Elena Piccardi

Dr Elena Piccardi

Lecturer

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology Research Group

Department of Psychological Sciences , School of Psychology

I am a Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientist and joined UEL School of Psychology as a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology in 2021.

Prior to that, I was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (Birkbeck University of London) working on a project investigating the "Early Development of Sensory Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder". I currently act as an Affiliated Research Scientist and continue collaborating with this centre.

Qualifications

  • PhD Psychology (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience), Birkbeck, University of London, 2021
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education, Birkbeck, University of London & Higher Education Academy, 2019
  • MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Padova, 2015
  • BSc Clinical Psychology, University of Bergamo, 2013

Areas Of Interest

1. A/typical development

2. Individual differences

3. Sensory perception

4. EEG signal processing

5. Teaching practices

On This Page

OVERVIEW

Research: I investigate the early development of sensory perception in infants at elevated likelihood of ASD and/or ADHD and infants at typical likelihood of the conditions. I am interested in characterising the factors that determine contextual and individual differences in sensory sensitivity and seeking sensory input. Further, I am interested in understanding the impact of early sensory atypicalities on later social and cognitive development. To this end, I assess the longitudinal relationships between early neural markers of sensory processing (in the visual, auditory, and tactile modalities), parent questionnaires and clinical tools. This investigation can inform our understanding of the aetiologies of the conditions and lay the translational foundations for the development of early intervention protocols.

I conduct my research in collaboration with the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck University of London, the University of East Anglia and Cambridge University.

I am also interested in issues related to research reproducibility and replicability, and currently act as Local Lead for the UK Reproducibility Network

Education: I am passionate about education and fostering students' intellectual curiosity. My approach to teaching strives to create a culture of learning based around curiosity and collaboration, where diversity in perspectives and opinions is encouraged and where variety in views and beliefs is welcomed. I consider this approach essential to promote creativity, adaptability, agility, and resilience.

External roles

  • Affiliated Research Scientist at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Reviewer for the journals: Autism Research [Wiley], Translational Psychiatry [Nature],  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [Springer]
  • Local lead for the UK Reproducibility Network

CURRENT RESEARCH

Impact:

I take public engagement very seriously and have contributed several dissemination articles, including:

1. STAARScast Episode 3 (2022) discussing the work conducted to investigate behavioural and neural markers of tactile sensory processing in infants with an elevated likelihood of Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and what this research means.

Listen on Spotify

2. Celebrating UEL women and girls in science (2022)

Read the news story

3. Autism predicted by how babies’ brains respond to touch (2021)

Read the news story

3. Understanding why some children enjoy TV more than others (in collaboration with Dr Teodora Gliga) (2020)

Read the news story

4. Spotlight of student research, International Society for Autism Research (2019)

Read the news story

5. Top tips for delivering a mesmerising academic presentation (2019)

Read the full article

6. A Londra Elena studia le cellule cerebrali, L’Eco di Bergamo (Italian language only) (2017)

Read the story

 

Most recent research

  • De Laet, Anna, Piccardi, Elena Serena, Begum Ali, Jannath, Charman, Tony, Johnson, Mark H., Jones, Emily J. H., Bedford, Rachael, Gliga, Teodora and, the STAARS Team (2022) Neuronal gating of tactile input and sleep in 10-month-old infants at typical and elevated likelihood for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scientific Reports. ISSN 2045-2322 (In Press)
  • Piccardi, E. S., Ali, J. B., Jones, E. J., Mason, L., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., & Gliga, T. (2021). Behavioural and neural markers of tactile sensory processing in infants at elevated likelihood of autism spectrum disorder and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders13 (1), 1-18. 

Link

  • Piccardi, E. S., Johnson, M. H., & Gliga, T. (2020). Explaining individual differences in infant visual sensory seeking. Infancy25(5), 677-698.

Link

PUBLICATIONS

Journal articles

  • Norris, E., Clark, K., Munafò, M., Jay, C., Baldwin, JR., Lautarescu, A., Pedder, H., Page, M., Rinke, EM., Burn, CC., Cawthorn, W., Ballou, N., Glover, S., Evans, S., Rossit, S., Soltanlou, M., Wise, E., Kelson, M., Soliman, N., Jones, A., Costello, R., Smailes, D., Wilkinson, L., Piccardi, E.S., Partridge, A., Hulme, C., Schultze, A., Pennington, CR., (2022, June 8). Awareness of and engagement with Open Research behaviours: Development of the Brief Open Research Survey (BORS) with the UK Reproducibility Network. MetaArXiv Preprints https://doi.org/10.31222/osf.io/w48yh
  • De Laet, Anna, Piccardi, Elena Serena, Begum Ali, Jannath, Charman, Tony, Johnson, Mark H., Jones, Emily J. H., Bedford, Rachael, Gliga, Teodora and, the STAARS Team (2022) Neuronal gating of tactile input and sleep in 10-month-old infants at typical and elevated likelihood for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scientific Reports. ISSN 2045-2322 (In Press)
  • Piccardi, E. S., & Gliga, T. (2021). Understanding sensory regulation in typical and atypical development: the case of sensory seeking. PsyArXiv Preprints. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/tg2xw
  • Piccardi, E. S., Ali, J. B., Jones, E. J., Mason, L., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., & Gliga, T. (2021). Behavioural and neural markers of tactile sensory processing in infants at elevated likelihood of autism spectrum disorder and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders13 (1), 1-18.
  • Piccardi, E. S., Johnson, M. H., & Gliga, T. (2020). Explaining individual differences in infant visual sensory seeking. Infancy25 (5), 677-698.
  • Lunghi, M., Piccardi, E. S., Richards, J. E., & Simion, F. (2019). The neural correlates of orienting to walking direction in 6‐month‐old infants: An ERP study. Developmental science22 (6), e12811.

PhD Thesis

  • Piccardi, E. S., (2021). Early development of sensory perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Birkbeck, University of London. PhD Thesis.

Conference Talks

  1. Gal, C., Piccardi, ES., Smith, M., Muresan, R., Gliga, T., Infants' processing of distractors is associated with group-coherent modulation of occipital gamma bursts (2021). Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Virtual.
  2. Piccardi, ES., Talking sense: what sensory processing atypicalities tell us about Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (2021). Sensory Processing Interest Group Invited Talk, King's College London, Virtual.
  3. Piccardi, ES., Johnson, MH., Gliga, T., Explaining individual differences in infant visual sensory seeking (2019). Neurodevelopmental Disorders Seminar Series, Surrey
  4. Piccardi, ES., The application of EEG in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience research (2019). Higher Education Academy Seminar, London.

MODULES

  • PY6010 - Advanced Developmental Psychology
  • PY5010 - Developmental Difficulties and Differences
  • PY4003 - Introduction to Developmental and Cognitive Psychology
  • PY6002 - Psychology Research project
  • PY4005 - Researching with Small samples
  • PY4006 - Researching with Larger samples
  • PY5002 - Psychological Research Methods
  • PY4002 - Introduction to Biological and Social Psychology and Individual Differences
  • PY7160 - Independent Research Dissertation (MSc - Module Leader)