Skip to Content

Dr Peter de Lissa

BSc Macq, MSc Maastricht, PhD Macq.

Peter de Lissa

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

Office : 3.718
Phone : +61 2 9850 2967
Fax : +61 2 9850 6059
email : peter.delissa@mq.edu.au
ORCID : http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3596-5075

External Address

Department of Cognitive Science
Australian Hearing Hub
16 University Avenue
Macquarie University NSW 2109

Profile

My research focuses on two areas of cognition: Visual and auditory processing. My work involving visual processing aims to flesh out the interaction between task and stimulus as letter, words, faces, and objects pass through the visual system and are integrated in the brain to form a response or understanding in a complex environment. This involves scrutinising each step of the processing pathway, from the primitive visual analysis, to structural analysis, through to the activation of associated concepts and modalities, and subsequent overt responses; processes which are all the while influenced by top down communication from the frontal lobe. The latter is an important mediator of attention, and highlights the importance of task demands when interpreting the results of behavioural and brain imaging studies. Within this sphere I undertake research projects investigating: The influence of task demands on letter processing in both ERP and MEG, parafoveal preview effects and word-neighbour suppression in a lexical decision task, the co-registration of EEG with eye-movements to form fixation-related potentials (FRP) during the peripheral and foveal perception of faces and objects, and the effects of goal-driven gaze-orienting in paradigms looking at social engagement. I have also led projects investigating the process of orthographic learning within complex paragraphs through fixation-related potentials, and am currently working on a similar principle in MEG investigating orthographic learning in a read-aloud paradigm. I am also involved in a series of studies utilising the FRP technique to investigate the role of prosody in silent sentence reading in both adults and children.

My work involving auditory research moves more towards investigating the influence that task difficulty and the addition of attentional/processing demands place on individuals as they attempt to comprehend speech, or indeed ignore extraneous sounds as they focus on other tasks. This has led me to work on projects ranging from the effects of short and long-term meditation on auditory attention, the development of objective indices of listening effort using EEG and pupil dilation measures, the validation of cheap and portable gaming EEG headsets as research tools, and the influence of syntactic disruption on pupil dilation measurements.

My research has led me to personally use an array of tools to investigate these spheres of concern, such as ERP (both research-grade and gaming EEG headsets), eye-tracking, FRP (eye-tracking/EEG co-registration), pupil dilation, EEG frequency analysis, MEG, and TMS. These techniques provide invaluable insight into the ways in which stimuli are received and processed during behavioural tasks, though it is of primary importance to understand the nature and demands of the tasks that are being performed. Only then may we speak reliably about the patterns that we observe through their use.

Awards

  • Macquarie University Research Excellence Awards: Highly Commended 'Innovative Technologies' (2015), Badcock, N.A., McArthur, G., de Lissa, P., Preece, K.A., de Wit, B., Fieder, N., Mousikou, P., Thie, J., Mahajan, Y., Yau, S., Brock, J., Sorensen, S., & Glenn, K. "Efficient and child-friendly measures of brain activity using a video-gaming system."
  • Macquarie University Research Excellence Awards: Highly Commended for Excellence in Research – Social Sciences, Business & Humanities (2013), Badcock, N.A., McArthur, G., de Lissa, P., Mousikou, P., Mahajan, Y., & Thie, J. "A video-gaming system to measure event related brain activity in research."
  • Finalist in the Macquarie University Research Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research - Science and Engineering (2011), de Lissa, P.

Recent Grants Awarded

  • ARC CCD Neural Markers Training Scheme (2016) "Neural correlates of letter-sound integration in English adults with dyslexia." Litt, R., Yang, J., Li, Y., Byrne, B., Savage, G., Finkbeiner, M., Sowman, P., Castles, A., Kinoshita, S., Banales, E., & de Lissa, P. ($10,300)
  • ARC CCD Neural Markers Training Scheme (2016) "The processing of commas as cues to prosodic boundaries in reading - child study." Schmidt, E., Kung, C., de Lissa, P., Demuth, K., Castles, A., Kinoshita, S., & Johnson, B. ($6,500)
  • ARC CCD Neural Markers Training Scheme (2016) "How does impaired letter position coding affect lexical representations? An eye tracking study." Schubert, T., Kohnen, S., Castles, A., Nickels, L., Caruana, N., & de Lissa, P. ($5,180)
  • Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences Equipment Grant (2015) "Elastic caps for electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode placement." Badcock, N., Caruana, N., de Lissa, P., Boisvert, I., Sharma, M., McMahon, C., Demuth, K., & McArthur, G. ($2,902)
  • ARC CCD Cross Program Support Scheme (2015) "Using eye-tracking to measure the effects of language training on reading comprehension: A feasibility study." Castles, A., Nickels, L., Nation, K., Colenbrander, D., Zhou, P., de Lissa, P., & Wang, H.-C. ($38,000)
  • ARC CCD Cross Program Support Scheme (2014) "Exploring the role of meditation in language remediation: A behavioural and neurophysiological study." Biedermann, B., McArthur, G., Savage, G., Mahajan, Y., de Lissa, P., Polito, V., Quinto, L., Connors, M., Badcock, N., & Larsen, L. ($20,000)
  • Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Fund (2011) de Lissa, P. ($5,000)
  • Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (2008 - 2012) de Lissa, P. ($22,500)

