Fabrizio Pizzioli

Visiting Research Fellow

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development

School of Psychology, Birkbeck,

University of London

32, Torrington Square

London, WC1E 7JL

tel.: +44 207 079 0777

cell: +44 (0) 7780778373

email: fabrizio.pizzioli@uclouvain.be



Research interests

Curriculum vitae






Research interests

I spent past six years investigating spoken language comprehension, fascinated by the complexity and the rapidity of this cognitive process. My focus is how semantic and syntactic information are mapped or integrated. In a couple of hundreds of milliseconds various sources of information are incrementally used in a nearly-immediate fashion and are promptly integrated into the overall representation that specifies the thematic relations between words in the sentence. 

Special focus of my research is the thematic integration difficulty in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), who experience dramatic problems to assign thematic roles (and understand sentences) when it depends on the appreciation of the underlying syntactic structure. Along with a classical behavioural psycholingusitic approach I took a neurocognitive perspective (brain based approach) in order to try to bring new evidence to bear on the understanding of SLI (Ullman & Pierport, 2005; Kuperberg, Sitnikova, Goff, & Holcomb, 2006; Kuperberg, Caplan, Sitnikova, Eddy, & Holcomb, 2006).

Most recently I become interested in statistical learning as a possible base for language acquisition. Currently, at the CBCD, I am studying statistical learning in artificial language and in the visual domain and its relation with real language processing in adults, children with normal language, children with SLI and children with Williams Syndrome.



Curriculum vitae

I studied Psychology at the University of Trieste from 1996-1999, gaining a BSc degree, and completed an MSc in Experimental Psychology and Psychobiology at the same university (2001) with a master thesis on agrammatism partially carried out at Temple University School of Medicine Philadelphia under the supervision of prof. Saffran.  I then moved to the Université catholique de Louvain where I obtained a MSc in Cognition and Culture (2004). At the same university I completed a D.Phil in Cognitive Developmental Psychology. My thesis explored the integration of semantic and syntactic information in children with normal language and specific language impairment using behavioural and electrophysiological methods. From October 2008 I am Charged of Researches for the Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) in Belgium. I have recently joined Prof. Michael Thomas’s research lab at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD), Developmental Neurocognition lab, as a visiting research fellow, where I work on a project that investigates the relation between statistical learning and syntactic processing woith the illuminating supervision of prof. Annette Karmiloff-Smith.




Collina, S., Pizzioli, F., Caporali, A., Basso, A., & Tabossi, P. (2002). The production of action nouns: A case study. Brain and Language , 83, 109-113.

Pizzioli, F. & Scheltraete, M.-A. (2004). Les trouble grammaticaux dans les pathologies développementals du langage oral. Cahier de la SBLU, 16, 19 – 25.

Pizzioli, F., Rossion, B., Scheltraete, M.-A. & Nakano, H. (2005). On-line lexical integration: comprehending noun phrase arguments and adjuncts. Psychophysiology, 42, S101.

Tabossi, P., Collina, C., Caporali, A., Pizzioli, F., & Basso, A. (under revision). Speaking of actions. The case of CM. Cognitive Neuropsychology.

Pizzioli, F., & Schelstraete, M.-A. (2007). Lexical decision task in children with specific language impairment. Proceedings  of the 31st Boston University Conference on Language Development.

Pizzioli, F., & Schelstraete, M.-A. (2008). Argument-structure complexity in children with Specific Language Impairment: evidences from the use of grammatical morphemes in French. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research , 51, 1-16.

Pizzioli, F., & Schelstraete, M.-A. (under revision). Sentence comprehension in children with specific language impairment: The role of argument-structure. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Pizzioli, F., Rossion, B., Scheltraete, M.-A. & Nakano, H. (submitted). The effect of plausibility on lexical integration of arguments and adjuncts: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidences. Journal of cognitive neuropsychology.

Pizzioli, F., & Schelstraete, M.-A. (Submitted). Online thematic integration processes in normal language developing children and children with specific language impairment. Journal Communication Disorders.

Pizzioli, F., & Schelstraete, M.-A. (Submitted).  Integration deficit in children with SLI: Online evidence form primed lexical decision. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Pizzioli, F., & Schelstraete, M.-A. (under review). Lexico-semantic association in children with specific language impairment: The overactivation hypothesis. Developental Neurophyscology.

Pizzioli, F., Rossion, B., Scheltraete, M.-A. & Nakano, H. (in preparation). Interaction between semantic and syntactic processing in specific language impairment: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence.

Pizzioli, F. (July, 2008). From the mouth of babes. Euregio, 3.

Pizzioli, F.(August, 2008). The body communicats. Euregio, 4.