Dr Caroline Floccia

Dr Caroline Floccia

Associate Professor (Reader)

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences)


Associate Head of School (resources) since September 2015; Head of the Babylab (since 2006)



1991/96: Doctorate in cognitive science (psychology)

 « Speech perception and learning in neonates: a methodological study of the High Amplitude Sucking procedure.»

Under the supervision of Pr. Jacques Mehler and Dr Josiane Bertoncini, Laboratory for Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics, CNRS-EHESS, Paris.  Doctorate obtained 25th November 1996 with honours.


1990/91: DEA in cognitive science (equivalent to MSc)

University of Paris VI and EHESS (Paris)

PhD grants from the French Ministry of Research (Dec 1991 – Nov 1994)


1987/90: Civil engineer

Superior School for Civil Engineering, Paris


1984/87: Preparatory School in Maths and Physics

Employment HISTORY

October 2010 -

Reader in developmental psychology

School of Psychology, University of Plymouth

September 2006 – October 2010

Lecturer in developmental psychology

School of Psychology, University of Plymouth


September 2005-August 2006

Research Delegation at the CNRS

Laboratory Speech and Language, University of Provence


September 1997 - 2006

Permanent Lecturer in cognitive development

University of Franche-Comté, Laboratory of Psychology (EA3188)


Oct 1995/ Sept 1997:       

Research and teaching associate

University of Geneva, Laboratory of Experimental Psycholinguistics, under the supervision of Pr. Ulrich Frauenfelder.


Dec 1994/ August 1995:

post-doctoral researcher (HCM)

ULB, Brussels, Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, under the supervision of Pr. José Morais

Teaching interests

Psycholinguistics, language development, cognitive development.

Research interests

My research interests have been focused on speech perception in adults, children and infants within a psycholinguistic perspective. The common feature of these research topics has been the study of linguistic representations used in online information processing. Recently, I have been particularly interested in accents and dialects processing and learning throughout development, as well as bilingual development.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Postgrad Supervision

Almubark, B. (2014-). Development of cognitive and memory assessment tools for Arabic-speaking adults. PhD supported by the Saudi government.

Butler, J. (2006-2009). Development of awareness to accents and dialects. PhD supported by the EPSRC.  

Durrant, S. (2009-2014) The effects of long-term dialect exposure on early language learning. PhD funded from the University of Plymouth.

Duffy, H. (2009-2013) Adaptation to accents and dialects in infancy and adulthood. PhD supported by a 3-years funding from the EPSRC.

Farag, R. (2009-2013). Semantic priming in monolingual and bilingual children. PhD supported by a 3-years funding from the Lybian government.

Gaber, A. (2015-). Development of language assessment tools for Arabic-learning children. PhH supported by the Egyptian government.

Girard, F. (2003-2008) Accent and dialect perception in adults and children. PhD supported by a 3-years funding from the Franche-Comté Region (2003-2006).

Turner, J. (2011-). Consonants and vowels in speech processing. PhD supported by a 3-years funding from the ESRC.

Grants & contracts

2013-2016:    PI ESRC Research grant, Lexical development in bilingual toddler. £830,364, including £741,182 for Plymouth University.

2010-2013     PI ESRC/ANR Bilateral grant, Representations of consonants and vowels in French and English from infancy to adulthood, £454,100 plus £167,058 for the French team.

2009-2010     PI – “Phonological representations in bidialectal listeners”. ESRC Small Grants, £79,578.

2008-2010      PI – “The effect of bilingualism and bidialectalism on word learning in 14- to 20-month-old children”. Nuffield Social Sciences Small Grant, £7,004.

2008-2009      CI  - Alliance Project (British Council), “The processing of consonants and vowels in French- and English-speaking children and adults”, awarded to Dr. Jeremy Goslin, £3,640.

Research groups

  • Centre for Research in Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (CBCB)
  • Cognition

Journal Publications

Delle Luche, C., Durrant, S., Poltrock, S., & Floccia, C. (2015). A methodological investigation of the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm: Methods of analyses, picture selection and data rejection criteria. Infant Behaviour and Development, 40, 151-172.

Bouchon, C., Floccia, C., Fux, T., Adda-Decker, M., & Nazzi, T. (2015). Call me Alix, not Elix: Vowels are more important than consonants in own-name recognition at 5 months. Developmental Science, 18(4), 587-598.

White, L., Floccia, C., Goslin, J., & Butler, J. (2014). Utterance-final lengthening is predictive of infants' discrimination of English accents. Language Learning, 64(s2), 27-44.

