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Laura Barca

Email:
laura.barca@istc.cnr.it
Telephone: 
+ 39 06 44595312
Fax: 
+ 39 06 44595243
Address: 

Via San Martino della Battaglia 44 - 00185 Rome - Italy

Curriculum Vitae: 

Profile

Position: 
Researcher
Keywords:
  • Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Neuroscience, Visual Word Recognition,;
Short profile: 

I am a researcher at the ISTC-CNR of Rome. I got a degree in Psychology and a PhD in Clinical and Developmental Psychology at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', and a specialization in Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapy.  

My scientific interests are placed within the fields of Cognitive and Developmental  Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Psychiatry. Specifically:

  • predictive brain, emotion and interoceptive inference,
  • sensorimotor influences on (abstract and emotional) concepts acquisition and representation,
  • the neuronal basis of visual word recognition,
  • behavioral measures of written language processing in normal and impaired populations,
  • cognitive profiles and rehabilitation of children with developmental and acquired deficits.   

 

My website: https://sites.google.com/site/laurabarcahomepage/ 

 

Research

 

My areas of research are:

  • I recently get interested inPredictive Coding models of the brain in the framework of emotional processing and psychopathological conditions. I am interested in developing models that include multiple, hierarchically arranged brain-body variables (e.g., sensory, physiological, interoceptive), and study quantitatively how these variables interact over time; how they are dynamically weighted; if a specific variable or dynamical state of the system might work as a 'marker' of psychopathological conditions (e.g., anxiety disorders) that could be possibly used for screening and prevention; and if ways of restoring the correct system dynamics can be found to be used as treatments. 
  • the neuronal basis of visual word recognition. Within the Marie Curie network RTN:LAB I used Magnetoenchephalography (MEG) to investigate the spatiotemporal evolution of cortical activity during the processing of words presented left or right from a central fixation, developing new methods for the acquisition and analysis of neuromagnetic signals (e.g., beamforming and virtual electrodes).  Results highlight the role, within the left hemisphere, oftop-down influences from motor-articulatory regions to visual-recognition areas. I'm actually exploring the impact of auditory deprivation on word recognition, using Diffusion Tensor Imaging and coregistration of functional MRI signal and Electroencephalography (WoRHD project, funded within the Marie CurieReintegration Grant schema).   
  • the interplay between perception-cognition-action. In a series of experiments within Goal-Leaders project, we are measuring healthy adults' hand movements toward one of two items alternatives, and recording the streaming x, y coordinates of the computer mouse (i.e., a kinematic measure) during categorization tasks. Results show that decision-making and action execution are not separate cognitive stages. Rather, we observe dynamic competition between different processing levels, where partially activated representations (for the decision alternatives) continuously interact into a single categorization outcome.  The use of an action-dynamics approach allowed to visualize the link between cognitive processes and hand movements, with mouse trajectories mirroring online mental processing.
  • behavioral measures of written language processing in normal and impaired populations. I consider visual word recognition a primer phenomenon to study high level cognitive processes and how they interact with sensorymotor processes. To this end, within the W-READ lab we use behavioral experimental paradigms (i.e., Visual Single Word Recognition and Visual Lexical Decision) to study language processes in participants with different expertise (adult and children) and different proficiency (typical readers, acquired/developmental dyslexia).  
  • cognitive profiles and rehabilitation of children with developmental and acquired deficits. Within the field of Developmental Neuropsychology I'm studying how does deficits in sensory-motor domains occurring at different developmental stages affect cognitive processes.  

