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Dr Ciro Civile

Dr Ciro Civile

Lecturer in Psychology

 4647

 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

Overview

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 SkÅ‚odowska-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).   

Qualifications

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

Research

Research interests

Learning and Memory, Perceptual Learning, Face Recognition, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Electroencephalogram (EEG) / Event-Related Potentials. 

Research projects

Current Projects:

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.

 

Grants/Funding:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) New Investigator Grant (£236,683)  2018-2020

Role: Principal Investigator

EU, Horizon 2020, Marie SkÅ‚odowska-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

Research networks

Cognition Research Group

Centre for Cognitive Control and Associative Learning (CCAL)

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Civile C, Chamizo VD, Artigas A, McLaren IPL (In Press). Directional cue and landmark configurations: the effect of rotating one set of landmarks relative to another. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition Full text.
Civile C, Cooke A, Liu X, McLaren R, Elchlepp H, Lavric A, Milton F, McLaren I (In Press). The effect of tDCS on recognition depends on stimulus generalization: Neuro-stimulation can predictably enhance or reduce the face inversion effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition Full text.
McLaren R, McLaren IPL, Civile C (2019). Pre-exposure and learning in young children: Evidence of latent inhibition?. In A.K. Goel, C.M. Seifert, & C. Freska (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society., 2332-2337.
Humsani SA, Civile C, McLaren IPL (2019). The impact of meta-memory judgements on undergraduates’ learning and memory performance. In A.K. Goel, C.M. Seifert, & C. Freska (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society., 1527-1532.
Civile C, McLaren R, McLaren IPL (2018). How We can Change Your Mind: Anodal tDCS to Fp3 alters human stimulus representation and learning. Neuropsychologia Full text.
Civile C, Colvin E, Siddiqui H, Sukhvinder O (2018). Labelling faces as “Autistic” reduces the Inversion Effect. Autism, 23, 1596-1600. Full text.
Civile C, Obhi SS, McLaren IPL (2018). The Role of Experience-based Perceptual Learning in the Face Inversion Effect. Vision Research, 157, 84-88. Full text.
Civile C, Elchlepp H, McLaren RP, Galang CM, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2018). The effect of scrambling upright and inverted faces on the N170. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Full text.
Civile C, Obhi SS (2017). Students wearing police uniforms exhibit biased attention toward individuals wearing hoodies. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(FEB). Abstract.
Civile C, Obhi S, McLaren IPL (2017). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and the Face Inversion Effect: Anodal stimulation at Fp3 reduces recognition for upright faces. Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society., 1782-1787. Full text.
McLaren IPL, Carpenter K, Civile C, McLaren R, Zhao D, Milton F, Verbruggen F (2016). Categorisation and Perceptual Learning: Why tDCS to Left DLPC enhances generalisation. Associative Learning and Cognition. Homage to Prof. N.J. Mackintosh. Trobalon, J.B. and Chamizo, V.D. (Eds.), University of Barcelona., 37-67.
Civile C, Obhi SS (2016). Power Eliminates the Influence of Body Posture on Facial Emotion Recognition. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 40(4), 283-299. Abstract.
Civile C, Rajagobal A, Obhi SS (2016). Power, Ethnic Origin, and Sexual Objectification. SAGE Open, 6(2). Abstract.
Civile C, Obhi, S.S. (2016). Power, Objectification, and Ethnicity. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 359-359.
Civile C, Obhi SS (2016). Power, Objectification, and Recognition of Sexualized Women and Men. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40(2), 199-212. Abstract.
Civile C, Verbruggen, McLaren, Zhao D, Ku Y, McLaren IPL (2016). Switching off perceptual learning: tDCS to left DLPFC eliminates perceptual learning in humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 290-296. Full text.
Civile, McLaren, McLaren (2016). The Face Inversion Effect: Roles of First and Second-Order Configural Information. The American Journal of Psychology, 129(1), 23-23. Full text.
Civile C, Obhi SS (2015). Towards a mechanistic understanding of the effects of body posture on facial emotion categorization. American Journal of Psychology, 128(3), 367-377. Abstract.
Civile C, Zhao D, Ku Y, Elchlepp H, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2014). Perceptual learning and inversion effects: Recognition of prototype-defined familiar checkerboards. J Exp Psychol Anim Learn Cogn, 40(2), 144-161. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Civile C, Chamizo VD, Mackintosh NJ, McLaren IPL (2014). The effect of disrupting configural information on rats' performance in the Morris water maze. Learning and Motivation Abstract.  Full text.
Civile C, McLaren RP, McLaren IPL (2014). The face inversion effect--parts and wholes: individual features and their configuration. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove), 67(4), 728-746. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Civile C, Elchlepp H, McLaren R, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2012). Face recognition and brain potentials: Disruption of configural information reduces the face inversion effect. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles, & R. P. Cooper (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society., 1422-1427.
Civile C, Elchlepp H, McLaren R, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2012). The face inversion effect and evoked brain potentials: Complete loss of configural information affects the N170. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 1416-1421.
Civile C, McLaren R, McLaren IPL (2011). Perceptual learning and face recognition: Disruption of second-order relational information reduces the face inversion effect. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T.F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society., 2083-2088.
McLaren IPL, Civile C (2011). Perceptual learning for a familiar category under inversion: an analogue of face inversion?. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T.F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 3320-3325.

