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Professor Giuseppe Cossu
~ Full Professor of Child Neuropsychiatry ~

Academic profile  

I was born in Sardinia and educated in Sassari, where I took my M.D. degree in 1974.

As a recipient of a fellowship from the Italian Foreign Office, I worked from 1975 to 1977 in the Laboratory of Clinical Neuropsychology at the Institute of Neurosurgery, University of Moscow, under the tutoring of the late Prof. A.R. Luria.

In 1977 I was appointed as Assistant Professor in Child Neurology at the University of Sassari, where in 1979 I took a degree in Child Neuropsychiatry.

From 1980 to 1981 I worked as a visiting scholar to Haskins Laboratories (Yale University, New Haven) under the supervision of the late Isabelle Liberman and Donald Shankweiler.

Since 1982 I started a scientific co-operation with Prof. John C. Marshall, Director of the MRC Neuropsychology Unit at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Department of Clinical Neurology University of Oxford.

In 1984 I moved to the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit at the University of Parma and in 1998 I accepted an invitation by Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti to join his research group at the Institute of Human Physiology (University of Parma).

I am currently teaching Paediatric Neurology to undergraduate students at the School of Medicine of the University of Parma; I am also teaching Developmental Neuropsychology to graduated medical student of the Speciality in Child Neuropsychiatry at the School of Medicine of the University of Parma.

(+39) 0521-033886

Research Interests  

My major research interest lies in the developmental neuropsychology of normal and pathological acquisition of reading and writing.

The issue has been faced by means of a variety of methodological approaches, like single case studies; longitudinal investigation of normal populations, brain imaging techniques and cross-linguistic comparison of literacy acquisition.

I have published about 80 papers in international and national peer-reviewed journals and edited books.

Recent Publications  

Cossu G.
The role of output speech in literacy acquisition: evidence from congenital anarthria.
Reading and Writing (in press), 2002.


Paulesu E., Demonet J.F., Fazio F., McCrory E., Chanoine V., Brunswick N., Cappa S.F., Cossu G., Habib M., Frith C.D., Frith U.
Defining Dyslexia.
Science, 292: 1300-1301, 2001.

Paulesu E., Demonet J.F., Fazio F., McCrory E., Chanoine V., Brunswick N., Cappa S.F., Cossu G., Habib M., Frith C.D., Frith U.
Dyslexia: cultural diversity and biological unity.
Science, 291: 2165-, 2001.

Paulesu E., McCrory E., Fazio F., Menoncello L., Brunswick N., Cappa S., Cotelli M., Cossu G., Corte F., Lorusso M., Pesenti S., Gallagher A., Perani D., Price C., Frith C.D., Frith U.
A cultural effect on brain function
Nature Neuroscience, 3: 91-96, 2000.

Cossu G.
Biological constraints on literacy acquisition.
Reading and Writing: An interdisciplinary Journal 11: 213-237, 1999.

Cossu G.
The acquisition of Italian orthography.
in: M. Harris and G. Hatano (eds.) Learning to read and write, pp. 10-33,
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Cossu G., Shankweiler D., Liberman I. Y., Gugliotta M.
Visual and phonological determinants of misreading in a transparent orthography.
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 17: 247-256, 1995.

Cossu G., Gugliotta M., Marshall J.C.
Acquisition of reading and written spelling in a transparent orthography: two non parallel processes?
Reading and Writing, 7: 9-22, 1995.

Cossu G., Da Prati E., Marshall J.C.
Deep dyslexia and the right hemisphere hypothesis: spoken and written language after extensive left hemispherelesion in a 12 year old boy.
Cognitive Neuropsychology, 391-407, 1995.

Cossu G., Rossini F., Marshall, J.C.
When reading is acquired but phonemic awareness is not: A study of literacy in Down's Syndrome.
Cognition, 4: 129-138, 1993b.

Cossu G., Marshall J.C.
Are cognitive skills a prerequisite for learning to read and write?
Cognitive Neuropsychology, 7: 21-40, 1990.

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