region and the emotional expression. There is growing evidence that infants, and even newborns, are expert in recognizing faces and processing their inner features. They show visual preferences and different brain activation according to specific gaze-expression combinations.; The development of body representation and tactile localisation. As we move and act on the world, we need to continuously update the sense of our posture and the position of our limbs (&ldquobody schema&rdquo). This involves taking into account the visual and proprioceptive cues about our body, based on which a mental representation of the body is formed. I investigate how infants develop the ability to locate a touch on their body while taking into account their own postural changes.; The development of the neural basis of shared touch. When observing the experiences of others, we not only understand what they experience but often empathically share their states. One set of mechanisms that contribute to this ability are neural regions where seeing the states of others triggers representations of corresponding states in our brain. I study how this process develops in the infant brain.;
Maria Filippetti
Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Research interests: The development of body awareness; Tactile interactions; Development of interoception;
Claire Delle Luche
Lecturer, Department of Language and Linguistics
Research interests: Language variability: accents (children), bilingualism (children); Semantic processing (children); Speech perception (infants, children, adults);
Carina De Klerk
Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Research interests: imitation; facial mimicry; action processing; development of the mirror neuron system;;