Laura Sparaci

+ 39 06 44161541
+ 39 06 44161513

Via Nomentana 56 - 00161 Rome - Italy

Curriculum Vitae: 


Researcher (Fixed Term)
  • child development;
  • embodiment;
  • gestures;
  • motor actions;
Short profile: 

Laura Sparaci is currently Associate Researcher at CNR’s Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies within the LaCAM Lab. After graduating in Philosophy cum laude at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ she completed a MA in Philosophy of Cognitive Science with distinction at the University of Sussex and a PhD in Cognitive Sciences at the University of Siena. She has also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Sciences at the University of Central Florida where she spent one year on a Fulbright Scholarship. She then worked for three years as Post-doc at the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Parma, one year as Research Assistant at the Children’s Hospital ‘Bambino Gesù’ in Rome and four years as Researcher fixed term within the LaCAM Lab acting as PI in the MIUR FIRB TOUM Project and as Experienced Researcher in the EC FP7 GEST_LAN_D Project coordinated by Dr Olga Capirci. She has recently completed a second Fulbright Scholarship to act as PI in the FRATER Project and has recently obtained a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship to conducte the FORGE Project at University College London (UCL).


Laura’s research is mainly focused on embodied enactive approaches to human communication and aims at disentangling how motor repertoires and interactions with objects contribute to gesture and language development in both typical and atypical populations. She has had more than eight years of international and interdisciplinary postgraduate research experience working in academic, laboratory and clinical environments, recently obtaining her second Fulbright scholarship and a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at University College London (UCL) to carry out a project entitled FORGE. The FORGE project is dedicated to investigating the role of motor skills and functional tool use towards emergence of representational gestures and vocabulary acquisition in children. The project will rely on both behavioral observations and use of motion sensors to measure motoric characteristics of tool use and gestural skills exploited by children’s during word learning.


Journal articles

Di Cesare G., Sparaci L., Pelosi A., Mazzone L., Giovagnoli G., Menghini D., Ruffaldi E., Vicari S. Differences in action style recognition in children with autism spectrum disorders. In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8 article n. 1456. Frontiers, 2017.  image   image
Volterra V., Capirci O., Caselli C., Rinaldi P., Sparaci L. Developmental evidence for continuity from action to gesture to sign/word. In: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, vol. 8 (1) pp. 13 - 41. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017.  image   image   image

Sparaci L., Formica D., Lasorsa F. R., Mazzone L., Valeri G., Vicari S. Untrivial Pursuit: Measuring Motor Procedures Learning in Children with Autism. In: Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, [Online First 30 January 2015]  image   image   image

Ricci L., Formica D., Sparaci L., Lasorsa F. R., Taffoni F., Tamilia E., Guglielmelli E. A new calibration methodology for motion tracking inchildren using wireless magneto-inertialsensors. In: Sensors, vol. 14 (1) pp. 1057 - 1072. MDPI, 2014.  image   image   image
Sparaci L., Stefanini S., D'Elia L., Vicari S., Rizzolatti G. What and Why Understanding in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome: Similarities and Differences. In: Autism Research, vol. 7 (4) pp. 421 - 432. Wiley Periodicals, 2014.  image   image   image

Bello A., Sparaci L., Stefanini S., Boria S., Volterra V., Rizzolatti G. A developmental study on children’s capacity to ascribe goals and intentions to others. In: Developmental Psychology, vol. 50 (2) pp. 504 - 513. American Psychological Association, 2014. [Online First 17 June 2013]  image   image   image
Sparaci L. Beyond the Point: A Basic Guide to Literature on Pointing Abilities in Children with Autism. In: Humana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies, vol. 24 pp. 177 - 202. Edizioni ETS, 2013.  image   image

Campolo D., Taffoni F., Formica D., Iverson J., Sparaci L., Keller F., Guglielmelli E. Embedding inertial-magnetic sensors in everyday objects: Assessing spatial cognition in children. In: Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, vol. 11 (1) pp. 103 - 116. World Scientific Publishing, 2012.  image   image   image
Sparaci L., Stefanini S., Marotta L., Vicari S., Rizzolatti G. Understanding motor acts and motor intentions in Williams syndrome. In: Neuropsychologia, vol. 50 (7) pp. 1639 - 1649. Elsevier, 2012.  image   image   image

