Dr Goffredina Spano


I am a developmental cognitive neuropsychologist, and my research focuses on exploring the relationship between learning, memory, and sleep variability across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on neurodevelopmental and memory disorders. In addition, my research program aims to develop and extend this foundational work into applied treatment contexts with the goal of enhancing cognitive and educational outcomes and promoting overall mental health.

I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2016. Following my doctoral studies, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University College London (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). I then joined Kingston University London as a Lecturer in October 2022.

Academic responsibilities


Teaching and learning

Undergraduate courses taught

  • Psychology BSc (Hons)

Postgraduate courses taught

  • Behavioural Decision Science MSc
  • Child Psychology MSc
  • Psychology MSc



Spanò, G., Pizzamiglio, G., McCormick C., Clark, I.A., De Felice, S., Miller, T.D., Edgin, J.O., Rosenthal, C.R., Maguire, E. A. (2020). Dreaming with hippocampal damage. eLife. 9. (doi:10.7554/eLife.56211).

Hill, E. A., Fairley, D. M., Williams, L. J., Spanò, G., Cooper, S-A., & Riha, R. L. (2020). Prospective trial of CPAP in community-dwelling adults with down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Brain Sciences, 10(11). (doi: 10.3390/brainsci10110844).

Spanò, G., Weber, F., Pizzamiglio, G., McCormick, C, Miller, T.D., Rosenthal, C.R., Edgin, J.O., Maguire, E. A. (2020). Sleeping with hippocampal damage. Current Biology, 30(3), 523-529.

Edgin, J., Liu, Y., Hughes, K., Spanò, G., & Clark, C. (2019). The "eyes have it," but when in development?: The importance of a developmental perspective in our understanding of behavioral memory formation and the hippocampus. Hippocampus, 30(8), 815-828

Spanò, G., Gómez, R.L., Demara, B.I., Alt, M., Cowen, S.L., & Edgin, J.O. (2018). REM sleep in naps differentially relates to memory consolidation in typical preschoolers and children with Down syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 115(46), 11844-11849. 

Spanò, G., Intraub, H., & Edgin, J.O. (2017). Testing the "boundaries" of boundary extension: Anticipatory scene representation across development and disorder. Hippocampus, 27(6), 726-739.

Clark, C., Fernandez, F., Sakhon, S., Spanò, G., & Edgin, J.O. (2017). The medial temporal memory system in Down syndrome: Translating animal models of hippocampal compromise. Hippocampus, 27(6), 683-691. 

Fernandez, F., Nyhuis, C.C., Anand, P., Demara, B., Ruby, N.F., Spanò, G., Clark, C., & Edgin, J.O. (2017). Young children with Down syndrome show normal development of circadian rhythms, but poor sleep efficiency: A cross-sectional study across the first 60 months of life. Sleep Medicine, 33, 134-144. 

Edgin, O., Anand, P., Rosser, R., Pierpont , E., Figueroa, C., Hamilton, D., Huddleston, L., Mason, G. Spanò, G., Toole, T., Nguyen-Driver, M., Capone, G., Abbeduto, L., Maslen, C., Reeves, R., Sherman, S. (2017). The Arizona cognitive test battery for Down syndrome: Test-retest reliability and practice effects. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 122(3), 215-234. 

Spanò, G., & Edgin, J.O. (2016). Everyday memory in individuals with Down syndrome: Validation of the Observer Memory Questionnaire-Parent Form. Child Neuropsychology, 23(5), 523-535. 

Van Hoogmoed, A.H., Nadel L., Spanò, G., & Edgin J.O. (2016). ERP correlates of object memory across development: Do active and passive tasks measure the same thing? Neuropsychologia, 82, 39–53. 

Spanò, G., Peterson, M., Nadel, L., Rhoads, C. & Edgin, J.O. (2015). Seeing can be remembering: Interactions between memory and perception in typical and atypical development. Clinical Psychological Science, 4(2), 254-271. 

Edgin, J.O., Tooley, U. Demara, B., Nyhuis, C., Anand, P., & Spanò, G. (2015). Sleep disturbance and expressive language development in preschool-age children. Child Development, 86(6), 1984-1998. 

Mason, G.M., Spanò, G., & Edgin, J. (2015). Symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Down syndrome: Effects of the dopamine receptor D4 gene. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 120(1), 58-71. 

Edgin, J.O., Spanò, G., Kawa, K., & Nadel, L. (2014). Remembering things without context: Development matters. Child Development, 85(4), 1491-1502. 

+Breslin, J., +Spanò, G., Bootzin, R., Anand, P., Nadel, L., & Edgin, J. (2014). Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and cognition in Down syndrome. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 56(7), 657-664. +These authors contributed equally to the paper. 

Chen, C-C, Spanò, G., & Edgin, J.O. (2013). The impact of sleep disruption on executive function in Down syndrome research in developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(6), 2033- 2039. 

Edgin, J.O., Mason, G.M., Spanò, G., Fernández, A., & Nadel L. (2012). Human and mouse model cognitive phenotypes in Down syndrome: Implications for assessment. Progress in Brain Research, 197, 123- 151. 

Edgin, J.O., Kumar, A., Spanò, G., & Nadel. L. (2011). Neuropsychological effects of second language exposure in Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55(3), 351-356. 

Lanfranchi, S., Carretti, B., Spanò, G., & Cornoldi, C. A (2009). Specific deficit in visuospatial simultaneous working memory in Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53, 474-483.

Book publications

Hughes, K., Kholsa, P., Pisani, L., Spanò, G., & Edgin, J.O. (in press). Sleeping to dream, develop, and resist decline: Down Syndrome as a life-span sleep disorder. To appear in In J. Burack, J. Edgin, L. Abbeduto, & J. Busciglio, (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Down Syndrome and Development. Oxford University Press. New York, NY. 

Edgin, J., Spanò, G., & Nadel. L. (2011). Advances in clinical endpoints for neurocognitive rehabilitation in Down syndrome. In J.A. Rondal, J. Perera, L. & D. Spiker (Eds.), Neurocognitive Rehabilitation of Down Syndrome, The Early Years. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 

Areas of specialism

  • Memory development
  • Sleep
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

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