Teodora Gliga


  • 0.02 Sciences

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Personal profile


I joined the School of Psychology in 2018. I have an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology, from University of Bucharest and Ecole Normale Superieure, Lyon. Sometimes during my studies I became more interested in understanding human beings than fruit flies and embarked onto a PhD in Cognitive Sciences, in Paris. I have been researching brain and cognitive development, since. In 2006 I moved to Birkbeck, University of London, where I became Programme Leader for the largest European longitudinal study of infants at familial risk for developmental disorders (BASIS). In my research, I am interested in understanding how young humans suceed in acquiring huge amounts of knowledge despite limited attention and memory. In particular I investigate the role that caregivers and the children themselves have in activelly creating learning experiences. 


Indicative Publications

Piccardi, E., Johnson, M.H., Gliga, T. Explaining individual differences in infants’ visual sensory seeking. Infancy

Pomiechowska, B., & Gliga, T. (2019). Lexical acquisition through category matching: 12-month-old infants associate words to visual categories. Psychological science30(2), 288-299.

Begus, K., Gliga, T., & Southgate, V. (2016). Infants’ preferences for native speakers are associated with an expectation of information. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences113(44), 12397-12402. 

Gliga, T., Bedford, R., Charman, T., Johnson, M.H. (2015) Enhanced visual search in infancy predicts emerging autism symptoms. Current Biology, 25(13), 1727-1730

Begus, K., Southgate, V., Gliga, T. (2015) Neural mechanisms of infant learning: Differences in frontal theta activity during object exploration modulate subsequent object recognition. Biology Letters, 11(5), 20150041

Key Research Interests and Expertise

  • Children with autism or ADHD are often hypersensitive to stimulation. I investigate the role of predictive mechanisms in explainig these phenotipic characteristics; how early sensory issues may lead to later difficulties with social interaction and whether one way in which hypersensitivity affects learnig, in developmental disorders, is through interfering with memory consolidation during sleep.
  • Throughout like, humans seek informaiton for its own sake. Infants' looking behavior, their object manipulation, babbling and incessant pointing, are some of the earliest means through which they actively seek information. I want to understand why certain individuals are more thirstly for knowledge and how we can increase motivation to learn.
  • Does language change the way in which we perceive and remember the world? I investigate the link between language acquisition and conceptual development.
  • How do aliens (or infants) figure out that we are trying to communicate with them? I remain puzzleded but how easy parents and infants establish a dialogue, early in life and by how liitle we understand how they achieve this.


Please join our lab ! 




ESRC COVID-19, The effects of social distancing policies on children’s language development, sleep and executive functions (2020-2022, co-I, PI Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez)

Wellcome Trust Seed Award, Investigating a common developmental origin for sensory issues and disturbed sleep, in Autism (2019-2022, £98,536, PI)   

Innovative training Network Grant (H2020), Individualised Interventions in Learning: Bridging Advanced Learning Science and 21st Century Technology (2016-2020, € 1,342,368, co-applicant, PI Fred Dick)


PAST GRANTS                    

MRC GCRF Foundation Award, Development & validation of a scalable mobile platform for screening of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders in low-resource settings (2017-2019, £585692, co-investigator, 7%, PI Bhisma Chakrabarti)

British Academy Engagement Award,  Neuroscience in the playground: bringing together psychology, education and technology to investigate human curiosity (2016-2017, £14300, PI) 

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, Understanding the role social touch plays in cognitive development (2014 – 2015, £9,800; PI)

MRC Programme Grant, The Development of Social, Attention and Perception Abilities in Typical and At-Risk Infants (2012-2017, £2.1 mil, co-investigator 100%; PI Mark Johnson)

Administrative Posts


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