Sparaci L. Approccio fenomenologico e scienze cognitive. In: Sistemi Intelligenti, vol. 1 (aprile) pp. 75 - 92. il Mulino, 2011.  image   image

Sinigaglia C., Sparaci L. Emotions in action through the looking glass. In: Journal of Analytical Psychology, vol. 55 (1) pp. 3 - 29. Wiley, 2010.  image   image

Boria S., Fabbri-Destro M., Cattaneo L., Sparaci L., Sinigaglia C., Santelli E., Cossu G., Rizzolatti G. Intention Understanding and Autism. In: PLoS One, vol. 4 (5) pp. e5596 - e5596. Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2009.  image   image   image
Sparaci L. Rappresentazioni orientate all'azione:il ruolo delle rappresentazioni deittiche in contesti sociali. In: Teorie e Modelli, vol. XIV (1) pp. 119 - 134. Pitagora Editrice Bologna, 2009.  image   image

Sinigaglia C., Sparaci L. The mirror roots of social cognition. In: Acta Philosphica, vol. 17 (2) pp. 307 - 330. Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2008.  image   image
Sparaci L. Embodying Gestures. The Social Orienting Model and the study of early gestures in autism. In: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, vol. 7 (2) pp. 203 - 223. Springer, 2008.  image   image

Sparaci L. Autismo, simulazione incarnata e neuroni specchio. In: Élites. L'ordine della diversità e del molteplice, vol. 4 pp. 67 - 78. Rubbettino Editore, 2006.  image

Contribution to Book/Monograph

Sparaci L., Volterra V. Hands Shaping Communication: From Gestures to Signs. In: The Hand: Perception, Cognition, Action. pp. 29 - 54. M. Bertolaso, N. Di Stefano (eds.). Svizzera: Springer International Publishing AG, 2017.  image

Sparaci L., Rinaldi P., Volterra V. Profili cognitivi e nuove prospettive sui rapporti con il sistema motorio. In: La sindrome di Williams. Genetica, clinica e riabilitazione. pp. 143 - 157. B. Dallapiccola, S. Vicari (eds.). (Strumenti per il lavoro psico-sociale ed educativo). Milano: F. Angeli, 2012.  image   image

Sparaci L. Discourse and action: analyzing the possibility of a structural similarity. In: SILFS - New Essays in Logic and Philosophy of Science. pp. 493 - 504. M. D'Agostino G. Giorello F. Laudisa T. Pievani C. Sinigaglia (ed.). London: College Publications, 2010.  image

Romano G., Sparaci L. Il problema dell'intersoggettività negli studi sull'autismo. In: Filosofia della medicina. Metodo, modelli, cura ed errori. pp. 661 - 689. P. Giarretta, A. Moretto, G.F. Gensini, M. Trabucchi (eds.). Bologna: Il Mulino, 2009.  image


Ricci L., Formica D., Tamilia E., Sparaci L., Capirci O., Guglielmelli E. An experimental protocol for the definition of upper limb anatomical frames on children using magneto- inertial sensors. In: EMBC 2013 - Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE (Osaka, 3-7 July 2013). Proceedings, pp. 4903 - 4906. (Proceedings of the IEEE). IEEE, 2013.  image   image   image

Sparaci L. Intersubjectivity Interrupted. Motivating and reviewing the literature on gesture behavior in autism through a phenomenological approach. In: IHSRC - International Human Science Research Conference (Rovereto, Italy, 13-16 June 2007). Proceedings, pp. 1 - 14. Unitn I, 2008.  image


Sparaci L., Vespignani M., Formica D., D'Elia L., Valeri G., Vicari S. Using a Newly Developed Computer-Based Program to Evaluate Learning of Visuomotor Procedures in Children with Autism: A Pilot Study. In: IMFAR - International Meeting for Autism Research (Toronto, 17 - 19 maggio 2012). Abstract, article n. 10292. International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) (ed.). International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), 2012.  image   image

Sparaci L., Stefanini S., D'Elia L., Rizzolatti G., Vicari S. Intersubjectivity and Understanding Motor Intentions: Evidence From Autism and Williams Syndrome. In: IMFAR - International Meeting for Autism Research (San Diego, California, 12-14 May 2011). Abstract, pp. 91 - 91. International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), 2011.  image   image



Fri, 08/05/2015 - Sun, 08/11/2015
The U.S. – Italy Fulbright Commission
Wed, 01/12/2010 - Sat, 30/11/2013

Taking part in