Szilvia Biro is a psychologist and received her PhD at University of Cambridge in 2002 conducting research on executive and cognitive impairments in children with autism. She spent two years as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Cognitive Science Center at Rutgers University NJ, USA and then six years at the Department of Psychology at Leiden University as an UD. Her main interest is social-cognitive development in infancy.
Szilvia Biro in the media
Biro investigates how infants make sense of the complex social and physical world. She is doing research on the infants’ emerging ability to interpret others’ actions in terms of goals. In a large international collaboration, she investigates the origins of "Theory of mind”. Her current projects also explore how specialization in the infant brain develops for processing social information and she tries to uncover individual differences in neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying the evaluation of prosocial behaviors.
Szilvia Biro has set-up the FSW location of the Leiden Babylab which enables a variety of experimental methods to study infants including looking paradigms, eye tracking, and NIRS (near infrared spectroscopy). Most recently she implemented the usage of the MIT’s “Lookit” online platform for developmental research at Leiden University.
Research areas and activities
- Social-cognitive development in infancy
- Understanding and performing intentional and prosocial actions
- The development of Theory of Mind
- Neural processing of social information
- Attachment security
- Object representation and individuation
- Executive functions in autism
- Looking time paradigms
- Electrophysiological measures (EEG)
- Optical imaging (NIRS, Near-infrared spectroscopy)
- Behavioral and observational measures
- Assistant Professor, Parenting, Child Care and Development, University of Leiden, 2011- present
- Assistant Professor, Cognitive Psychology Section, Institute for Psychology, University of Leiden, 2005-2011 (fixed term)
- Post Doctoral Fellow, Center of Cognitive Science and Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, NJ, USA, 2001-2003
- PhD, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 2002
- PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Eotvos Lorand, Budapest, Hungary, 1999
- Young Research Fellow, Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 1997-1998
- MPhil, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 1996
- Young Research Fellow, Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 1993-1996
- Msc and BA, Department of Developmental and Cognitive Psychology, University of Eotvos Lorand, Budapest, Hungary, 1987-1993
- 2020 “Implementing Online Testing Method for Infants’ Looking Behaviour” (PI). Instituutsbeurs voor COVID-gerelateerd onderzoek. Institute grant for COVID related research
- 2013 "Prenatal tobacco exposure and infant social cognition: A study with Near-Infrared Spectroscopy" LUF/Gratama subsidy PI in collaboration with Stephan Huijbregts and Claartje Levelt.
- 2011 “Roots of Social Cognition”, Interdisciplinary Start-up grant: ‘Brain function and dysfunction over the lifespan’. PI in collaboration with Lenneke Alink, M. van IJzendoorn and R. Vermieren.
- 2011 “Prenatal Tobacco Exposure and Infant Cognition: A Study with Near-Infrared Spectroscopy” , Interdisciplinary Start-up grant: ‘Brain function and dysfunction over the lifespan’. Co-investigator in collaboration with Stephan Huijbregts (PI) and Claartje Levelt.
- 2006-2010 “The development of infant's perception of goal-directed actions” NWO Open MaGW Program, NL. Grant for hiring Ph.D. student for 4 years. PI in collaboration with Bernhard Hommel.
Current teaching activities
- Attachment, parenting and development: research and clinical implications (MA, RMA)
- Methods and instruments in cognitive and affective neuroscience (MA, RMA)
- Conducting and evaluating empirical research (MA, RMA)
- SPSS (BA)
- Research practice (BA)
- Master thesis and BA thesis project supervision
- Szilvia Biro is the scientific coordinator of the BabyLab: www.babylab-leiden.nl
- Member of LIBC (Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition) and LIBC junior: www.libc-leiden.nl
- Certified coder of Ainsworth's Infant Strange Situation Procedure
- Reviewer for international scientific journals
- Member of the Institute Council of Educational Sciences, University of Leiden: 2019 (2nd semester)
- Member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
- Member of review board and defense committee for Ph.D. dissertations, 2007-
- Grant reviewer (Fulbright scholar program, USA; SSHRC Canada; MRC, UK)
- Certificate for Education (BKO), University of Leiden, 2013
Dissertations (PhD projects)
- Stephan Verschoor (2014, June 25) "Development of action perception and action control", Promotors: Szilvia Biro and Bernhard Hommel
- National Research Service Award, USA (post-doc fellowship)
- Selected for Series of Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations in Hungary
- 2nd Prize for "Research of Young Scientists" at the Institute for Psychology of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2000
- Benefactor’s Scholarship, St John’s College, Cambridge, UK and ORS (Overseas Research Scheme) Award, UK, 1998-2000
- MTA-RSYLEFF Scholarship, Hungary-Japan
- Cambridge Overseas Trust, Unilever Cambridge Scholarship, UK
No relevant ancillary activities