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Teodora Gliga

Programme Leader, Infant Siblings Study

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
School of Psychology
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
Phone: +44 (0)20 7631 6322
Email: t.gliga at bbk dot ac dot uk


Research questions

  • How general learning mechanisms have been adapted for social interaction and social learning, and why this sometimes fails. My work on the developmental origin of autism and ADHD is part of STAARS
  • Why some people are more thirsty for knowledge than others ? Together with Katarina Begus & Vicky Southgate we investigate the origin of epistemic curiosity.
  • Skin contact and caressing improve infant's well-being and later academic achievement. The mechanisms are largely unknown. Together with Laura Pirazzoli I investigate the effects "social touch" has on brain and cognitive development.
  • How acquiring language affects the way we perceive and remember the world. Together with Barbara Pomiechowska we aim to show that language releases us from the burden of having to remember too much.
  • I am also involved in developing screening tools for mathematical difficulties, in Romania (in collaboration with Fotinica Gliga).

Curriculum vitae

Editor, Medecine & Enfance, Paris, 2008-2013

Intern, British Psychological Society Parliamentary Office, 2009 pdf

PhD Cognitive Sciences, Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, Paris, 2006

BA, Molecular Biology and Physiology, Ecole Normale Superieure, Lyon



Understanding the role social touch plays in cognitive development; BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (£9800, 2014-2015, PI; with E Jones)

Investigating gender differences in cognitive and brain development to unveil protective factors in ASD,  TRIGGER grant (£21000, 2014-2016; co-applicant; PI Helen Lawton Smith)



Katarina Begus, PhD candidate

Barbara Pomiechowska, PhD candidate

Laura Pirazzoli, PhD candidate

Previous students:

Manuela Barona, MSc Developmental Science, Birkbeck College, 2012-2013

Noreen Gilhooly, MSc Developmental Science, Birkbeck College, 2010-2011

Carina deKlerk, MRes Cognitive Neuroscience, Leiden University, 2009-2010



Gliga, T., Bedford, R., Charman, T.,  Johnson, M & The BASIS Team (accepted) Enhanced visual search in infancy predicts emerging autism symptoms. Current Biology pdf

Begus, K., Southgate, V. & Gliga, T. (accepted) Neural mechanisms of infant learning: Differences in frontal theta activity during object exploration modulate subsequent object recognition. Biology Letters pdf

Green J., Charman T., Pickles A., Wan MW., Elsabbagh M., Slonims V., Taylor C., McNally J., Booth R., Gliga T., Jones EJH., Harrop C., Bedford R., Johnson MH. and the BASIS Team (accepted) Parent-mediated intervention for infants at high-risk for autism: randomised clinical trial. Lancet Psychiatry pdf

Wass, S., Jones, E., Gliga, T., Smith T. and The BASIS Team (accepted). Shorter spontaneous fixation durations in infants at risk and with later emerging autism. Nature Science Reports pdf

Gliga, T., Jones, E.J. & Johnson, M.H. (in press). Low noise in autism, cause or consequence? Autism

Johnson, M.H., Jones, E. & Gliga, T. (in press). Brain adaptation and alternative developmental trajectories. Development & Psychopathology pdf

Johnson, M.H., Gliga, T., Jones, E.J.H & Charman, T. (in press). Annual Research Review: Infant development, autism, and ADHD – early pathways to emerging disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry pdf


Begus K., Gliga, T.& Southgate V. (2014). Infants learn what they choose to learn. PLOS One pdf

Gliga, T., Jones, E.J.H, Bedford, R., Charman, T., Johnson, M.H. (2014) From early markers to neuro-develpmental mechanisms of autism. Developmental Review, 34(3), 189-207 pdf

Wu, R., Swan, K.,  Kirkham, N., Gliga, T. (2014) Ostensive signals support learning from novel attention cues during infancy. Frontiers in Psychology. pdf

Gliga, T and Johnson M.H. (2014) Infant predictors of autism spectrum disorders.  Cutting Edge Psychiatry in Practice

deKlerk, C., Gliga, T. & the BASIS team. (2014). Face engagement during infancy predicts later face recognition ability in younger siblings of children with autism. Developmental Science pdf

Jones, E., Gliga T, Charman T & Johnson, M. (2014). Developmental pathways to autism: a review of prospective studies of infants at-risk. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 39, 1-33 pdf

Bedford, R., Pickles, A., Gliga, T., Elsabbagh, M., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H. and The BASIS Team (2014). Additive effects of social and non-social attention during infancy relate to later Autism Spectrum Disorder. Developmental Science, 17(4), 612-620 pdf