 

Publications


Journal articles

   2016
Quétard B., Quinton J., Mermillod M., Barca L., Pezzulo G., Colomb M., Izaute M. Differential effects of visual uncertainty and contextual guidance on perceptual decisions: Evidence from eye and mouse tracking in visual search. In: Journal of Vision, vol. 16 (11) pp. 1 - 21. ARVO Journal, 2016.  image   image

   2015
Barca L., Benedetti F., Pezzulo G. The effects of phonological similarity on the semantic categorisation of pictorial and lexical stimuli: evidence from continuous behavioural measures. In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, vol. 1 pp. 1 - 12. Taylor and Francis, [Online First 23 October 2015]  image   image
Barca L., Pezzulo G. Tracking Second Thoughts: Continuous and Discrete Revision Processes during Visual Lexical Decision. In: PLoS One, vol. 10 pp. 1 - 14. Plos, 2015.  image   image   image
Pezzulo G., Barca L., Friston K. Active inference and cognitive-emotional interactions in the brain. In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 38 article n. e85. Cambridge University Press, 2015.  image   image
Quetard B., Quinton J., Colomb M., Pezzulo G., Barca L., Izaute M., Appadoo O., Mermillod M. Combined effects of expectations and visual uncertainty upon detection and identification of a target in the fog. In: Cognitive Processing, vol. 7 pp. 1 - 6. Springer, [Online First 25 July 2015]  image   image

   2014
Flumini A., Barca L., Borghi A., Pezzulo G. How do you hold your mouse? Mouse-tracking the compatibility effect between hand posture and stimulus size. In: Psychological Research-Psychologische Forschung, Springer, [Online First 24 October 2014]  image   image
Pezzulo G., Barca L., D'Ausilio A. The sensorimotor and social sides of the architecture of speech. In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 37 (6) pp. 569 - 570. Cambridge University Press, 2014.  image   image
Urooj U., Cornelissen P., Simpson M., Wheat K., Woods W., Barca L., Ellis A. Interactions between visual and semantic processing during object recognition revealed by modulatory effects of age of acquisition. In: Neuroimage, vol. 87 pp. 252 - 264. Elsevier, 2014.  image   image   image

   2013
Barca L., Pezzulo G., Castrataro M., Rinaldi P., Caselli M. C. Visual Word Recognition in Deaf Readers: Lexicality Is Modulated by Communication Mode. In: PLoS One, vol. 8 (3) article n. e59080. www.plosone.org, 2013.  image   image   image
De Marchis M., Barca L. Da un mosaico andato in pezzi all'arte del "Kintsugi": un percorso verso nuove integrità. In: Costruttivismi, vol. 1 pp. 58 - 66. AIPPC, 2013.  image

   2012
Barca L., Pezzulo G. Unfolding visual lexical decision in time. In: PLoS One, vol. 7 (4) p. e35932. PlosOne, 2012.  image   image
Barca L., Pezzulo G. Unfolding visual lexical decision in time. In: PLOS ONE, vol. 7 (4) PLOS, [Online First 26 April 2012]  image   image   image

   2011
Barca L., Cornelissen P., Simpson M., Urooj U., Ellis A. W. The neural basis of the right visual field advantage in reading: An MEG analysis using virtual electrodes. In: Brain and Language, vol. 118 pp. 53 - 71. Elsevier, 2011.  image
Barca L., Frascarelli F., Pezzulo G. Working memory and Mental Imagery in Cerebral Palsy: A single case investigation. In: Neurocase, vol. i-First pp. 1 - 7. Taylor & Francis, 2011.  image   image

   2010
Barca L., Bello A., Volterra V., Burani C. Lexical-semantic reading in a shallow orthography: Evidence from a girl with Williams syndrome. In: READING AND WRITING, vol. 23 pp. 569 - 588. 2010.
Barca L., Cappelli F. R., Di Giulio P., Staccioli S., Castelli E. Outpatient assessment of neurovisual functions in children with Cerebral Palsy. In: Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 31 pp. 488 - 495. Elsevier, 2010.  image
Pezzulo G., Barca L., Lamberti Bocconi A., Anna Maria B. When Affordances Climb into your Mind: Advantages of Motor Simulation in a Memory Task Performed by Novice and Expert Rock Climbers. In: Brain and Cognition, vol. 73 (1) pp. 68 - 73. Elsevier, 2010.  image

   2009
Barca L., Cappelli F. R., Amicuzi I., Apicella M. G., Castelli E., Stortini M. Modality-specific naming impairment after traumatic brain injury (TBI). In: Brain Injury, vol. 23 pp. 920 - 929. informa helthcare, 2009.  image
Ellis A. W., Ferreira R., Cathles-Hagan P., Holt K., Jarvis L., Barca L. Word learning and the cerebral hemispheres: from serial to parallel processing of written words. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, vol. 364 pp. 3675 - 3696. The Royal Society, 2009.  image

