4-research

Research areas

Intellectual Disabilities

  Genetic syndromes

We study genetic syndromes (such as Down, Williams, Fragile X and Prader Willi) from different points of view:
Cognitive development, behavior and school achievement. Moreover we work on training programs to foster cognitive development and school achievements.

Publications:

  • Mento, G., Scerif, G., Granziol, U., Franzoi, M., & Lanfranchi, S. (2019). Dissociating top-down and bottom-up temporal attention in Down syndrome: A neurocostructive perspective. Cognitive Development, 49, 81-93.
  • Onnivello, S., Lanfranchi, S., & Zorzi, M. (2019). Mathematical abilities in Down syndrome. In S. Lanfranchi (Ed.), International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities. State of the Art of Research on Down Syndrome, 257.
  • Pulina, F., Vianello, R., & Lanfranchi, S. (2019). Cognitive profiles in individuals with Down syndrome. In S. Lanfranchi (Ed.), International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities. State of the art of research on Down syndrome (pp. 67-92). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.irrdd.2019.06.002
  • Meneghetti, C., Toffalini, E., Carretti, B., & Lanfranchi, S. (2018). Mental rotation ability and everyday-life spatial activities in individuals with Down syndrome. Research in developmental disabilities, 72, 33-41.
  • Lanfranchi, S., Pulina, F., Carretti, B., & Mammarella, I. C. (2017). Increasing spatial-simultaneous working memory in individuals with Down syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 64, 118-129. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.03.012
  • Meneghetti, C., Lanfranchi, S., Carretti, B., & Toffalini, E. (2017). Visuo-spatial knowledge acquisition in individuals with Down syndrome: The role of descriptions and sketch maps. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 63, 46-58. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2017.02.013
  • Lanfranchi S., & Carretti, B. (2016). Improving working memory in learning and intellectual disabilities. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:725. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00725
  • Lanfranchi, S., Aventaggiato, F., Jerman, O., & Vianello, R. (2015). Numerical skills in children with Down syndrome. Can they be improved? Research in Developmental Disabilities, 45, 129-135 doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2015.07.006
  • Lanfranchi, S., De Mori, L., Mammarella, I. C., Carretti, B., & Vianello, R. (2015). Spatial-Sequential and Spatial-Simultaneous Working Memory in Individuals with Williams Syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 120, 193-202. doi:10.1352/1944-7558-120.3.193
  • Lanfranchi, S., Berteletti, I., Torrisi, E., Vianello, R., & Zorzi, M. (2015). Numerical estimation in individuals with Down syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 36, 222-229. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.010.
  • Pulina, F., Carretti, B., Lanfranchi, S., & Mammarella, I. C. (2015). Improving spatial-simultaneous working memory in Down syndrome: effect of a training program led by parents instead of an expert. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 1265.
  • Sella, F., Lanfranchi, S., & Zorzi, M. (2013). Enumeration skills in Down syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 3798-3806. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2013.07.038
  • Borella, E., Carretti, B., & Lanfranchi, S. (2013). Inhibitory mechanisms in Down syndrome: Is there a specific or general deficit? Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 65-71.  doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2012.07.017
  • Lanfranchi, S., & Vianello, R. (2012). Stress, Locus of Control, and Family Cohesion and Adaptability in Parents of Children with Down, Williams, Fragile X, and Prader-Willi Syndromes. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 117, 207-224. doi:10.1352/1944-7558-117.3.207.
  • Lanfranchi, S., Baddeley, A. D., Gathercole, S. E., & Vianello, R. (2012). Working memory in Down syndrome: is there a dual task deficit? Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56, 157-166. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2011.01444.x
  • Lanfranchi, S., Jerman, O., Dal Pont, E., Alberti, A., & Vianello, R. (2010).  Executive function in adolescents with Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54, 308-319. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2010.01262.x
  • Lanfranchi, S., Carretti, B., Spanò, G., & Cornoldi, C. (2009). A specific deficit in visuo-spatial simultaneous working memory in Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53, 474-483 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01165.x
  • Lanfranchi, S., Cornoldi, C., & Vianello R. (2004). Verbal and Visuospatial Working Memory Deficits in Children with Down Syndrome. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 109, 456–466. doi:10.1352/0895-8017(2004)109<456:VAVWMD>2.0.CO;2

 

  Borderline cognitive functioning

We study cognitive and learning profiles of individuals with borderline intellectual functioning.