Media Engagement

  • Emotiv - The Science. Emotiv website. 26 May 2016. (Badcock, N., Mousikou, P., Mahajan, Y., de Lissa, P., McArthur, G.)

Selected Publications

Periodicals

  • Caruana, N., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2017). Beliefs about human agency influence the neural processing of gaze during joint attention. Social Neuroscience, 12(2), 194-206. doi:10.1080/17470919.2016.1160953
  • Wegener, S., Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., Robidoux, S., Nation, K., & Castles, A. (In Press). Children reading spoken words: interactions between vocabulary and orthographic expectancy. Developmental Science. doi:10.1111/desc.12577
  • Wegener, S., Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., Robidoux, S., Nation, K., & Castles, A. (In Press). Children reading spoken words: Interactions between vocabulary and orthographic expectancy. Developmental Science. doi:10.1111/desc.12577
  • Biedermann, B., de Lissa, P., Mahajan, Y., Polito, V., Badcock, N., Connors, M.H., Quinto, L., Larsen, L., & McArthur, G.M. (2016). Meditation and auditory attention: An ERP study of meditators and non-meditators. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 109, 63-70. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.09.016
  • Burianová, H., Sowman, P.F., Marstaller, L., Rich, A.N., Williams, M.A., Savage, G., Al-Janabi, S., de Lissa, P., & Johnson, B.W. (2016). Adaptive motor imagery: A multimodal study of immobilization-induced brain plasticity. Cerebral Cortex, 26(3), 1072-1080. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhu287
  • Byrow, Y., Broeren, S., de Lissa, P., & Peters, L. (2016). Anxiety, attachment & attention: The influence of adult attachment style on attentional biases of anxious individuals. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 7(1), 110-128. doi:10.5127/jep.046714
  • McMahon, C.M., Boisvert, I., de Lissa, P., Granger, L., Ibrahim, R., Lo, C., Miles, K., & Graham, P.L. (2016). Monitoring alpha oscillations and pupil dilation across the performance-intensity function. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 745. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00745
  • Caruana, N., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2015). The neural time course of evaluating self-initiated joint attention bids. Brain and Cognition, 98, 43-52. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2015.06.001
  • de Lissa, P., Sorensen, S., Badcock, N., Thie, J., & McArthur, G. (2015). Measuring the face-sensitive N170 with a gaming EEG system: A validation study. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 253, 47-54. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.05.025
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., Hawelka, S., Palermo, R., Mahajan, Y., & Hutzler, F. (2014). Fixation location on upright and inverted faces modulates the N170. Neuropsychologia, 57, 1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.02.006
  • Badcock, N.A., Mousikou, P., Mahajan, Y., de Lissa, P., Thie, J., & McArthur, G.M. (2013). Validation of the Emotiv EPOC® EEG gaming system for measuring research quality auditory ERPs. PeerJ, 1, e38. doi:10.7717/peerj.38

Published Abstracts

  • Badcock, N.A., Mousikou, B., Mahajan, Y., de Lissa, P., Thie, J., & McArthur, G. (2012). Emotiv versus Neuroscan: Validating a gaming EEG system for research quality ERP measurement [Abstract]. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Conference Abstract: ACNS-2012 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference. doi:10.3389/conf.fnhum.2012.208.00122
  • de Lissa, P., Brock, J., & McArthur, G. (2012). Investigating saccade-programming and shifts of attention on a Posner cueing task with saccade-related potentials [Abstract]. Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences [CDROM].
  • Smith, F., Rich, A.N., Graham, S., de Lissa, P., Brooks, K., & Williams, M.A. (2012). ‘Filling-in’ of stimuli at the physiological blind spot reflects lateral connection rather than feedback [Abstract]. EEG and Clinical Neuroscience, 43(3), 246.
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., & Castles, A. (2010). Orthographic learning: Insights from fixation-related potentials [Abstract]. Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences [CDROM].
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., & Castles, A. (2010). Orthographic learning: Insights from fixation-related potentials [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology: Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences.
  • de Lissa, P., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Hawelka, S., Mahajan, Y., & Hutzler, F. (2009). New insights into face processing using fixation-related potentials [Abstract]. Combined Abstracts of 2009 Australian Psychology Conferences [CDROM].
  • de Lissa, P., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Hawelka, S., Mahajan, Y., & Hutzler, F. (2009). New insights into face processing using fixation-related potentials [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology: Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression in childhood, adolescence and adulthood [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 60(Suppl. 1), 92.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression in childhood, adolesence and adulthood: An ERP study [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6), 704.

