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Dr Roberto Filippi
Woburn Square
Dr Roberto Filippi profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • IOE - Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Institute of Education

I joined academia in 2007 after almost 30 years spent in the IT business. I completed my PhD in Psychology at the Centre of Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, supervised by Prof. Michael Thomas, Prof. Fred Dick and mentored by Prof. Annette Karmiloff-Smith.

After my PhD I was offered a permanent lectureship at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. I joined UCL - Institute of Education in October 2016.

Research Summary

My primary research interest focuses on multilanguage acquisition and its effects on cognitive control, memory and metacognitive processing.

In particular, my current studies investigate the implications of raising children in multilingual environments with focus on both typical and atypical development. I am also interested in exploring the possible beneficial effects of using more than one language throughout the life span.

  • Does multilingualism affect cognitive functioning in infancy, childhood and adulthood?
  • How do multilinguals manage to control their languages? 
  • Will brain structure change as a function of increased ability to control more than one language? 
  • Can the constant use of more than one language contribute to "cognitive reserve" and protect the brain from cognitive decline due to ageing?

These are some of the most important questions that I address in my research by using a convergence of behavioural and neuroimaging methods together with a developmental approach.

My second area of research interest focusses on the development of literacy and numeracy in early school years. I specifically study children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK and abroad (Israel) and investigate the negative effects on their school attainment caused by the pandemic.

Teaching Summary

I am the Programme Leader for the MSc Child Development.

I deliver lectures on first and multilanguage acquisition across several Postgraduate and Undergraduate modules.

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