Publications:

  • Pulina, F., Lanfranchi, S., Henry, L., & Vianello, R. (in press). Intellectual profile in school-aged children with borderline intellectual functioning. Research in Developmental Disabilities.
  • Lanfranchi, S., & Pulina, F. (2018). Il funzionamento intellettivo limite: il punto di vista della ricerca. Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, 1, 149-152.
  • Pulina, F. (2018). Cognitive profile and academic achievement in school-age children with borderline intellectual functioning (Doctoral dissertation). University of Padova. Padova.
  • Vianello, R., Di Nuovo, S., & Lanfranchi, S. (2014). Bisogni Educativi Speciali: Il Funzionamento Intellettivo Limite o Borderline. Tipologia, analisi di casi e indicazioni operative. Bergamo: Edizioni Junior.

Specific learning disorders

  Dyscalculia

We studied the relationship between working memory and mathematics achievement in children with or without developmental dyscalculia. We are also analyzing the relation among different cognitive processes (e.g., intelligence) and emotional factors. Finally, we are also developing and testing computer-based training for improving arithmetic skills in children.

 

Publications:

Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., Giofrè, D. & Szücs, D. (2018). The underlying structure of visuospatial working memory in children with mathematical learning disability. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1111/bjdp.12202

Giofrè, D., Borella, E., & Mammarella, I. C. (2017). The relationship between intelligence, working memory, academic self-esteem and academic achievement. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 29, 731-747. doi:10.1080/20445911.2017.1310110

Caviola, S., Gerotto, G., & Mammarella, I. C., (2016). Computer-based training for improving mental calculation in third and fifth graders. Acta Psychologica, 171, 118-127. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.10.005

Caviola, S., Mammarella, I. C., Cornoldi, C., & Lucangeli, D. (2014). Precursors for solving written subtraction problems in second grade schoolchildren. Learning and Individual Differences, 36, 92-100. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2014.10.010

Mammarella, I. C., Bomba, M., Caviola, S., Broggi, F., Neri, F., Lucangeli, D., & Nacinovich, R. (2013). Mathematical difficulties in nonverbal learning disability or co-morbid dyscalculia and dyslexia. Developmental Neuropsychology, 38, 418-432. doi:10.1080/87565641.2013.817583

Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., Cornoldi, C., & Lucangeli, D. (2013). Mental additions and verbal-domain interference in children with developmental dyscalculia. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 2845-2855. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2013.05.044

Passolunghi, M. C., & Mammarella, I. C. (2012). Selective spatial working memory impairment in a group of children with mathematics learning disabilities and poor problem-solving skills. Journal of learning disabilities, 45, 341-350. doi:10.1177/0022219411400746

Caviola, S., Mammarella, I. C., Cornoldi, C., & Lucangeli, D. (2012). The involvement of working memory in children’s exact and approximate mental addition. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 112, 141-160. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2012.02.005

Passolunghi, M. C., & Mammarella, I. C. (2010). Spatial and visual working memory ability in children with difficulties in arithmetic word problem solving. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 22, 944-963. doi:10.1080/09541440903091127

Passolunghi, M. C., Mammarella, I. C. & Altoè, G. M. (2008). Cognitive abilities as precursors of the early acquisition of mathematical skills during first through second grades. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33, 229-250. doi:10.1080/87565640801982320

  Dyslexia

We have analyzed psychological and psychopathological consequences in university students with dyslexia and we are now investigating the psychopathological consequences in children with dyslexia.

Publications:

Mammarella, I. C., Ghisi, M., Bomba, M., Bottesi, G., Caviola, S., Broggi, F. & Nacinovich, R., (2016). Anxiety and depression in children with Nonverbal learning disabilities, reading disabilities, or typical development. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49, 130-139. doi:10.1177/0022219414529336

Ghisi, M., Bottesi, G., Re, A. M., Cerea, S., & Mammarella, I. C. (2016). Socioemotional Features and Resilience in Italian University Students with and without Dyslexia. Frontiers in psychology, 7:478. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00478

Developmental disorders

  Nonverbal learning disability

Children with Nonverbal learning disability are characterized by high verbal abilities, but they are weak in nonverbal domains and visuospatial abilities, encountering serious adaptive and learning difficulties. We have studied cognitive (e.g., working memory, visuospatial abilities, academic achievement) and emotional difficulties of these children and we also published a research monograph suggesting new criteria for their diagnosis (Guilford Press).

 

Publications:

Mammarella, I. C., Cardillo, R., & Zoccante, L. (2019). Differences in visuospatial processing in individuals with nonverbal learning disability or autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disability. Neuropsychology, 33(1), 123.

Cardillo, R., Garcia, R. B., Mammarella, I. C., & Cornoldi, C. (2018). Pragmatics of language and theory of mind in children with dyslexia with associated language difficulties or nonverbal learning disabilities. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 7(3), 245-256.

Cardillo, R., Mammarella, I. C., Garcia, R. B., & Cornoldi, C. (2017). Local and global processing in block design tasks in children with dyslexia or nonverbal learning disability. Research in developmental disabilities, 64, 96-107.