Delle Luche, C., Durrant, S., Floccia, C., & Plunkett, K. (2014). Implicit meaning in eighteen-month-old toddlers. Developmental Science. 10.1111/desc.12164

Delle Luche, C., Poltrock, S., Goslin, J., New, B., Floccia, C., & Nazzi, T. (2014). Differential processing of consonants and vowels in the auditory modality : A cross-linguistic study. Journal of Memory and Language, 72, 1-15.

Durrant, S., Delle Luche, C., Cattani, A., & Floccia, C. (2014). Monodialectal and bidialectal infants’ representation of familiar words. Journal of Child Language. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305000914000063

Cattani, A., Abbot-Smith,. K., Farag, R., Krott, A., Arreckx, F., Dennis, I. & Floccia, C. (2014). How much exposure to English is necessary for a bilingual toddler to perform like a monolingual peer in language tests? International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. BEST PAPER OF THE YEAR

Floccia, C., Delle Luche, C., Nazzi, T., & Goslin, J. (2013). English-learning one- to two-year-olds do not show a consonant bias in word learning. Journal of Child Language. DOI:10.1017/S0305000913000287

Cristia, A., Seidl, A., Vaughn, C., Schmale, R, Bradlow, A., & Floccia, C. (2012) Linguistic processing of accented speech across the life span. Frontiers in Psychology, 3: 479.

Floccia, C., Goslin, J., Morais, J., & Kolinsky, R. (2012). Syllable effects in a fragment detection task in Italian listeners. Frontiers in Psychology, 3: 140. 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00140

Goslin, J., Floccia, C., & Duffy, H. (2012). An ERP investigation of foreign and regional accent processing. Brain and Language, 122(2), 92-102.

Floccia, C., Delle Luche, C., Durrant, S., Butler, J., & Goslin, J. (2012). Parent or Community: Where do 20-Month-Olds Exposed to Two Accents Acquire their Representation of Words? Cognition, 124(1), 95-100.

Mani, N., Durrant, S., & Floccia, C. (2012). Activation of Phonological and Semantic Codes in Toddlers, Journal of Memory and Language, 66(4), 612-622.

Floccia, C., Nazzi, T., Austin, K., Arreckx, F., & Goslin, J. (2010). Perception of stress patterns in word learning tasks in British toddlers. Developmental Science.

Butler, J., Floccia, C., Goslin, J., & Panneton, R. (2010). Perception of regional accents in 5 to 7 months old British infants. Infancy.

Nazzi, T., Floccia, C., Moquet, B., & Butler, J. (2009). Bias for consonantal over vocalic information in 30-month-olds: Crosslinguistic evidence from French and English. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 102(4), 422-537.

Girard, F., Floccia, C., & Goslin, J. (2008). Perception and awareness of accents in young children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(3), 409-433.

Floccia, C., Butler, J., Goslin, J., & Ellis, L. (2009). Regional and foreign accent processing in English: Can listeners adapt? Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 38(4), 379-412.

Floccia, C., Butler, J., Girard, F., & Goslin, J. (2009). Categorisation of Regional and Foreign Accent in 5 to 7-year-old British Children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 33(4), 366-375.

Girard, F., Floccia, C., & Goslin, J. (2008). Perception and awareness of accents in young children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(3), 409-433.

Goslin, J., & Floccia, C. (2007). Comparing French syllabification in preliterate children and adults. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28(2), 341-367.

Floccia, C., Goslin, J., Girard, F., & Konopczynski, G. (2006). Does a regional accent perturb speech processing? A lexical decision study in French listeners. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 32(5), 1276-1293.

Floccia, C., Kolinsky, R., Dodane, C., & Morais, J. (2003). Discriminating spoken words in French: The role of the syllable and the CV phonological skeleton. Language and Cognitive Processes, 18(3), 241-267.

Floccia, C., Goslin, J., Schneider, R., & Thommen, E. (2003). Conceptual and linguistic development in the child aged from 1 to 6 years. Developmental Science, 6(2).

Floccia, C., Nazzi, T. & Bertoncini, J. (2000) Unfamiliar voice discrimination for short stimuli in newborns. Developmental Science, 3(3), 333-343.

Nazzi, T., Floccia, C. & Bertoncini, J. (1998) Discrimination of pitch contours by neonates. Infant Behavior and Development, 21, 779-784.


Floccia, C., Christophe, A. &  Bertoncini, J. (1997) High-Amplitude Sucking and newborns: The quest for underlying mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 64, 175-198.

Bertoncini, J., Floccia, C., Nazzi, T. & Mehler, J. (1995) Morae and -syllables: Rhythmical basis of speech representations in neonates. Language and Speech, 38, pp. 311-329.