Roberto Cubelli


Research activity concerns the study of cognitive processes in normal and pathological conditions in order to elaborate theoretical hypotheses on the functional architecture of mental processes and to investigate application implications. The research also addresses methodological, ethical and historical issues of research in psychology.

Research directions

There are three main research areas:

  1. Clinical neuropsychology: research explores the cognitive disorders due to acquired cerebral lesions and affecting oral language and communication, reading and writing skills, spatial cognition, praxic and gestural capacities, and memory processes. In particular, research investigates theoretical and clinical topics related to unilateral spatial neglect (unilateral phenomena, relationship between spatial exploration and reading, detection and persistence of behavioral signs, etc.) and limb apraxia (dissociations between tasks and between stimulus types, “undue contact” phenomenon, etc.). Research also concerns the clinical assessment procedures and the psychometric properties of tests. Research includes also the history of neuropsychology, mainly focusing on the debate on the cerebral localization of cognitive functions held in France and in Italy in the nineteenth century.
  2. Cognitive psychology: research develops in several directions.
  • The representation and processing of the grammatical gender in lexical access, categorization and bilingualism
  • The use of S-R compatibility tasks to investigate the relationship between awareness and spatial coding and between space and representation of magnitude
  • The cognitive and social factors that modulate the task-sharing effects
  • Forgetting mechanisms in prose memory and dating events
  • The mechanisms of binding in short-term memory. Research also addresses application issues, in particular in the forensic and educational areas
  1. Ethics: research investigates ethically unacceptable and questionable behaviors to ascertain their frequency among students and researchers and to verify the possibility to prevent or remove them. A central theme of this line of research is represented by the role and functioning of Ethics Committees. In Italy and in Europe, to set up Ethics Committees is mandatory for clinical trials and for research with animals but not for psychological and sociologic research with human beings. On these topics, research intertwines closely with teaching and dissemination activities.

Internal collaborations

Remo Job
Barbara Treccani

External collaborations

Sergio Della Sala e Robert McIntosh (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Daniela Paolieri e Teresa Bajo (University of Granada, Spain)
Angela Bartolo (University of Lille, France)
Roberta Sellaro (University of Leiden, Netherlands)
Giulia Balboni (University of Perugia)
Franca Agnoli (University of Padua, Italy)
Stefano Zago (University of Milan, Italy)

Selected publications

Scientific articles:

  • Balboni G., Incognito O., Belacchi C., Bonichini S., Cubelli R. (2017). Vineland-II Adaptive Behavior Profile of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or Specific Learning Disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 61, 55–65.
  • Agnoli F., Wicherts J.M., Veldkamp, C. L. S., Albiero P., Cubelli R. (2017). Questionable Research Practices among Italian Research Psychologists. Plos One. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0172792
  • Menardo E., Balboni G., Cubelli R. (2017). Environmental Factors and Teenagers' Personalities: The Role of Personal and Familial Socio-Cultural Level. Behavioural Brain Research. Behavioural Brain Research. pii: S0166-4328(17)30323-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.02.038.
  • Balboni G., Tasso A., Muratori F., Cubelli R. (2016). The Vineland-II in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Item Content Category Analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 46(1), 42-52.
  • Parra M., Cubelli, R. Bellamy K. J., Abrahams S., Avila C., Castro-Jaramillo L., Della Sala S. (2016). Gist-based illusions within and across stimulus modalities in autism spectrum disorder. Memory, 24 (3), 295-305.
  • Bartolo A., Della Sala S., Cubelli R. (2016). The sign of "Undue Contact" in the Object Use Test. Cortex, 75 (2), 235-236.
  • Zago S., Lorusso L., Porro A., Franchini A.F., Cubelli R. (2015). Between Bouillaud and Broca: an unknown Italian debate on cerebral localization of language. Brain and Cognition, 99 (1), 87-96
  • Sellaro R., Treccani B., Job R. Cubelli R. (2015). Spatial coding of object typical size: Evidence for a SNARC-like effect. Psychological Research. 79(6): 950-962.
  • Cubelli R., Della Sala S., Beschin N., McIntosh R.D. (2014) Distance-mediated spatial neglect. Neurocase: The Neural Basis of Cognition, 20(3): 338-345.
  • Morales L., Paolieri D., Cubelli R., Bajo M.T. (2014). Transfer of Spanish grammatical gender to English: Evidence from immersed and non-immersed bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17, 700-708.