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Francesca Simion

Francesca Simion
Full Professor

Telephone: 0498276522 
Address: Via Venezia 8
E-mail: francesca.simion@unipd.it




Research areas:
Newborns’ capabilities, neural bases of cognitive processes in early infancy, face recognition in newborns, biological constraints of perception and cognition in early infancy, visual cognition and brain development, memory and earning in human infancy.

Short CV

Full professor since 1986 at the University of Padova. Since 1994 till the present year, organizer of the first of a series of conferences on “Brain development and Cognition in human infants” funded by the European Science Foundation. Partner in a Biomed project funded in 1997 by CEE is still collaborating with two European Laboratories: MRC in London (Birbeck College) and CNRS in Paris (Université René Descartes - Paris V). Director of two laboratories for infants' observation, one in the Paediatric Clinic of the University of Padova and the other in the Hospital of Abano.
Pubblications : 110.

Member of: International Society for Infant Studies, International Society for Developmental Psychology, European Society for Developmental Studies.
Board member: Developmental Science, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
Associate editor: Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo.


Articles in Journals (from 2002)

Simion,F., Di Giorgio,E.,( 2015 ) Face perception and processing in early infancy : Inborn predispositions and developmental changes. Frontiers in Psychology: Perception science DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00969

Bardi,L,Di Giorgio,E.,Lunghi,M,Troje,N,Simion,F., (2015) Walking direction trigger visuo-spatial orienting in 6-month-old infants and adults : An eye tracker study, COGNITION, 141,112-120 Cognition. 2015 Aug;141:112-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.04.014. E

Bardi L.,Regolin L.,Simion F.,The first time ever saw your feet: Inversion effect in newborns' sensitivity to biological motion. (2014) DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 50(4):986-93. doi: 10.1037/a0034678

MASCALZONI E, REGOLIN L, VALLORTIGARA G., SIMION F (2013). THe cradle of casual reasoning: newborns'preference for physical causality. DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, vol. 16, p. 327-335, ISSN: 1363-755X, doi: 10.1111/desc.12018

Di Giorgio E., Meary D., Pascalis O., Simion F. (2013). The face perception system becomes species-specific at three months. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT, ISSN: 0165-0254, doi: 10.1177/0165025412465362

Di Giorgio, C. Turati, G. Altoè, F. Simion (2012). Face detection in complex visual displays: An eye-tracking study with 3- and 6-month-old infants and adults. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 113, p. 66-77, ISSN: 0022-0965, doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2012.04.012

DI GIORGIO E., LEO I., SIMION F. (2012). Is the face-perception system human-specific at birth?. DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 48, p. 1083-1090, ISSN: 0012-1649, doi: 10.1037/a0026521

BARDI L., REGOLIN L., SIMION F. (2011). Biological motion preference in humans at birth: Role of dynamic and configural properties. DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, vol. VOL.14, Issue 2, p. 353-359, ISSN: 1363-755X, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00985.x

SIMION F., DI GIORGIO E., LEO I., BARDI L. (2011). Early Development of Social Stimuli Processing: from Faces to Biological Motion Perception. PROGRESS IN BRAIN RESEARCH, vol. 189, ISSN: 0079-6123

CRAIGHERO L, LEO I, C. UMILTA', SIMION F (2011). Newborns' preference for goal directed actions . COGNITION, vol. 120, p. 26-32, ISSN: 0010-0277, doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.02.011

TURATI C., DI GIORGIO E., BARDI L., SIMION F. (2010). Holistic Face Processing in newborns, three-month-old infants and adults: Evidence from the Composite Face Effect . CHILD DEVELOPMENT, vol. 81, p. 1894-1905, ISSN: 0009-3920, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01520.x

Lewkowicz, D.J., Leo, I., Simion, F. (2010). Intersensory perception at birth: Newborns match non
human primate faces & voices. Infancy, 15 (1), 46-60.

Leo, I., Simion, F. (2009). Infants' Mooney-face perception. Infancy, 14(6), 641-653.

Leo, I., Simion, F. (2009). Face processing at birth: A Thatcher Illusion study. Developmental
Science, 12 (3), 492-498.

Leo, I., Turati, C., Valenza, E., Simion, F. (2009). I meccanismi che mediano la preferenza visiva
per il volto a tre mesi di vita e negli adulti. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 1, 133-146.

Di Giorgio, E., Leo, I., Simion, F. (2008). Le caratteristiche percettive che determinano la
preferenza per il  volto alla nascita e a tre mesi. Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, 3, 553-563.

Simion, F., Regolin, L., Bulf, H. (2008). A predisposition for biological motion in the newborn baby. PNAS, 105(2), pp, 809-813.