   2008
De Luca M., Barca L., Burani C., Zoccolotti P. The effect of word length and other sublexical, lexical and semantic variables on developmental reading deficits. In: COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL NEUROLOGY, vol. 21 pp. 227 - 235. 2008.
Pagliuca G., Arduino L., Barca L., Burani C. Fully transparent orthography, yet lexical reading aloud: The lexicality effect in Italian. In: LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE PROCESSES, vol. 23 pp. 422 - 433. 2008.

   2007
Barca L., Ellis A., Burani C. Context-sensitive rules and word naming in Italian children. In: READING AND WRITING, vol. 20 pp. 495 - 509. 2007.
Burani C., Arduino L., Barca L. Frequency, not age of acquisition affects Italian word naming. In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 19 pp. 828 - 866. 2007.
Henderson L., Barca L., Ellis A. Interhemispheric cooperation and non-cooperation during word recognition: evidence for callosal transfer dysfunction in dyslexic adults. In: Brain and Language, vol. 103 pp. 276 - 291. Elsevier, 2007.  image

   2006
Barca L., Burani C., Di Filippo G., Zoccolotti P. Italian developmental dyslexic and proficient readers: Where are the differences?. In: BRAIN AND LANGUAGE, vol. 98 pp. 347 - 351. 2006.
Burani C., Barca L., Ellis A. Orthographic complexity and word naming in Italian: Some words are more transparent than others. In: PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW, vol. 13 pp. 346 - 352. 2006.
Burani C., Bimonte D., Barca L., Vicari S. Word morphology and lexical comprehension in Williams Syndrome. In: BRAIN AND LANGUAGE, vol. 99 pp. 112 - 113. 2006.

   2005
Mazzotta S., Barca L., Marcolini S., Stella B., C. Frequenza, immaginabilità  ad età  di acquisizione delle parole: in che misura queste variabili influenzano la lettura dei bambini italiani?. In: Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, vol. 9 pp. 249 - 268. 2005.

   2004
Rinaldi P., Barca L., Burani C. A database for semantic, grammatical and frequency properties of the first words acquired by Italian children. In: BEHAVIOR RESEARCH METHODS INSTRUMENTS & COMPUTERS, vol. 36 pp. 525 - 530. 2004.  image   image
Rinaldi P., Barca L., Burani C. Caratteristiche semantiche, grammaticali e di frequenza delle parole del "Primo Vocabolario del Bambino". In: Psicologia clinica dello sviluppo, vol. 8 pp. 119 - 143. 2004.  image
Traficante D., Barca L., Burani C. Accesso lessicale e lettura ad alta voce: il ruolo delle componenti morfologiche delle parole. In: Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, vol. 31 pp. 821 - 838. 2004.

   2002
Barca L., Burani C. Età  di acquisizione delle parole e disturbi acquisiti del linguaggio: una rassegna. In: Ricerche di psicologia, vol. 25 pp. 73 - 94. 2002.
Barca L. Lessico e ortografia nella lettura ad alta voce di adulti e bambini di lingue diverse. 2002.
Barca L. Lessico e ortografia nella lettura ad alta voce di adulti e bambini di lingue diverse. In: Età  evolutiva, vol. 73 pp. 118 - 128. 2002.
Barca L., Burani C., Arduino L. Word naming times and psycholinguistic norms for Italian nouns. In: BEHAVIOR RESEARCH METHODS INSTRUMENTS & COMPUTERS, vol. 34 pp. 424 - 434. 2002.

   2001
Burani C., Barca L., Arduino L. Una base di dati sui valori di età  di acquisizione, frequenza, familiarità , immaginabilità , concretezza, e altre variabili lessicali e sublessicali per 626 nomi dell'italiano. In: Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, vol. 28 pp. 839 - 854. 2001.

