Psychology
  1. Department news
  1. Research students
Psychology

Federica Biotti

PhD student

Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit, Department of Psychology

E: Federica.biotti@city.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)20 7040 4580

PhD title: Understanding face processing deficits in Developmental Prosopagnosia

Overview and PhD focus

One of the most fascinating aspects of our social brain is its great ability to perceive faces. Faces convey many information about other people and their features can vary enormously from one individual to another. Despite this heterogeneity, humans are able to discriminate a great amount of different identities from each other, and recognise familiar faces immediately and without an apparent effort. Crucially, face recognition does not always develop typically and some people experience significant difficulties recognising the others. Developmental Prosopagnosia is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition which affects face recognition in the absence of brain lesions, occurring in people with normal vision and intelligence.

I am deeply interested in understanding the mechanisms responsible for perceptual impairments observed in this condition. In particular, my research focuses on facial emotion recognition, body and object perception in Developmental Prosopagnosia from a behavioural perspective and using sensitive psychophysical measures.

Research interests

  • Face recognition and perception
  • Emotion recognition
  • Social Cognition
  • Developmental and acquired prosopagnosia
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Psychophysics

Education

2012 MSc (Distinction), Cognitive Neuroscience – Vita Salute San Raffaele University, Milan
‘Neurostructural correlates of emotional attribution deficit in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a behavioural and Diffusion Tensor Imaging study’.

2010 BSc, Psychology - Vita Salute San Raffaele University, Milan
‘Role of cognitive reserve in neurodegenerative diseases’

Publications

  • Biotti, F., Gray, K.H., & Cook, R. In prep. Investigating perceptual and memory deficits in developmental prosopagnosia.
  • Biotti, F., Wu, E., Yang, H., Guo, J. Duchaine, B., & Cook, R. Under review. Normal composite face effects in developmental prosopagnosia.
  • Biotti, F., Gray, K.H., & Cook, R. (2017). Impaired body perception in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex. 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.006.
  • Brewer, R., Biotti, F., Bird, G., & Cook, R. (2017). Typical integration of emotion cues from bodies and faces in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cognition.
  • Cook, R., & Biotti, F. (2016). Developmental Prosopagnosia. Current Biology, 26, R1-R2.
  • Biotti, F., & Cook, R. (2016). Impaired perception of facial emotion in Developmental Prosopagnosia. Cortex, 81, 126-136.
  • Brewer, R.*, Biotti, F.*, Catmur, C., Press, C., Happe, F., Cook, R., & Bird, G. A. (2015). Can neurotypical individuals read autistic facial expressions? Atypical production of emotional facial expressions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism Research. 10.1002/aur.1508

Conference attendance and public talks

  • Sliding into a face – the mechanisms of face perception. (November 2016). The Photographers Gallery, London, UK.
  • Biotti, F., & Cook, R. (May, 2016). Intact holistic processing of faces and pseudo-words in Developmental Prosopagnosia. Vision Sciences Society annual meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA.
  • Biotti, F., & Cook, R. (September, 2015). Impaired recognition of facial emotion in Developmental Prosopagnosia. BPS Cognitive Annual Meeting, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
  • Biotti, F., & Cook, R. (May, 2015). Recognition of facial emotion in Developmental Prosopagnosia. Vision Sciences Society annual meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA. Journal of Vision.
  • Biotti, F., & Cook, R. (May, 2014). Evidence for opponent coding of hand-identity within a multidimensional ‘hand-space’. Vision Sciences Society annual meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA. Journal of Vision.

Media coverage

Teaching

  • Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Lecture on Developmental Prosopagnosia for Cognitive Neuroscience module (MSc Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • City, University of London. Lecture on Developmental Prosopagnosia for Social Perception module (3rd year BSc Psychology)
  • City, University of London. SPSS demonstrator for Professional and Academic Developmental for Psychologists module (1st year BSc Psychology)
  • City, University of London. Essays and lab reports marker for Research Design and Analysis (1st year BSc Psychology)

Grants and Awards

  • City University London Doctoral Studentship
  • Guarantors of Brain travel grant
  • EPS Grindley grant
  • BPS Cognitive Bursary

Links

W: www.troublewithfaces.org