Sofia Russo

Sofia Russo
University of Padova | UNIPD · Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation

PhD student in Neuroscience and Computer Science


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Sofia Russo is a PhD student of Brain, Mind and Computer Science at Padua University (Italy). Now she is working on the cross-modal perception of rhythm as a prerequisite of language acquisition in early infancy. She is also interested in the sensorimotor coupling of music perception in the field of embodied cognition and learning.
Additional affiliations
October 2019 - present
Università degli Studi di Padova
  • PhD Student
  • I work by investigating attention and perception in early infancy, as prerequisites of later language acquisition. In particular, I am studying the role of rhythm sensitivity in the temporal encoding of complex sequences (such as speech and music), in typical and atypical populations.
January 2018 - July 2018
University Pompeu Fabra
Field of study
  • Language and Comparative Cognition
September 2016 - January 2018
University of Padova
Field of study
  • Neuroscience and Neuropsychological rehabilitation
September 2013 - September 2016
University of Padova
Field of study
  • Psychobiology and Cognitive Science


Publications (5)
Full-text available
Do novel linguistic labels have privileged access to attentional resources compared to non-linguistic labels? This study explores this possibility through two experiments with a training and an attentional overlap task. Experiment 1 investigates how novel label and object-only stimuli influence resource allocation and disengagement of visual attent...
Full-text available
Efficiency in the early ability to switch attention toward competing visual stimuli (spatial attention) may be linked to future ability to detect rapid acoustic changes in linguistic stimuli (temporal attention). To test this hypothesis, we compared individual performances in the same cohort of Italian-learning infants in two separate tasks: (i) an...
Prosodic cues drive speech segmentation and guide syllable discrimination. However, less is known about the attentional mechanisms underlying an infant’s ability to benefit from prosodic cues. This study investigated how 6- to 8-month-old Italian infants allocate their attention to strong vs. weak syllables after familiarization with four repeats o...
Speech preferences emerge very early in infancy, pointing to a special status for speech in auditory processing and a crucial role of prosody in driving infant preferences. Recent theoretical models suggest that infant auditory perception may initially encompass a broad range of human and non- human vocalizations, then tune in to relevant sounds fo...


Cited By


Project (1)
Our project aims to contribute to the debate about the role of labels in shaping the mental representation of referents at different stages of lexical development. Specifically, the project focuses on both infants (N=30) and adults (N=60; N=50): across a series of experiments we shed light on the online and offline impact of labels of visual attention. By means of the eye-tracking methodology we continuously measure: (i) pupil size variation as an index of attentional effort (ii) saccade latency as an index of disengagement of visual attention. We also offer a window of methodological possibility to get complementary measures as indexes of the interplay between language and attention from a developmental perspective.