Proceedings

   2010
Barca L., Pezzulo G., Castelli E. Egocentric and allocentric spatial references in children with Cerebral Palsy. In: CogSci - Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (Portland, USA, 2010). Proceedings, pp. 1 - 5. Cognitive Science Conference proceedings, 2010.  image
Barca L., Pezzulo G., Castelli E. Egocentric and allocentric spatial references in children with Cerebral Palsy. In: Cogsci 2010 - annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (Portland, Oregon, 11-14/08 2010). Proceedings, p. -. -, 2010.  image
Pezzulo G., Barca L., Lamberti Bocconi A., Borghi A. M. Motor Simulation in a Memory Task: Evidence from Rock Climbing. In: Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (Portland, Oregon, 11-14/08 2010). Proceedings, p. -. -, 2010.  image

Technical reports

   2001
Burani C., Barca L., Arduino L. S. Lexical and sublexical variables: norms for 626 Italian nouns. Barca, L., Burani, C., & Arduino, L. S. Technical report, 2001.  image

   2000
Burani C., Barca L., Arduino L. S. Variabili lessicali e sub-lessicali: valori per 626 nomi dell'italiano. Burani, C., Barca, L., & Arduino, L. S. Technical report, 2000.  image

Abstracts

   2012
Barca L., Pezzulo G. Is visual lexical decision a dynamic and competitive process? No, if we look at reaction times. Yes, if we study how it unfolds in time. In: Neural Coding, Decision-Making & Integration in Time, 2012 (Rauischholzhausen, Germany, 26-29 April 2012). Abstract, article n. 10.3389. Frontiers Neuroscience, 2012.  image   image

   2008
Cappelli F., Amicuzi I., Apicella M. G., Di Giulio P., Barca L., Castelli E., Stortini M. La riabilitazione delle difficoltà linguistiche in esito a trauma cranioencefalico: un caso di afasia ottica. In: XXXVI Congresso sIMFER (Roma, 16-20 novembre 2008). Abstract, pp. 1 - 3. (EUROPA MEDICOPHYSICA, vol. 44). EUROPA MEDICO PHYSICA, 2008.  image
Stortini M., Barca L., Bisozzi E., Cherubini S., Luttazzi P., Morocutti A., Castelli E., Giannarelli P. Clinica delle emiparesi in età evolutiva: un caso clinico di sinergie tra trattamento riabilitativo e studio con neuroimmagini. In: XXXVI Congresso nazionale SIMFER (Roma, 16-20 novembre 2008). Abstract, pp. 1 - 3. EUROPA MEDICO PHYSICA, 2008.  image
Stortini M., Giannarelli P., Cherubini S., Luttazzi P., Latini B., Pagnacco A., Barca L., Mattogno F., Castelli E. Rapporto postura/movimento: training specifico per la stabilità e l'azione. In: XXXIV Congresso nazionale SIMFER (Roma, 16-20 novembre 2008). Abstract, pp. 1 - 5. EUROPA MEDICO PHYSICA, 2008.  image

   2003
Barca L., Burani C., Ellis A. Context-sensitive rules and word naming in Italian. In: XIII Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology. (Granada, Spain, 2003).
Barca L., Burani C. Effetti di frequenza, ma non di età  di acquisizione nella lettura dell' italiano. In: Congresso nazionale della sezione di Psicologia sperimentale - AIP (Bari, 2003).
Barca L., Burani C., Ellis A. Reading aloud in a shallow orthography: Effects of orthographic complexity. In: Trieste Symposium on Perception and Cognition (Trieste, 2003).
Bimonte D., Barca L., Burani C. Morfologia derivazionale e apprendimento del vocabolario: un confronto tra ragazzi con Sindrome di Williams e bambini con sviluppo tipico. In: XII Congresso Nazionale AIRIPA  I disturbi dellapprendimento (Novara, Abstract, 2003.
Rinaldi P., Barca L., Burani C. First words acquired by Italian children: semantic, grammatical and frequency properties. In: XI European Conference on Developmental Psychology (Milano, Abstract, 2003.

Projects

Leading

Marie Curie Reintegration Grant

Taking part in