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Kung, C., Schmidt, E., de Lissa, P., Castles, A., Kinoshita, S., Johnson, B.W., & Demuth, K. (2017, December). Children do not use subvocal prosody to process commas. Paper presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Australian Linguistics Society, The University of Sydney.
  • Sivananthan, T., de Lissa, P., & Curby, K. (2017, April). The influence of contextual colour sues on face emotion judgements. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Barnes, L., McArthur G., de Lissa, P., Polito, V., & Badcock, N.A. (2016, November). Distinguishing confounds from true meditation effects: Insights from auditory ERPs. Poster session presented at the 6th Australian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference (ACNS), Shoal Bay.
  • Caruana, N., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2016, November). Human agency beliefs influence the neural processing of gaze during joint attention. Poster session presented at the 6th Australian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference (ACNS), Shoal Bay.
  • Biedermann, B., Croasdale, R., Whitworth, A., Sedlmeier, P., Chen, N., de Lissa, P., Polito, V., Mahajan, N., Badcock, N., & McArthur, G. (2016, October). Is meditation an effective tool in aphasia rehabilitation? Paper presented at the Aphasiology Symposium of Australia, Flinders University, Adelaide.
  • Barnes, L., McArthur, G., Biedermann, B., de Lissa, P., Polito, V., & Badcock, N. (2016, August). Does meditation affect attention in first-time meditators? Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • Biedermann, B., Croasdale, R., Whitworth, A., Sedlmeier, P., Chen, N., de Lissa, P., Polito, V., Mahajan, Y., Badcock, N., & McArthur, G. (2016, August). Effects of meditation on attention and word finding in aphasia. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • Caruana, N., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2016, August). The neural time course of evaluating joint attention experiences and the role of agency beliefs. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • Wegener, S., Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., Robidoux, S., Nation, K., & Castles, A. (2016, August). Orthographic learning in children can commence before written words are seen: Evidence from eye movements. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • Wegener, S., Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., Robidoux, S., Nation, K., & Castles, A. (2016, August). Orthographic learning in children can commence before written words are seen: Evidence from eye movements. Paper presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • Caruana, N., Brock, J., Woolgar, A., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2016, July). Let’s play: Using virtual reality games to investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms of joint attention. Paper presented at the Interdisciplinary Summer School on Social Cognition: From Interactions to Intersubjectivity, Aegina, Greece.
  • Caruana, N., Brock, J., Woolgar, A., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2016, July). Let’s play: Using virtual reality games to investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms of joint attention. Poster session presented at the Interdisciplinary Summer School on Social Cognition: From Interactions to Intersubjectivity, Aegina, Greece.
  • Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., Castles, A., & Sowman, P. (2016, July). Orthographic learning in the brain: An MEG study of novel wordlearning. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), University of Porto, Portugal.
  • Wegener, S., Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., Nation, K., & Castles, A. (2016, July). Do spoken words give rise to orthographic ‘skeletons’? Effects of vocabulary knowledge and spelling predictability on silent reading during the initial orthographic exposure. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), University of Porto, Portugal.
  • Schmidt, E., Kung, C., de Lissa, P., Castles, A., Kinoshita, S., Johnson, B.W., & Demuth, K. (2016, May). The use of subvocal prosody in the processing of sentences. Paper presented at the CCD Developing Mind Series: Developmental Perspectives on Language Processing Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Castles, A., Wegener, S., Wang, H.-C., de Lissa, P., & Nation, K. (2016, April). Orthographic learning commences before written words are seen: Evidence from eye movements. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.
  • de Lissa, P., & Kinoshita, S. (2016, April). Task modulates the early neural processing of letters in masked-priming. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.
  • de Lissa, P., Polito, V., & Biedermann, B. (2016, March). Meditation and neuroscience: Measuring the brain and behaviour. Presentation given at the Meditation and (Neuro)Science weekend, Sydney Zen Centre.
  • Biedermann, B., de Lissa, P., Mahajan, Y., Polito, V., Badcock, N., Quinto, L., Connors, M., Larsen, L., Savage, G., & McArthur, G. (2015, November). Low-level auditory attention processes in healthy adults after an eight-week meditation training: An ERP study. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Biedermann, B., de Lissa, P., Mahajan, Y., Polito, V., Badcock, N., Quinto, L., Connors, M., Larsen, L., Savage, G., & McArthur, G. (2015, November). An ERP Study: Auditory attention in adults with and without long term meditation experience. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Schmidt, E., & de Lissa, P. (2015, November). Challenges in the study of prosody in silent reading. Paper presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • de Lissa, P. (2015, June). Face perception in the dynamic brain: A fixation-related potential experiment. Invited colloquium at the CLaS-CCD Eye Tracking Workshop: Language, Vision, Perception and their Interface, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Biedermann, B., de Lissa, P., Mahajan, Y., Polito, V., Badcock, N., Quinto, L., Connors, M., Larsen, L., Savage, G., & McArthur, G. (2015, April). Pre-attentive auditory processes in adults with and without long-term meditation experience: An ERP study. Paper presented at the 42nd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Sydney.