Cardillo, R., Basso Garcia, R., Mammarella, I. C., & Cornoldi, C. (2017). Pragmatics of language and theory of mind in children with Dyslexia associated to language difficulties or Nonverbal learning disabilities. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 1-12. doi:10.1080/21622965.2017.1297946

Cardillo, R., Mammarella, I.C., Garcia, R.B., & Cornoldi, C. (2017). Local and global processing in block design tasks in children with dyslexia or nonverbal learning disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 64, 96-107. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2017.03.011

Cornoldi, C., Mammarella, I. C., & Fine, J., (2016). Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. New York: Guilford Press.

Mammarella, I. C., Ghisi, M., Bomba, M., Bottesi, G., Caviola, S., Broggi, F. & Nacinovich, R. (2016). Anxiety and depression in children with Nonverbal learning disabilities, reading disabilities, or typical development. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49, 130-139. doi:10.1177/0022219414529336

Basso Garcia, R., Mammarella, I. C., Pancera, A., Galera, C., & Cornoldi, C. (2015). Deficits in visual short-term memory binding in children at risk of nonverbal learning disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 45, 365-372. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2015.07.035

Mammarella, I. C., Meneghetti, C., Pazzaglia, F., & Cornoldi, C. (2015). Memory and comprehension deficits in spatial descriptions in children with nonverbal and reading disabilities. Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental, 5:1534. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01534

Mammarella, I. C., & Cornoldi, C. (2014). An analysis of the criteria used to diagnose children with Non-verbal learning disabilities (NLD). Child Neuropsychology, 20, 255-280. doi:10.1080/09297049.2013.796920

Basso Garcia, R., Mammarella, I. C., Tripodi, D., & Cornoldi, C. (2014). Visuospatial working memory for locations, colours, and binding in typically developing children and in children with dyslexia and non-verbal learning disability. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 32, 17-33. doi:10.1111/bjdp.12019

Mammarella, I. C., Bomba, M., Caviola, S., Broggi, F., Neri, F., Lucangeli, D., & Nacinovich, R. (2013). Mathematical difficulties in nonverbal learning disability or co-morbid dyscalculia and dyslexia. Developmental Neuropsychology, 38, 418-432. doi:10.1080/87565641.2013.817583

Mammarella, I. C., Giofrè, D., Ferrara, R., & Cornoldi, C. (2013). Intuitive Geometry and Visuospatial Working Memory in Children showing symptoms of Non-verbal Learning Disabilities. Child Neuropsychology, 19, 235-249. doi:10.1080/09297049.2011.640931

Mammarella, I. C., & Pazzaglia, F. (2010). Visual perception and memory impairments in children at risk for Nonverbal learning disabilities. Child Neuropsychology, 16, 564-576. doi:10.1080/09297049.2010.485125

Mammarella, I. C., Lucangeli, D., & Cornoldi, C. (2010). Spatial working memory and arithmetic deficits in children with Nonverbal Learning Difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43, 455-468. doi:10.1177/0022219409355482

Mammarella, I. C., Coltri, S., Lucangeli, D., & Cornoldi, C. (2009). Impairment of simultaneous-spatial working memory in non-verbal (visuospatial) learning disability: A treatment case study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19, 761-780. doi:10.1080/09602010902819731

Mammarella, I. C., Meneghetti, C., Pazzaglia, F., Gitti, F., Gomez, C., & Cornoldi, C. (2009). Representation of survey and route spatial texts in children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities. Brain & Cognition, 71, 173-179. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2009.05.003

Mammarella, I. C., Cornoldi, C., Pazzaglia, F., Toso, C., Grimoldi, M., & Vio, C. (2006). Evidence for a double dissociation between spatial-simultaneous and spatial-sequential working memory in visuospatial (Nonverbal) learning disabled children. Brain & Cognition, 62, 58-67. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2006.03.007

Mammarella, I. C., & Cornoldi, C. (2005). Sequence and space. The critical role of a backward spatial span in the working memory deficit of visuo-spatial learning disabled children. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 22, 1055-1068. doi:10.1080/02643290442000509

Mammarella, I. C., & Cornoldi, C. (2005). Difficulties in the control of irrelevant visuo-spatial information in children with visuo-spatial learning difficulties. Acta Psychologica, 118, 211-228. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2004.08.004

  High functioning autism

We are investigating the role of global/local processing in individuals with high functioning autism also comparing their performances to those of children with other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD, NLD). We are also studying the pragmatics of language of individuals with high functioning autism compared to other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Publications:

Hamilton, C. J., Mammarella, I. C., & Giofrè, D. (2018). Autistic?like traits in children are associated with enhanced performance in a qualitative visual working memory task. Autism Research, 11(11), 1494-1499.

