I studied in Italy at the Universities of Padua (BSc/MSc Psychology Magna cum Laude; awarded the Italian Society of Psychology prize for best dissertation yrs. 1980-82) and Bologna (PhD Psychology).
I spent a post-doctoral period at the University of Stirling to work with George Butterworth at the Infant Study Unit, thanks to grants from the Italian CNR and European Science Foundation. I remained as post-doctoral fellow to extend the research thanks to grants from the ESRC.
In 1991 I became a tenured lecturer at the University of Padua. I spent a sabbatical year at the University of Cambridge in 1996 and I relocated to London for family reasons in 1998, when I joined Middlesex University.
I was Visiting Professor at the University of Roma-Tre, Rome, during a sabbatical term in 2006, and Visiting Scholar at LPL (Laboratoire Parole et Langage) CNRS UMR 7309, University of Aix-Marseille, during a sabbatical period in 2014.
I am Life Member of Clare Hall (Cambridge) since 1997 and Honorary Member of GRiDD (Group for Research in Developmental Disabilities, UCL Institute of Education, London), since 2013. I joined the Developmental Psychology Editorial Board of Frontiers in Pediatrics and Psychology in 2015.
English; Italian (native); French (fluent); Spanish (basic).
Supervision of empirical projects:
I welcome Dissertation projects in the following areas:
My main research focus is on infant communication and the development of language. In the course of my career I studied the development of a first sound-meaning system based on nonsegmental features in infant prelinguistic vocalisations; infant-directed speech; and joint attention, in particular the pointing gesture in infants. More recently I have begun to study the relationship between language and music in the development of human communication.
I have established the Middlesex babyLab , a research laboratory dedicated to infant research and including observation facilities with AV digital support, sound-isolating booth, preferential looking/listening, Tobii eye-tracking.
I am interested also in a number of other aspects of developmental psychology concerning young children's cognition and emotion in typical and atypical groups.
Cognitive benefits of music exposure; Reading and musical expertise; movement synchronization and affiliation.
Nina Politimou, Music processing, language processing and working memory in preschool children: The effects of short-term music training.
1. Development / Evolution, 19-20 July 2010 (London, Middlesex University)
2. Meaning / Entrainment, 13-14 December 2010 (Cambridge, Centre for Music and Science)
3. Pragmatics / Literacy, July 2011 (London, Middlesex University)
Franco, Fabia and Chew, Marcia and Swaine, Joel S. (2016) Preschoolers' attribution of affect to music: A comparison between vocal and instrumental performance. Psychology of Music . ISSN 0305-7356 (Accepted/In press)
Franco, Fabia and Angelova, Stanislava (2016) Emotion-related musical variables affect person perception: Differential effects for men and women in a synchronization task. Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems . ISSN 1572-0373 (Accepted/In press)
Van Puyvelde, Martine and Franco, Fabia (2015) The interaction of music and language in the ontogenesis of human communication: a multimodal parent-infant co-regulation system. In: Proceedings of ICMEM 2015. Timmers, Renée and Dibben, Nicola and Eitan, Zohar and Granot, Roni and Metcalfe, Tim and Schiavio, Andrea and Williamsom, Victoria , eds. International Conference on the Multimodal Experience of Music . HRI Online Publications, pp. 1-8. ISBN 9780957102248
Gettings, Sheryl and Franco, Fabia and Santosh, Paramala (2015) Facilitating support groups for siblings of children with neurodevelopmental disorders using audioconferencing: a longitudinal feasibility study. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 9 (8). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1753-2000
Franco, Fabia and Swaine, Joel S. and Israni, Shweta and Zaborowska, Katarzyna A. and Kaloko, Fatmata and Kesavarajan, Indu and Majek, Joseph A. (2014) Affect-matching music improves cognitive performance in adults and young children for both positive and negative emotions. Psychology of Music . ISSN 0305-7356 (Accepted/In press)
BPS (British Psychological Society) (PI): Research Seminars Competition to organize three international meetings The music of language, the language of music - January 2010 / September 2011.
SEMPRE The Arnold Bentley Fund (PI): Speech and music tone processing in function of musical and language background (tonal v non-tonal), with Martin Rohrmeier (Cambridge University Centre for Music and Science / Berlin FU) and Marcia Chew - October 2010 / June 2011.
BRITISH ACADEMY SGS (PI): "If you are happy and you know it ....": Can preschoolers recognise emotion in music? With Marcia Chew, and Joel Swaine (Cambridge University, Centre for Music & Science) – October 2010 / June 2011.
NUFFIELD FOUNDATION SGS (PI): Young children recognition of emotion in the human voice – January 2011 / September 2012.
DFG (PAntrag im Programm „Initiierung und Intensivierung bilateraler Kooperationen" der DFG, Deutschland – Großbritannien), The intertwining of Speech and Song: Is there a relationship between perceptive and interactional aspects of parental singing and language development? With Simone Falk (PI, LMU Munich) - 2011/12.
SENSE, Joint attention and communication development in deaf-blind infants and young children, with Maria Nunez (PI, Glasgow Caledonian University) and Sue Leekam (Cardiff University) – September 2011/January 2014.
MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY GRANT (PI), Reading abilities and music: The role of different types of expertise, with N. Brunswick, L. Kiakides and A. Evans - May/July 2013.
SEMPRE The Arnold Bentley Fund (PI): Do M'bendjele (BaYaka) Pygmies recognise communicative intent in Western infant-directed songs? Another look at music and universality, with Jerome Lewis (Anthropology, University College London, UK) and Simone Falk (Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich and LPL Aix-Marseille University, France) - September 2014/2015.
AIRS (Advancing Interdisciplinary Research on Singing), Mapping the music of 2-4 year olds with LENA, with Lauren Stewart (Goldsmiths', Psychology) and Graham Welch (UCL Institute of Education) - February/July 2015.