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Dr Letizia Palumbo

0151 291 3074

I received my PhD in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Hull. My PhD studies focused on emotion anticipation and Theory of Mind in typical development and Autism. My postdoctoral research at the Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, was funded by the ESRC and examined the relationship between visual perception and emotional processes in hedonic evaluations of abstract stimuli. 



I coordinate the lectures series: The Feeling Mind: Perception, Action and Emotion for the Level H (third year) enhanced course. My teaching in undergraduate courses includes Social Cognition in Typical and Atypical Development, Embodied Cognition and Empathy, Creativity and Visual Preference. I also teach specific methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging (MSc). Undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in pursuing their dissertation in one of the research areas mentioned below are very welcome to get in touch with me. 


I am the leader of The Aesthetic Brain Research Group and member of the Perception & Action and the Cognitive Neuroscience research groups.  My research activity is concerned with: 

(1) Visual preference and aesthetics in typical development and Autism. I am currently working on this area in collaboration with Autism TogetherThis project presents theoretical and multidisciplinary implications for aesthetics and autism-friendly design.

(2) Social perception and cognition. I study mechanisms of action/emotion understanding and Theory of Mind in typical and atypical populations. 

To investigate these topics I use behavioural and eye tracking techniques as well as electrophysiological measures (EEG and EMG). I am author of several scientific publications on peer-reviewed international journals and I am reviewer for PlosOne; Acta Psychologica; Frontiers in Psychology; Scientific Reports; Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts; and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 


I am a member of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) and the Applied Vision Association (AVA). I was a member of the scientific committee for the Vision Science of Art Conference (VSAC 2015), a satellite meeting of the European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2015). This gave me the opportunity to design and curate the “Illusions Parade” at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool, a night event linked to VSAC and ECVP. The "Illusions Parade" provided a new interactive platform for scientists working in the field of visual illusions and for artists interested in perceptual distortions. 


Dr Marco Bertamini (University of Liverpool, UK)

Dr Emma Gowen (University of Manchester, UK)

Dr Ellen Poliakoff (University of Manchester, UK)

Dr Eugenio Parise (Lancaster University, UK)

Dr Tjeerd Jellema (University of Hull, UK)

Prof Anna Pecchinenda (Sapienza University, Rome, Italy)

Prof Enric Munar (University of the Balearic Islands, Spain)

Prof Paul Silvia (University of North Carolina, USA)

Selected publications:

1. Cotter, K. N., Silvia, P. J., Bertamini, M., Palumbo, L., & Vartanian, O. (2017). Curve Appeal: Exploring Individual Differences in Preference for Curved Versus Angular Objects. i-Perception, 8(2), 1-17.

2. Ogden, R., Makin, A. D., Palumbo, L., & Bertamini, M. (2016). Symmetry Lasts Longer Than Random, but Only for Brief Presentations. i-Perception7(6) doi: 10.1177/2041669516676824.

3. Makin A. D. J., Wright, D., Rampone, G., Palumbo, L., Guest, M., Sheehan, R., Cleaver, H., & Bertamini, M. (2016). An       electrophysiological index of perceptual goodness. Cerebral Cortex, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw255.

4. Palumbo, L., & Bertamini, M. (2016). The curvature effect: a comparison between preference tasks. Empirical Studies of the Art34, 35-52.


5. Palumbo, L., Bertamini, M., & Makin, A. D. J. (2015). Scaling of the extrastriate neural response to symmetry. Vision Research117, 1-8.


6. Palumbo, L., Odgen, R., Makin, A. D. J., & Bertamini, M. (2015). Does preference for abstract patterns relate to information processing and perceived duration? i-Perception6(5), 1-16.


7. Palumbo, L., Ruta, N., & Bertamini, M. (2015). Comparing angular and curved shapes in terms of implicit associations and approach/avoidance responses. Plos One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140043.


8. Palumbo, L., Burnett, H. G., & Jellema, T. (2015). Atypical emotional anticipation in high-functioning autism. Molecular Autism, doi:10.1186/s13229-015-0039-7. 


9. Palumbo, L., Odgen, R., Makin, A. D. J., & Bertamini, M. (2014). Examining visual complexity and its effect on perceived duration. Journal of Vision14, 1-18.