Cardillo, R. Menazza, C. & Mammarella, I. C. (under revision). Visuoconstructive abilities and visuospatial working memory in autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disability: Is the role of the local bias specific for the cognitive domain tested?

Cardillo, R. Lanfranchi, S. & Mammarella, I. C. (under revision). A cross-task comparison on global/local visuospatial processing in autism spectrum disorders: The role of the perceptual reasoning index.

Mammarella, I. C., Giofrè, D., Caviola, S., Cornoldi, C., & Hamilton, C. (2014). Visuospatial working memory in children with Autism: The effect of semantic global organization. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 1349-1356. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2014.03.030

  Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

We are investigating the role of social competence in individuals with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder also comparing their performances and their self-perception to those of children with other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., NLD, HFA). We are also studying the pragmatics of language, emotional competence and Executive Functions of individuals with ADHD, compared to other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Publications:

Crisci, G., Capodieci, A., & Mammarella, I. C. (2018). Children with Symptoms of ADHD: Relationship between Internalizing Problems and Social Skills. Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, 22(3), 515-533.

Capodieci, A., Crisci, G., & Mammarella, I. C. (2019). Does Positive Illusory Bias Affect Self-Concept and Loneliness in Children With Symptoms of ADHD?. Journal of attention disorders, 23(11), 1274-1283.

  Developmental Stuttering

We study the relationship between stuttering and anxiety, with particular focus on the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders among those who stutter. Other interests include exploring the neurophysiologic basis of developmental stuttering.

Publications:

Busan, P., Del Ben, G., Bernardini, S., Natarelli, G., Bencich, M., Monti, F., Manganotti, P., & Battaglini, P.P. (2016). Altered Modulation of Silent Period in Tongue Motor Cortex of Persistent Developmental Stuttering in Relation to Stuttering Severity. PLoS One, 11(10):e0163959. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163959

Emotional difficulties

  Mathematics and test anxiety

We have studied developmental changes in mathematics anxiety and the underlying cognitive profiles (e.g., working memory and inhibitory processes). We are also analyzing the relation between math anxiety and other forms of anxiety (e.g., test anxiety and general anxiety) and the role of personal protective factors (e.g., self-concept and resilience) in relation to academic achievement. Finally, we are editing a book on mathematics anxiety (Routledge).

Publications:

Donolato, E., Giofrè, D., & Mammarella, I. C. (2019). Working memory, negative affect and personal assets: How do they relate to mathematics and reading literacy?. PlosOne, 14(6), e0218921.

Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., Giofrè, D., & Borella, E. (2018). Separating math from anxiety: The role of inhibitory mechanisms. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 7(4), 342-353.

Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., & Dowker, A. (2018, in preparation). Mathematics anxiety: What is known and what is still missing. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Donolato, E., Giofrè, D. & Mammarella, I. C. (under revision). How working memory relates to negative affect and personal resources influencing mathematical and reading literacy.

Mammarella, I. C., Donolato, E., Caviola, S., & Giofrè, D. (2018). Anxiety profiles and protective factors: A latent profile analysis. Personality & Individual Differences, 124, 201-208. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2017.12.017

Mammarella, I. C., Caviola, S., Giofrè, D., & Borella, E. (2018). Separating math from anxiety: The role of inhibitory mechanisms. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 6, 1-12. doi:10.1080/21622965.2017.1341836

Caviola, S., Carey, E., Mammarella, I. C. & Szücs, D. (2017). Stress, time pressure, math anxiety and strategy selection in mathematical tasks. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognition, 8:1488. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01488

Caviola, S., Primi, C., Chiesi, F., & Mammarella, I. C. (2017). Psychometric properties of the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (AMAS) in an Italian primary-school children sample. Learning and Individual Differences, 55, 174-182. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2017.03.006

Morsanyi, K., Mammarella, I. C., Szücs, D., Tomasetto, C., Primi, C., & Maloney, E. A. (2016). Editorial: Mathematical and statistics anxiety: Educational, social, developmental and cognitive perspectives. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognition, 7:1083. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01083

Hill, F., Mammarella, I. C., Devine, A., Caviola, S., Passolunghi, M. C. & Szücs, D. (2016). Maths anxiety in primary and secondary school students: Gender differences, developmental changes and anxiety specificity. Learning and Individual Differences, 48, 45-53. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2016.02.006

Passolunghi, M. C., Caviola, S., De Agostini, R., Perin, C., & Mammarella, I. C. (2016). Mathematics anxiety, working memory and mathematic performance in secondary school children. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognition, 7:42. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00042

Mammarella, I. C., Hill, F., Devine, A., Caviola, S., & Szücs, D. (2015). Math anxiety and developmental dyscalculia: A study on working memory processes. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 37, 878-887. doi:10.1080/13803395.2015.1066759