Conferences

Civile C, Wooster B, Curtis A, McLaren R, McLaren IPL, Lavric A (2019). Using transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to modulate the face inversion effect on the N170 ERP component. COGSCI'19:. 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. 24th - 27th Jul 2019. Full text.

Publications by year


In Press

Civile C, Chamizo VD, Artigas A, McLaren IPL (In Press). Directional cue and landmark configurations: the effect of rotating one set of landmarks relative to another. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition Full text.
Civile C, Cooke A, Liu X, McLaren R, Elchlepp H, Lavric A, Milton F, McLaren I (In Press). The effect of tDCS on recognition depends on stimulus generalization: Neuro-stimulation can predictably enhance or reduce the face inversion effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition Full text.

2019

McLaren R, McLaren IPL, Civile C (2019). Pre-exposure and learning in young children: Evidence of latent inhibition?. In A.K. Goel, C.M. Seifert, & C. Freska (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society., 2332-2337.
Humsani SA, Civile C, McLaren IPL (2019). The impact of meta-memory judgements on undergraduates’ learning and memory performance. In A.K. Goel, C.M. Seifert, & C. Freska (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society., 1527-1532.
Civile C, Wooster B, Curtis A, McLaren R, McLaren IPL, Lavric A (2019). Using transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to modulate the face inversion effect on the N170 ERP component. COGSCI'19:. 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. 24th - 27th Jul 2019. Full text.

2018

Civile C, McLaren R, McLaren IPL (2018). How We can Change Your Mind: Anodal tDCS to Fp3 alters human stimulus representation and learning. Neuropsychologia Full text.
Civile C, Colvin E, Siddiqui H, Sukhvinder O (2018). Labelling faces as “Autistic” reduces the Inversion Effect. Autism, 23, 1596-1600. Full text.
Civile C, Obhi SS, McLaren IPL (2018). The Role of Experience-based Perceptual Learning in the Face Inversion Effect. Vision Research, 157, 84-88. Full text.
Civile C, Elchlepp H, McLaren RP, Galang CM, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2018). The effect of scrambling upright and inverted faces on the N170. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Full text.

2017

Civile C, Obhi SS (2017). Students wearing police uniforms exhibit biased attention toward individuals wearing hoodies. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(FEB). Abstract.
Civile C, Obhi S, McLaren IPL (2017). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and the Face Inversion Effect: Anodal stimulation at Fp3 reduces recognition for upright faces. Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society., 1782-1787. Full text.

2016

McLaren IPL, Carpenter K, Civile C, McLaren R, Zhao D, Milton F, Verbruggen F (2016). Categorisation and Perceptual Learning: Why tDCS to Left DLPC enhances generalisation. Associative Learning and Cognition. Homage to Prof. N.J. Mackintosh. Trobalon, J.B. and Chamizo, V.D. (Eds.), University of Barcelona., 37-67.
Civile C, Obhi SS (2016). Power Eliminates the Influence of Body Posture on Facial Emotion Recognition. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 40(4), 283-299. Abstract.
Civile C, Rajagobal A, Obhi SS (2016). Power, Ethnic Origin, and Sexual Objectification. SAGE Open, 6(2). Abstract.
Civile C, Obhi, S.S. (2016). Power, Objectification, and Ethnicity. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 359-359.
Civile C, Obhi SS (2016). Power, Objectification, and Recognition of Sexualized Women and Men. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40(2), 199-212. Abstract.
Civile C, Verbruggen, McLaren, Zhao D, Ku Y, McLaren IPL (2016). Switching off perceptual learning: tDCS to left DLPFC eliminates perceptual learning in humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 290-296. Full text.
Civile, McLaren, McLaren (2016). The Face Inversion Effect: Roles of First and Second-Order Configural Information. The American Journal of Psychology, 129(1), 23-23. Full text.

2015

Civile C, Obhi SS (2015). Towards a mechanistic understanding of the effects of body posture on facial emotion categorization. American Journal of Psychology, 128(3), 367-377. Abstract.

2014

Civile C, Zhao D, Ku Y, Elchlepp H, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2014). Perceptual learning and inversion effects: Recognition of prototype-defined familiar checkerboards. J Exp Psychol Anim Learn Cogn, 40(2), 144-161. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Civile C, Chamizo VD, Mackintosh NJ, McLaren IPL (2014). The effect of disrupting configural information on rats' performance in the Morris water maze. Learning and Motivation Abstract.  Full text.
Civile C, McLaren RP, McLaren IPL (2014). The face inversion effect--parts and wholes: individual features and their configuration. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove), 67(4), 728-746. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2012

Civile C, Elchlepp H, McLaren R, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2012). Face recognition and brain potentials: Disruption of configural information reduces the face inversion effect. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles, & R. P. Cooper (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society., 1422-1427.
Civile C, Elchlepp H, McLaren R, Lavric A, McLaren IPL (2012). The face inversion effect and evoked brain potentials: Complete loss of configural information affects the N170. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 1416-1421.

2011

Civile C, McLaren R, McLaren IPL (2011). Perceptual learning and face recognition: Disruption of second-order relational information reduces the face inversion effect. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T.F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society., 2083-2088.
McLaren IPL, Civile C (2011). Perceptual learning for a familiar category under inversion: an analogue of face inversion?. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T.F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 3320-3325.

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