Macchi Cassia, V., Valenza, E., Simion, F., Leo, I. (2008). Congruency as a non-specific perceptual property contributing to newborns’ face preference. Child Development, 79(4), 807-820..

de Heering A., Rossion B., Turati C.,  Simion F. (2008). Holistic face processing can be independent of gaze behavior: Evidence from the composite face effect. Journal of Neuropsychology, 2 (1), pp. 183-195.

Turati, C., Bulf, H., Simion, F. (2008). Newborns’ face recognition over changes in viewpoint. Cognition, 106(3),pp.1300-1321.

Simion, F., Leo, I., Turati, C., Valenza, E., Dalla Barba, B. (2007) How face specialization emerges in the first months of life. In C. Von Hofsten & K. Rosander (Eds.), From Action to Cognition. Progress in Brain Research, Elsevier B.V., vol. 164, pp.169-186.

Leo, I., Turati, C., Macchi Cassia, V., Simion, F., Dalla Barba B. (2007). Il riconoscimento del volto alla nascita. Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, 2, pp. 291-306.

de Heering, A. Turati, C., Rossion,B., Bulf,H., Goffaux,V.,Simion,F., (2007). Newborns’ face recognition is based on spatial frequencies below 0.5 cycles per degree. Cognition, 106, pp. 444-454.

Dondi, M, Tonzig, C, Brocadello, R, Simion F., F, Dalla Barba, B. (2006). Asimmetrie facciali nel comportamento espressivo-emozionale del neonato. Giornale Italiano Di Psicologia. vol. 4, pp. 829-849. ISSN: 0390-5349.

Turati, C., Macchi Cassia, V., Simion, F., Leo, I. (2006). Newborns' Face Recognition: The Role Of Inner And Outer Facial Features. Child Development. vol. 77 (2), pp. 297-311. ISSN: 0009-3920.

Valenza, E., Leo, I., Gava, L., Simion, F. (2006). Perceptual Completion In Newborn Human Infants. Child Development. vol. 8, pp. 1-12. ISSN: 0009-3920.

Turati, C., Valenza, E., Leo, I., Simion, F. (2005). Three months olds'visual preference for faces and its underlying mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. vol. 90, pp. 255-273. ISSN: 0022-0965.

Macchi Cassia, V., Turati, C., Simion, F. (2004). Can a non-specific bias toward top-heavy patterns explain newborns' face preference? Psychological Science. vol. 15, pp. 379-383 ISSN: 0956-7976.

Turati, C, Simion, F., Zanon, L. (2003). Newborns' perceptual categorization for closed and open geometric forms. Infancy. vol. 4, pp. 309-325. ISSN: 1525-0008.

Farroni, T, Csibra, G, Simion, F., Johnson, M.H. (2002). Eye contact detection in humans from birth. Proceedings of The National Academy Of Sciences. vol. 99, pp. 9602-9605. ISSN: 0027-8424.

Farroni, T, Massaccesi, S., Simion, F. (2002). La direzione dello sguardo di un'altra persona può dirigere l'attenzione del neonato. Giornale Italiano Di Psicologia. vol. 29, pp. 857-864. ISSN: 0390-5349.

Macchi Cassia, V., Simion, F. (2002). Individual differences in object examining duration. Cognitive Development. vol. 89, pp. 1-16 ISSN: 0885-2014

Messinger M., Dondi M., Nelson Goens G., Beghi A., Fogel A., Simion F. (2002). How sleeping neonate smile. Developmental Psychology. vol. 5(1), pp. 48-54. ISSN: 0012-1649.

Simion F., Farroni T., Macchi Cassia V., Turati C., Dalla Barba B. (2002). Newborns'local processing in schematic facelike configurations. British Journal Of Developmental Psychology. vol. 20, pp. 465-478 ISSN: 0261-510X.

Simion F., Valenza E., Macchi Cassia V., Turati C. (2002). Newborns'preference for up-down asymmetrical configurations. Developmental Science. vol. 5:4, pp. 427-434 ISSN: 1363-755X.

Turati C., Simion F. (2002). Newborns' recognition of changing and unchanging aspects of schematic faces. Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology. vol. 83, pp. 239-261 ISSN: 0022-0965.

Turati C., Simion F., Milani I., Umilta'. (2002). Newborns preference for faces. What is crucial?Developmental Psychology. vol. 38, pp. 875-882 ISSN: 0012-1649.


Books and Chapters

Simion, F., Leo, I. (2009). A neo-constructivist approach to the emergence of a face processing system. In S.P. Johnson (Ed.), Neuroconstructivism: The New Science of Cognitive Development, Oxford University Publishing, pp. 314-333.