  • Biedermann, B., de Lissa, P., Mahajan, Y., Polito, V., Badcock, N.A., Quinto, L., Connors, M., Larsen, L., Savage, G., Coote, R.G., & McArthur, G. (2015, January). Meditation and auditory attention. Invited colloquium at the Department of Psychology, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany.
  • Caruana, N., Woolgar, A., Brock, J., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2015, January). Using virtual reality to investigate the neural correlates of gaze-based interactions. Invited colloquium at the School of Psychology Person Perception Seminar Series, University of Western Australia, Perth.
  • Caruana, N., Woolgar, A., Brock, J., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2014, October). The neural processing of gaze shifts: From joint attention to mental representations. Invited colloquium at the The Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • Caruana, N., Woolgar, A., Brock, J., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2014, September). Using virtual reality to investigate the neural correlates of social interaction. Colloquium at the CCD Seminar Series, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Caruana, N., Woolgar, A., Brock, J., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2014, September). Developing virtual reality methods for investigating the neural correlates of social interaction. Colloquium at the Second Person Neuroscience Group, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
  • Caruana, N., Woolgar, A., Brock, J., de Lissa, P., & McArthur, G. (2014, August). Investigating the neural correlates of joint attention and gaze evaluation: A virtual reality approach. Invited colloquium at the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.
  • de Lissa, P. (2014, May). Face-Off: Can a cheap gaming EEG headset compare with a research-grade EEG system when investigating the face-sensitive N170? Colloquium at the Department of Cognitive Science 3M Research Fiesta, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • De Lissa, P., & Kinoshita, S. (2014, April). Response priming and the lateralised-readiness potential. Poster session presented at the 41st Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Brisbane.
  • de Lissa, P., Brock, J., & McArthur, G. (2012, April). Investigating saccade-programming and shifts of attention on a Posner cueing task with saccade-related potentials. Poster session presented at the 39th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Sydney.
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., & Castles, A. (2011, August). Insights into the development of orthographic familiarity through Fixation-Related Potentials: An eye for detail. Paper presented at the 16th European Conference on Eye Movements, Marseille, France.
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., & Castles, A. (2011, April). Electrophysiological markers of orthographic familiarity: insights from Fixation-Related Potentials. Paper presented at the 38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Brock, J., & de Lissa, P. (2011, February). What can eye-movements reveal about cognition and its disorders? Presentation given at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., & Castles, A. (2010, July). Orthographic exposure to pseudowords: Insights from fixation-related potentials. Poster session presented at the 17th annual meeting for the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), Berlin, Germany.
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., & Castles, A. (2010, April). Orthographic learning: Insights from fixation-related potentials. Paper presented at the 37th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Melbourne.
  • de Lissa, P., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Hawelka, S., Mahajan Y., & Hutzler, F. (2009, November). Neural processing of human faces: Insights from fixation-related potentials. Presentation given at the 19th Australasian Psychophysiology Society Conference, University of Newcastle, Newcastle.
  • de Lissa, P., McArthur, G., Palermo, R., Hutzler, F., Howlitz, S., & Mahajan, Y. (2009, April). Fixation-related potentials: New insights into face processing. Poster session presented at the 36th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Wollongong.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, July). The development of facial expression perception. In W. Hayward & G. Rhodes (Chair), Expertise effects in face processing. Invited paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Vision, Brisbane.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, June). Perceiving facial expressions in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Paper presented at the International Society for Behavioral Neuroscience, Sydney.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, May). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression. in childhood, adolescence and adulthood: An ERP study. Paper presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, Florida, USA.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, March). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Paper presented at the 35th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Fremantle.

Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email : ccd@mq.edu.au
Web : www.ccd.edu.au

Sign up to receive CCD event and research announcements

Upcoming CCD Seminars

Full Seminar List


Macquarie Univeristy Logo University of Western Australia Logo The University of Sydney Logo

University of New South Wales Logo University of New England logo