Dr Ciro Civile
Lecturer in Psychology
Washington Singer 238
Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK
Office hours: Office Hours in Term
Monday 13:30 – 14:30
Tuesday 12:00 – 13:00
in WSL 238
Office Hours in Term
I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Psychology Department at the University of Exeter in the UK, which is also where I completed my PhD in Cognitive Psychology (Oct 2009 - Sept 2013). As a PhD student, I was awarded the Exeter Graduate Fellowship and was then awarded two Visiting Research Fellowships. The first fellowship was at the University of Barcelona in Spain (May-Sept 2012). The second fellowship to the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, China (May - July 2013). From October 2013 to August 2017, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, at McMaster University in Canada. In September 2017, I returned to the University of Exeter after being awarded the European Union Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship. This two-year project (Sep 2017 - August 2019) focuses on the role of perceptual learning in face recognition. By using a range of neuroscience techniques (tDCS, EEG, TMS and fMRI) in conjunction with the behavioural designs provided by experimental psychology I am investigating the neural basis for perceptual learning and the face inversion effect. In 2018, I was awarded an ESRC New Investigator grant for a 30-month project (Jun 2018 - Nov 2020) based on the use of brain stimulation to influence an analogue of the face composite illusion using prototype-defined sets of chequerboards. Recently, I was awarded the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Small Grant for a short-term (4 months) project investigating the effects of brain stimulation on face recognition performance.
My research interests broadly regard perceptual learning and face recognition. In the last few years, I have also been studying the effects of brain stimulation (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) on cognitive performance. To further investigate the role of brain stimulation (i.e. tDCS) on performance I am currently also interested in applications of brain stimulation in combination with other techniques (e.g. tDCS/EEG, tDCS/fMRI, tDCS/TMS).
I studied (2005-08) at the University of Padua (Italy) for my bachelor's degree in psychology, during which time I obtained an Erasmus Scholarship to study at the University of Kent in the UK during my final year. After graduating from Padua, I returned to Kent to complete my MSc in Cognitive Psychology/ Neuropsychology (2008-09). In 2009, I joined the Psychology Department at the University of Exeter, to pursue my PhD in Cognitive Psychology under the supervision of Prof. Ian McLaren (co-supervised by Dr Aureliu Lavric). My PhD was awarded in Sept-2013 and my thesis title was "The Face Inversion Effect and Perceptual Learning: Features and Configurations". I am currently a member of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS), the Marie Curie Alumni Association, and the Psychonomic Society.
Research group links
Learning and Memory, Perceptual Learning, Face Recognition, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Electroencephalogram (EEG) / Event-Related Potentials.
Project Title: Perceptual Learning.
This project aims to investigate the role of perceptual learning in determining one of the most robust cognitive phenomenon in the face recognition literature i.e. the face inversion effect (FIE). The FIE refers to a reduced performance when we try to recognise a familiar face presented upside down. Hence, I am investigating an analogue of the FIE for sets of artificial stimuli (chequerboards) that participants never seen before entering the lab. Furthermore, by using a range of neuroscience techniques (tDCS, EEG, TMS, fMRI) I am looking at the mechanisms underpinning the inversion effect for faces and for chequerboards. The results from this project will contribute to the perceptual learning and the face recognition literature.
Project Title: Using perceptual learning to understand and influence face recognition.
The human skill at recognising faces is often attributed to configural processing (i.e. relying on the small differences in the relationship between face components across the entire face). One of the most convincing demonstrations of this is the composite face effect. People are less accurate at recognising the top half of one face presented in composite with the bottom half of another face when the composite is upright and aligned than when the two halves are offset laterally (misalignment – a manipulation that disrupts configural processing). This effect suggests that when upright faces are processed, the internal features are so strongly integrated that it becomes difficult to separate the face into isolated components, leading the composite to be perceived as a "new" face. This project aims to extend this demonstration to sets of artificial stimuli (chequerboards) to investigate the role that perceptual learning has in determining the effect and the perceptual processes (configural vs featural) involved. Neuroscience techniques will be used to study the neuro correlates of the composite effect for faces and chequerboards.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) New Investigator Grant (£236,683) 2018-2020
Role: Principal Investigator
EU, Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (€183,454) 2017-2019
Role: Principal Investigator
Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Small Grant (£3,500) 2018-2019
Role: Principal Investigator
Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) Media Micro Grant (€1000) 2018-2019
Postgraduate studentship and an Exeter Graduate Fellowship (£30,000) 2010-2013
Cognition Research Group
Centre for Cognitive Control and Associative Learning (CCAL)
Publications by category
Publications by year
Ciro_Civile Details from cache as at 2019-12-05 20:16:43