Gliga, T., Senju, A., Pettinato, M., Charman, T., Johnson, M. & the BASIS Team (2014). Spontaneous Belief Attribution in Younger Siblings of Children on the Autism Spectrum. Developmental Psychology, 50(3), 903-913 pdf

Hudry, K., Chandler, S., Bedford, R., Pasco, G., Gliga, T., Elsabbagh, M., Johnson M., Charman T. & the BASIS team (2014). Early language profiles in infants at high-risk for autism spectrum disorders. JADD, 44(1), 154-167


Elsabbagh M., Gliga, T., Hudry K., Charman T., and Johnson M. (2013). The development of face orienting mechanisms in infants at-risk for autism. Behavioral Brain Research, 251, 147–154 pdf

Bedford, R., Gliga, T., Frame K., Hudry K., Chandler S., Johnson M. H., Charman T. & the BASIS team (2013). Failure to learn from feed-back underlies word learning difficulties in children at-risk for autism. Journal of Child Language, 40 pdf


Bedford R., Elsabbagh M., Gliga T., Senju A. & the BASIS team (2012). Precursors to social and communication difficulties in infants at-risk for autism: gaze following and attentional engagement. Journal of Autism and Develomental Disorders, 42(10), 2208-2218 pdf

Gliga, T. & Southgate V. Prepared to learn about human body's goals and intentions. (2012) V. Slaughter & C. Brownell (Eds.) Early Development of Body Representations, Cambridge University Press pdf

Gliga, T., Elsabbagh M., Hudry K., Charman T, and Johnson M. (2012). Gaze following, gaze reading and word learning in children at-risk for autism. Child Development, 83(3), 926-938 pdf


Elsabbagh, M., Holmboe K., Gliga, T., Mercure E., Hudry K., Charman, T., Baron-Cohen S., Bolton P., Johnson M.H. (2011) Social and attention factors during infancy and the later emergence of autism characteristics. Progress in Brain Research.

Gliga, T. & Csibra, G. (2010). Verbal labels modulate perceptual object processing in one-year-old infants. Journal of Cognitive Neurosciences pdf


Gliga, T., Elsabbagh, M., Andravizou, A. & Johnson, M. (2009) Faces attract infants' attention in complex displays. Infancy, 14(5), 550-562 pdf

Gliga, T., Volein A. & Csibra, G. (2009). One-year-old infants appreciate the referential nature of deictic gestures and words. Psychological Science, 20(3) pdf

Grossmann, T., Gliga, T., Mareschal, D. & Johnson, M. (2009). The neural basis of perceptual category learning in human infants. Journal of Cognitive Neurosciences, 21(12), 2276-2286 pdf

Bristow, D., Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Mattout, J., Soares, C., Gliga, T., Baillet, S. & Mangin, F. (2009). How the infant brain matches the face it sees with the voice it hears. Journal of Cognitive Neurosciences, 21(5), 905-921 pdf


Gliga, T., Mareschal, D. (2008). What can neuroimaging tell us about the early development of visual categories? Brain, Cognition & Behavior pdf

Gliga, T., Mareschal, D. & Johnson, M.H. (2008). Ten-months-olds’ selective use of visual dimensions in category learning. Infant Behaviour and Development, 31(2), 287-293 pdf


Gliga, T. & Csibra, G. (2007) Seeing the face through the eyes: A developmental perspective on face expertise. Progress in Brain Research, 164, 323-339 pdf

Gliga, T., Dehaene-Lambertz, G. (2007). Development of a view-invariant representation of the human head. Cognition (2)  pdf

Gliga, T., Dehaene-Lambertz, G. (2006). Structural encoding of body and face in human infants and adults. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 17(8): 1328-40. pdf

Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Gliga, T. (2004). Common neural basis for phoneme processing in infants and adults. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 16(8): 1375-87. Review.


Submitted and in preparation

Barona M., Krisnan S., Karmiloff-Smith A., & Gliga T.. (submitted) Producing new words helps children remember them.

Pomiechowska, B., & Gliga, T. (in preparation) Conceptual knowledge modulates object memory in infancy.

Gliga T., Ganea N. & Bedford R. (in preparation). Social, attentional and memory contributions to word learning in autism.


General public

Gliga, T. (2012) The Social Brain. In Oates, J., Johnson, M. & Karmiloff- Smith, A. Early Childhood in Focus - Developing Brains, The Open University. pdf

Gliga, T. (2012). Comprendre l'autisme - la seule voie vers son depassionement. Medecine & Enfance (in french). pdf