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Dr Letizia Palumbo

0151 291 3074

I graduated in Psychology at Sapienza University in Rome (Italy). Following a research training at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig (Germany), I moved to the UK where I received my PhD from the University of Hull. I worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool and I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Liverpool Hope University.

As part of the Vision and Cognition Research Groupmy research focuses on visual preference and empirical aesthetics. I examine the interplay between perceptual, emotional and cognitive processes on preference for object properties (i.e. smooth curvature,  symmetry, complexity) interior design and artworks by considering individual differences, personality and expertise. 

I am interested in understanidng the effect of interior and urban design on cognition and wellbeing. I am currently leading a project on the effect of multisensory space design on stress in individuals with and without intellectual disabilities with the support of the Sandbrook Coproduction Group of Sefton Council.

With other colleagues in the vision and cognition area, I am involved in a series of projects investigating how visitors engage with artworks using eye tracker in the real gallery context. Our stakelholders include The Williamson Art Gallery, The Walker Art Gallery and TATE Liverpool.  

I am also interested in implicit processes of social cognition. For example, I investigate how anticipating mental states can bias the perception of social stimuli in neurotypical individuals and autism.

Students interested in pursuing a PhD programme with me in the research areas above are encouraged to contact me. 

My teaching includes 

  • Research Design and Analysis (seminar, first year);
  • Experimental Design and Programming (seminar, first year);
  • Vision and Cognition (lecture series, second year); 
  • Psychology of Aesthetics and the Arts (elective seminar, third year); 
  • Future Challenges for Psychology (lecture series, third year);
  • Specialist options at Master level.

I also lead the PGT provision, I am a member of the Academic Committee and the Student Voice Committee.

Selected publications:

  • Subri, S., Palumbo, L., Gowen, E. (2023). Symmetry Detection in Autistic Adults Benefits from Local Processing in a Contour Integration Task, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  • Dev, K., Palumbo, L., & Lau, M. (2023). Comparing Shape Representations for the Aesthetic Judgement of 3D Shape Pairs. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.
  • Palumbo, L., Harrison, N. R., Trawinski, T., Kass, J., Metelmann, A. C., Bari, R. S. G., & Donnelly, N. (2023). Visual exploration mediates the influence of personal traits on responses to artworks in an art gallery setting. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication.
  • Palumbo, L. (2022). Implicit measures in the aesthetic domain. In E. E. Editor & F. F. Editor (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of empirical aesthetics. Oxford University Press.
  • Malvica, S., Palumbo, L., & Cazzato, V. (2022). I feel like I am in that place and I would like to see more: Aesthetic and embodiment components of tourist destination image. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication.
  • Wincenciak, J., Palumbo, L., Epihova, G., Barraclough, N. E., & Jellema, T. (2022). Are adaptation aftereffects for facial emotional expressions affected by prior knowledge about the emotion?. Cognition and Emotion, 1-14.
  • Vartanian, O., Navarrete, G., Palumbo, L., & Chatterjee, A. (2021). Individual differences in preference for architectural interiors. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 101668.
  • Chuquichambi, E. G., Palumbo, L., Rey, C., & Munar, E. (2021). Shape familiarity modulates preference for curvature in drawings of common-use objects. PeerJ, 9, e11772. 
  • Palumbo, L., Rampone, G., & Bertamini, M. (2021). The role of gender and academic degree on preference for smooth curvature of abstract shapes. PeerJ, 9, e10877.
  • Palumbo, L., Rampone, G., Bertamini, M., Sinico, M., Clarke, E., & Vartanian, O. (2020). Visual preference for abstract curvature and for interior spaces: Beyond undergraduate student samples. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts,  
  • Uccelli, S., Palumbo, L., Harrison, N. R., & Bruno, N. (2020). Asymmetric effects of graspable distractor disks on motor preparation of successive grasps: A behavioural and event-related potential (ERP) study. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 158, 318-330.
  • Bertamini, M., Palumbo, L., & Redies, C. (2019). An advantage for smooth compared with angular contours in the speed of processing shape. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(10), 1304-1318.
  • Palumbo, L., Macinska, S. T., & Jellema, T. (2018). The Role of Pattern Extrapolation in the Perception of Dynamic Facial Expressions in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Frontiers in psychology,
  • 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.  https://doi: 10.1177/2041669517693023
  • 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, https://doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw255
  • Palumbo, L., & Bertamini, M. (2016). The curvature effect: a comparison between preference tasks. Empirical Studies of the Art, 34, 35-52.
  • Bertamini, M., Palumbo, L., Gheorghes, T. N., & Galatsidas, M. (2016). Do observers like curvature or do they dislike angularity?. British Journal of Psychology, 107(1), 154-178.
  • Palumbo, L., Bertamini, M., & Makin, A. D. J. (2015). Scaling of the extrastriate neural response to symmetry. Vision Research, 117, 1-8.
  • Palumbo, L., Burnett, H. G., & Jellema, T. (2015). Atypical emotional anticipation in high-functioning autism. Molecular Autism, https://doi:10.1186/s13229-015-0039-7. 
  • Palumbo, L., Ruta, N., & Bertamini, M. (2015). Comparing angular and curved shapes in terms of implicit associations and approach/avoidance responses. Plos One, https://doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140043.
  • 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.