Simion, F., Turati, C., Valenza, E., Leo, I. ( 2006) The emergence of cognitive specialization in infancy: The case of face preference. In Y. Munakata & M.H. Johnson, Processes of Change in Brain and Cognitive Development. Attention and Performance XXI, pp. 189-208. ISBN: 1047-0387.

Macchi Cassia V., Valenza E., Simion F. (2004). Lo sviluppo cognitivo. BOLOGNA: Il Mulino.

Simion F., Macchi Cassia V., Turati C., Valenza E. (2003). Non-specific perceptual biases at the origins of face processing. In Pascalis O, Slater A. The development of face processing in infancy and early childhood: Current perspectives. (pp. 13-25). NEW YORK: Nova Science Publishers (UNITED STATES).

Simion F., Macchi Cassia V., Turati C. (2002). L'organizzazione della percezione visiva alla nascita. In: G. DI STEFANO E G. PETTER ( a cura di) Psicologia dello sviluppo e problemi educativi. Studi e ricerche in onore di guido petter. (pp. 87-105). ISBN: 88-09-02209-2. FIRENZE: Giunti.

Simion F., Valenza E., Umiltà C. (1998). Mechanisms underlying face preference at birth. In: G.BUTTERWORTH, SIMION F. The development of cognitive capabilities in early infancy. (vol. 1, pp. 87-101). G. Butterworth & F. Simion (eds) The development of senso cognitive capabilities in early infancy. UK: Erlbaum. LONDON: ERLBAUM (UNITED KINGDOM).

Butterwoth G., Simion F. (1998). The development of sensory, motor and cognitive capabilities in early infancy, Psychology Press Ltd. a cura di.

Dondi M., Simion F., Candioli S. (1997). Facial behavior and cognitive processing in newborn infants: Sustained visual fixation and knitting of the brows. In: R. ROMAIOLI, M. DONDI, C. DAZZI. Experimental and theorethical studies in psychology: Ph.D. student's contributions from the psychology departments of Padua university. (pp. 95-108). Ed. Cleup, Padova.

SIMION F., BENELLI B. (1984). Differences in levels of processing related to age. In: MALATESHA R. N., WHITAKER H. A. Dislexia: a global issue. (pp. 111-112).


Presentations at Conferences

Simion F., Turati C., Valenza E., Leo I. (2006). Perceptual cues underlying face preference in the first months of life. Invited speakers at ICIS Conferences, XVth Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies. Kyoto, Japan, June 19 – 23.
Simion, F., Turati, C., Valenza, E., Leo, I. (2005). Expert Meeting on Face Perception. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, September, 1-5.
Simion F., Turati C., Valenza E., Leo I. (2005). The emergence of cognitive specilization for faces in the first months of life. Invited speakers at ESF Research Conferences, Brain Development and Cognition in Human Infants from action to cognition. Acquafredda di Maratea, Italia, October 1-6.
Simion, F., Turati, C., Macchi Cassia, V., Leo, I. (2005). The origin of the social knowledge: the case of face recognition at birth. Invited speakers at Convegno in Onore di Luigia Camaioni, Roma 23-24 Giugno.
Simion F., Turati C., Valenza E., Leo I. (2004). The emergence of cognitive specialization for faces in the first months of life. Invited speakers at Attention & Performance XXI. Processes of Change in Brain & Cognitive Development. Iron Horse Resort. Organizers: Mark H. Johnson and Yuko Munakata. Winter Park, Colorado, July 26 – August 1.
Simion, F. (2001). Invited speakers at Perceptual Expertise Meeting Netwotk. Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, USA, November 24. 
Simion, F. (2001). The origins face perception: specific vs non-specific mechanisms, Invited speakers at SRCD, Minneapolis, MN, USA, April 18-22.
Simion F. (2000). Conference Chairman at ESF Research Conferences, Brain Development and Cognition in Human Infants: Normal and Abnormal Cortical Functional Specialization. Agelonde Conference Centre, La Londe les Maures, France, 15-20 September.
Simion, F. (1998). Invited chair at ESF Research Conferences, Development of Sensory, Motor & Cognitive Abilities in Early Infancy: Antecedents of Language and Symbolic Cognitive Functions. San Feliu de Guixols, Spain, April 10-15.
Simion F. (1994). Organising commitee member ESF Research Conferences, Development of sensory motor and cognitive capabilities in early infancy, Acquafredda di Maratea, Italia, October 8–13.




Università degli Studi di Padova
Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione
Via Venezia 8 - 35131 Padova (Italy)
Tel 049-8276500 - Fax 049-8276511