EDUCATION AND CAREER
In 1975 I received a degree in Experimental Psychology (cum laude) from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. I spent two years at the Research Division of Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ, USA where I worked with H.A. Witkin and D.R. Goodenough. Subsequently I became a Lecturer in Psycholinguistics and then Associate Professor of Psychology of Perception at Sapienza University. In 1994 I became Full Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology of the same university, where I served as Director from 2003-2009. From 1999 to 2007, I was co-founder of the new University Institute of Motor Sciences (IUSM) in Rome. I have repeatedly served as Director of the School of Specialization in Neuropsychology (2002-2005 and 2008-2011).
I am currently Full Professor of General Psychology at the Department of Psychology of Sapienza University in Rome, where I direct a Master’s program entitled “Disturbances of Learning and Cognitive Development”. I am a research consultant at the Neuropsychological Unit of the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome and Associate Researcher at the Institute of Sciences and Technologies of Cognition of CNR in Rome. I am also a member of the National Board of the Italian Psychological Association (AIP).
My initial research activity was in the area of clinical and experimental neuropsychology and was focused on perceptual and attentional disturbances following brain lesions. In the last fifteen years, however, I have been primarily interested in carrying out research on developmental learning disabilities, in particular dyslexia and dysorthography. Recent studies of my research group have focussed on the perceptual mechanisms underlying reading disturbances. A continuing interest is that of coupling experimental research with the development of programs to rehabilitate cognitive disturbances.
At the Sapienza University in Rome, I teach a course entitled “Psychology of learning disabilities”, which is part of the program in Psychology: Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychological Rehabilitation. I also teach in the master’s program entitled Disturbances of learning and cognitive development and in the School of Specialization in Neuropsychology. I participate in the Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neurosciences part of the Ph.D program in Behavioural Neurosciences by supervising the research activities of various Ph.D students.
MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS
- Pontillo, M., De Luca, M., Ellis, A.W., Marinelli, C.V., Spinelli, D. and Zoccolotti, P., (2014). Failure to learn a new format in developmental dyslexia. Scientific Reports, 4, 4869; doi:10.1038/srep04869
- Zoccolotti, P, De Luca, M., Lami, L., Pizzoli, C., Pontillo, M., Spinelli, D., (2013). Multiple stimulus presentation yields larger deficits in children with developmental dyslexia: a study with reading and RAN-type tasks. Child Neuropsychology, 19, 639-647. doi:10.1080/09297049.2012.718325
- Puopolo, C., Martelli, M., and Zoccolotti, P. (2013). Role of sensory modality and motor planning in the slowing of patients with traumatic brain injury: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience and BioBehavioral Reviews, 37, 2638–2648, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.08.013
- De Luca, M., Burani, C., Paizi, D., Spinelli, D. and Zoccolotti, P. (2010). Letter and Letter-String Processing in Developmental Dyslexia. Cortex, 46, 1272-1283. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2009.06.007
- Zoccolotti, P., De Luca, M., Judica, A. and Spinelli, D. (2008). Isolating global and specific factors in developmental dyslexia: a study based on the rate and amount model (RAM). Experimental Brain Research, 186, 551-560. doi: 10.1007/s00221-007-1257-9