Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London
My research is focused on the development of the attention system during the first years of life. More specifically, I am interested in understanding the role of distraction from a developmental perspective. In the recent literature, distraction has become synonymous with poor attentional abilities or reflective of noisy and chaotic home environments. However, adaptive behaviour requires a person to be able to respond to stimuli outside the current focus of attention and to orient towards them if they could be behaviourally relevant or contribute to the current goal.
My research aims to investigate whether the concept of distraction can be reconceptualised as an attentional trait, whose extremes –either an over response to sensory stimulation or an inability to detect and orient attention towards salient and informative stimuli– are equally detrimental for adaptation and learning, while intermediate levels are beneficial.
Prof Natasha Kirkham (Birkbeck, University of London)
Prof Denis Mareschal (Birkbeck, University of London)
Prof Gaia Scerif (University of Oxford)
PhD Psychology, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London (2020-present)
Erasmus+ for Studies Exchange Program, Donders Institute, Radboud University,
Research Masters in Behavioural Science and Cognitive Neuroscience (2018-2019)
MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology (Distinction),
University of Padua (2017-2019)
BSc in Psychological Sciences and Techniques (Distinction),
University of Milan-Bicocca (2014-2017)
Baby Learning Lab, The University of British Columbia (CA) - May-July 2023
Project: Investigation of neuro-correlates of attention in infants using fNIRS technology during naturalistic interaction. Supervisor: Prof Lauren Emberson
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London (UK) - 2020
Project: Investigation of the impact of acoustic noise on infant development using eye-tracking methods. Supervisors: Dr. Brittney Chere and Prof Natasha Kirkham
Donders Institute, Radboud University (NL) - 2019
Project: investigation of the mechanisms underlying visual statistical learning using eye-tracking methods. Supervisor: Prof Sabine Hunnius
Università degli Studi di Milano, Bicocca (IT) - 2017
Project: Influence of visuo-olfactory memory on colour perception. Supervisor: Prof Emanuela Bricolo
Selected Publications & Poster Presentations
Serino, G., Mareschal, D., Scerif, G., Kirkham, N. (2023). Playing Hide and Seek: Contextual Regularity Learning develops between 3 and 5 Years of Age. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. In press.
Poli, F., Serino, G., Mars, R. B., & Hunnius, S. (2020). Infants tailor their attention to maximize learning. Science Advances,6(39), eabb5053.
Serino, G., Dopierała, A. A. W., Shen, C., Mareschal, D., Kirkham, N., and Emberson, L. .Studying neural bases of attention orienting in real world infant experience. Poster presented at the Society for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy, UK, September, 2023
Serino, G., Grimshaw, H., Chere, B., Mareschal, D., & Kirkham, N. Can young children block out irrelevant acoustic noise?
Lighting talk at British Psychological Society, Cognitive and Developmental Sections Annual Conference 2023, September, 2023. Serino, G., Mareschal, D., & Kirkham, N. Distractibility is tuned on relevant information since the first year of life. Lighting talk at British Psychological Society, Cognitive and Developmental Sections Annual Conference 2023, September, 2023.
Serino, G., Pinti, P., Mareschal D. & Kirkham, N. Using fNIRS to investigate the neural correlates of distraction in 8-month-old infants. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy, October 2022
Serino, G., Gossé L., Pinti, P., & Kirkham, N. Using fNIRS to investigate the neural correlates of the orienting response in 8-month-old infants. Poster presented at the International Congress of Infant Studies, July 2022
Serino, G., & Kirkham, N. Infants learn complex visual structures and then what? Poster presented at the Statistical Learning Conference, June 2022.
Serino, G., Mareschal D., Scerif G., & Kirkham N. Playing hide and seek: what environmental cues drive young children’s memory-guided attention? Poster Presented at Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, January 2021.
Serino, G., Mareschal D., Scerif G., & Kirkham N. Playing hide and seek: What environmental cues drive young children’s memory-guided attention and further learning? Poster Presented at the Lancaster Conference on Infant and Early Child Development, August 2021.
Awards & Fundings
LSE Class Teacher Awards 2022-23 in recognition of the highly commented work as a class teacher in the department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at London School of Economics, London (UK).
UCL, Bloomsbury and East London DTP – International Institutional Visit (IIV): fundings towards gaining research skills.
Gorilla Grant 2020 – Ruby Tier Award: tokens to run online research on the Gorilla.sc platform
ESRC +3 PhD studentship (2020 – 2023): Fully funded studentship to cover PhD fees, living expenses and research expenses.
ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods (2020 – 2023): funding towards gaining skills in quantitative methods.
Erasmus+ forTraineeship (Oct. 2019 – Feb. 2020): internship exchange program, funding to cover living expenses.
Erasmus+ for Traineeship (March. 2019 – July 2019): internship exchange program, funding to cover living expenses.
Erasmus+ for Studies (Sept. 2018 – Feb.2019): study exchange program, funding to cover living expenses.