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

Key publications are highlighted

Frank MC, Bergelson E, Bergmann C, Cristia A, Floccia C, Gervain J, Hamlin JK, Hannon EE, Kline M & Levelt C 2017 'A Collaborative Approach to Infant Research: Promoting Reproducibility, Best Practices, and Theory-Building' Infancy , DOI PEARL
Grzyb BJ, Cangelosi A, Cattani A & Floccia C 2017 'Decreased attention to object size information in scale errors performers' Infant Behavior and Development 47, 72-82 , DOI PEARL
Delle Luche C, Floccia C, Granjon L & Nazzi T 2017 'Infants' First Words are not Phonetically Specified: Own Name Recognition in British English-Learning 5-Month-Olds' Infancy 22, (3) 362-388 , DOI PEARL
Bertels J, Bayard C, Floccia C & Destrebecqz A 2017 'Rapid detection of snakes modulates spatial orienting in infancy' International Journal of Behavioral Development 0, 0165025417693955-0165025417693955 Publisher Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Sambrook TD, Delle Luche C, Kwok R, Goslin J, White, Cattani A, Sullivan E, Abbot-Smith K & Krott A 2017 'Vocabulary of 2-Year-Olds Learning English and an Additional Language: Norms and Effects of Linguistic Distance' Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development PEARL
Floccia C, Keren-Portnoy T, DePaolis R, Duffy H, Delle Luche C, Durrant S, White L, Goslin J & Vihman M 2016 'British English infants segment words only with exaggerated infant-directed speech stimuli' Cognition 148, 1-9 , DOI PEARL
Laurent L, Millot J-L, Andrieu P, Camos V, Floccia C & Mathy F 2016 'Inner speech sustains predictable task switching: direct evidence in adults' Journal of Cognitive Psychology 28, (5) 585-592 , DOI PEARL
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 Behavior and Development 40, 151-172 , DOI PEARL
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' Dev Sci 18, (4) 587-598 Author Site , DOI PEARL
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 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Nazzi T, Delle Luche C, Poltrock S & Goslin J 2014 'English-learning one- to two-year-olds do not show a consonant bias in word learning' J Child Lang 41, (5) 1085-1114 Author Site , DOI PEARL
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 49, (6) 649-671 , DOI PEARL
Delle Luche C, Durrant S, Floccia C & Plunkett K 2014 'Implicit meaning in 18-month-old toddlers' Dev Sci 17, (6) 948-955 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Durrant S, Delle Luche C, Cattani A & Floccia C 2014 'Monodialectal and multidialectal infants’ representation of familiar words' Journal of Child Language 42, 447-465 , DOI PEARL
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 , DOI PEARL
Mani N, Durrant S & Floccia C 2012 'Activation of phonological and semantic codes in toddlers' JOURNAL OF MEMORY AND LANGUAGE 66, (4) 612-622 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Goslin J, Duffy H & Floccia C 2012 'An ERP investigation of regional and foreign accent processing' Brain and Language 2, (122) 92-102 , DOI PEARL
Cristia A, Seidl A, Vaughn C, Schmale R, Bradlow A & Floccia C 2012 'Linguistic processing of accented speech across the lifespan' Front Psychol 3, Author Site , DOI PEARL
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 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Goslin J, Morais JJD & Kolinsky R 2012 'Syllable effects in a fragment-detection task in italian listeners' Front Psychol 3, Author Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Goslin J, Butler J & Panneton R 2010 'Infants’ Discrimination of Familiar and Unfamiliar Accents in Speech' Infancy , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Nazzi T, Austin K, Arreckx F & Goslin J 2010 'Lexical stress and phonetic processing in word learning in 20- to 24-month-old English-learning children' DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE 14, (3) 602-613 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Nazzi T, Floccia C, Moquet B & Butler J 2009 'Bias for consonantal information over vocalic information in 30-month-olds: cross-linguistic evidence from French and English' J Exp Child Psychol 102, (4) 522-537 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Butler J, Girard F & Goslin J 2009 'Categorization of regional and foreign accent in 5-to 7-year-old British children' INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT 33, (4) 366-375 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Butler J, Goslin J & Ellis L 2009 'Regional and foreign accent processing in English: can listeners adapt?' J Psycholinguist Res 38, (4) 379-412 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Floccia C, Girard F & Goslin J 2008 'Perception and awareness of accents in young children' British Journal of Developmental Psychology 26, (3) 409-433 PEARL
Floccia C, Goslin J, Girard F & Konopczynski G 2006 'Does a regional accent perturb speech processing?' Journal of Experimental Psychology-Human Perception and Performance 32, (5) 1276-1293 PEARL
Floccia, Kolinsky R, Morais J & Goslin 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 , DOI
Floccia C, Goslin J, Schneider R & Thommen E 2003 'Linguistic and conceptual development from one to six years: an introduction' Developmental Science 6, (2) 119-121
Floccia C, Nazzi T & Bertoncini J 2000 'Unfamiliar voice discrimination for short stimuli in newborns' DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE 3, (3) 333-343 Author Site , DOI
Nazzi T, Floccia C & Bertoncini J 1998 'Discrimination of pitch contours by neonates' Infant Behavior and Development 21, (4) 779-784 , DOI
Floccia C, Christophe A & Bertoncini J 1997 'High-amplitude sucking and newborns: the quest for underlying mechanisms' J Exp Child Psychol 64, (2) 175-198 Author Site , DOI
Bertoncini J, Floccia C, Nazzi T & Mehler J 1995 'Morae and syllables: rhythmical basis of speech representations in neonates' Lang Speech 38 ( Pt 4), 311-329 Author Site , DOI
Laurent L, Millot J-L, Andrieu P, Camos V, Floccia C & Mathy F 2012 'Inner Speech and Task Switching in Adults' in Miyake N; Peebles D; Cooper RP cognitivesciencesociety.org Publisher Site
Morse AF, Belpaeme T, Cangelosi A & Floccia C 2011 'Modeling U Shaped Performance Curves in Ongoing Development' in Carlson LA; Hölscher C; Shipley TF cognitivesciencesociety.org Publisher Site
Conference Papers
White L, Luche CD & Floccia C 2016 'Five-month-old infants’ discrimination of unfamiliar languages does not accord with “rhythm class”' 567-571
Almubark B, Floccia C, Cattani A & Slade A 2015 'Assessment of Cognitive Function in Arabic Speaking Population with Stroke: A pilot study' 262-262
Grzyb BJ, Cattani A, Cangelosi A & Floccia A 2014 'Children in a wonderland: How language and scale errors may be linked' 2014 Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob) Genoa, Italy 13/10/2014 16/10/2014 IEEE 269-274 , DOI
Grzyb BJ, Cattani A, Cangelosi A, Floccia C, Yoshida H, Burling J, Borghi AM, Jayaraman S, Smith LB & Pereira AF 2014 'Special Session: Dynamic Interactions Between Visual Experiences, Actions and Word Learning' 6-7
Cattani A, Abbot-Smith K, Krott A, Farag R & Floccia C 2012 'How much exposure to English is necessary for a bilingual toddler to perform like a monolingual peer in vocabulary assessment?' 4th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference King's College London 10/07/2012 12/07/2012