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Dr Valter Prpic

Job: VC2020 Lecturer in Psychology

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7866




Personal profile

Dr. Prpic is a cognitive psychologist. Before joining De Montfort University in 2017 he was a visiting researcher at the University of Malta and a research associate at Sheffield Hallam University. Previously, he completed a postdoc and PhD at the University of Trieste.

Dr. Prpic’s research focusses on different topics related to perception and cognition. One of his main research areas focuses on the Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Coded (SNARC) and other related spatial association effects. Previous research suggests that numbers are automatically mapped into space, having an impact both on motor responses (e.g., two-alternative forced choice) and on the allocation of attention in the external space. Dr. Prpic’s research investigates spatial association effects both for numerical and other non-numerical stimuli, such as music parameters (e.g., pitch height, tempo, musical notes), emotional stimuli (e.g., facial expressions), luminance and visual illusions.

A second line of research focusses on perception and action, in particular the research of Dr. Prpic aims at investigating how musicians, athletes and common people use visual and auditory information for improving their motor performance. His other research interests include visual and auditory perception, psychophysics, attention, music cognition and sport psychology.

Research group affiliations


Publications and outputs 

  • Prpic, V., Kniestedt, I., Camilleri, E., Maureira, M. G., Kristjánsson, Á., & Thornton, I. M. (2019). A serious game to explore human foraging in a 3D environment. PloS one14(7), e0219827.

  • Fantoni, C., Baldassi, G., Rigutti, S., Prpic, V., Murgia, M., & Agostini, T. (2019). Emotional Semantic Congruency based on stimulus driven comparative judgements. Cognition, 190, 20-41.

  • Prpic, V., Soranzo, A., Santoro, I., Fantoni, C., Galmonte, A., Agostini, T., & Murgia, M. (2018). SNARC-like compatibility effects for physical and phenomenal magnitudes: A study on visual illusions. Psychological Research. Advanced online publication.

  • Prpic, V., & Domijan, D.(2018).Linear representation of pitch height in the SMARC effect. Psychological Topics, 27(3), 437-452.

  • Sors, F., Prpic, V., Santoro, I., Galmonte, A., Agostini, T., & Murgia, M. (2018). Loudness, but not shot power, influences simple reaction times to soccer penalty sounds. Psihologija. 51 (1), 127-141.

  • Santoro, I., Murgia, M., Sors, F., Prpic, V., & Agostini, T.  (2017). Walking during the encoding of described environments enhances a perspective-independent spatial representation. Acta Psychologica, 180, 16-22.

  • Murgia, M., Prpic, V., O, J., McCullagh, P.,Santoro, I., Galmonte, A., & Agostini, T. (2017). Modality and perceptual-motor experience influence the detection of temporal deviations in tap dance sequences. Frontiers in psychology. 8:1340. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01340

  • Prpic, V. (2017). Perceiving musical note values causes spatial shift of attention in musicians. Vision, 1, 16. doi:10.3390/vision1020016

  • Sors, F., Murgia, M., Santoro, I., Prpic, V., Galmonte, A. & Agostini, T. (2017). The contribution of early auditory and visual information to the discrimination of shot power in ball sports. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31, 44-51.

  • Prpic, V. & Luccio, R. (2016). Do you hear more piano or drum sounds? An auditory version of the  solitaire illusion. Perception, 45(12), 1433-1438.  DOI: 10.1177/0301006616672580

  • Fumarola, A., Prpic, V., Fornasier, D., Sartoretto, F., Agostini, T., & Umiltà, C. (2016). The spatial representation of angles. Perception, 45(11), 1320-1330.  DOI: 10.1177/0301006616661915

  • Prpic, V., Fumarola, A., De Tommaso, M., Luccio, R., Murgia, M., & Agostini, T. (2016). Separate mechanisms for magnitude and order processing in the Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) effect: The strange case of musical note values. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42(8), 1241-1251. DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000217

  • Murgia, M., Prpic, V., Santoro, I., Sors, F., Agostini, T., & Galmonte, A. (2016). Perceptual belongingness determines the direction of lightness induction depending on grouping stability and intentionality. Vision Research, 126, 69-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2015.10.018

  • Prpic, V., Murgia, M., De Tommaso, M., Boschetti, G., Galmonte, A., & Agostini, T. (2016). Octave bias in pitch perception: The influence of pitch height on pitch class identification. Perception, 45(9), 1060-1069. DOI: 10.1177/0301006616651953

  • Murgia, M., Santoro, I., Tamburini, G., Prpic, V., Sors, F., Galmonte, A., & Agostini, T. (2016). Ecological sounds affect breath duration more than artificial sounds. Psychological Research, 1-6. DOI: 10.1007/s00426-015-0647-z

  • Santoro, I., Murgia, M., Tamburini, G., Prpic, V., Sors, F., Galmonte, A., & Agostini, T. (2015). Panic  disorder patients and healthy people differently identify their own heart frequency through sound. Psihologija, 48(3), 279-287. DOI: 10.2298/PSI1503279S

  • Fumarola, A., Prpic, V., Da Pos, O., Murgia, M., Umiltà, C., & Agostini, T. (2014). Automatic spatial  association for luminance. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(3), 759-765. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-013-0614-y

  • Murgia, M., Sors, F., Santoro, I., Muroni, F., Prpic, V., Galmonte, A., & Agostini, T. (2014). Using perceptual home-training to improve anticipation skills of soccer goalkeepers. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15, 642-648. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.07.009

  • Prpic, V., Fumarola, A., De Tommaso, M., Baldassi, G., Agostini, T. (2013). A SNARC-like effect for music tempo. Review of psychology, 20, 1, 47-51. URI

Research interests/expertise

  • Visuo-spatial attention
  • Numerical cognition
  • Music cognition
  • Visual and auditory perception
  • Perception and action
  • Psychophysics

Areas of teaching

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Research methods



Honours and awards

2014 The 11th Alps-Adria Psychology Conference: “Excellent poster presentation award”.

2012 The 10th Alps-Adria Psychology Conference:  Alps-Adria Young Scientist award for "Best oral presentation".

2010 The 1st Sport Psychology and Sport Sciences Conference: Young Scientist Award.

Conference attendance

  • Prpic, V., & Cullen, P. (2019). Does visual perspective taking influence the SNARC effect? ESCoP 2019, Tenerife (Spain).

  • Prpic, V., & Cullen, P. (2019). The influence of visual perspective taking on the SNARC effect: A pilot study. ECVP 2019, Leuven (Belgium).

  • Baldassi, G., Murgia, M., Prpic, V., Agostini, T., & Fantoni, C. (2019). The happiest wins with both upright and inverted faces: evidence of part-based processing of facial expressions pair. ECVP 2019, Leuven (Belgium).

  • Prpic, V., Murgia, M., Soranzo, A., & Agostini, T. (2018). A SNARC-like effect for the perceived size of both physical and illusory figures. ECVP 2018, Trieste (Italy).

  • Mingolo, S., Murgia, M., Prpic, V., & Agostini, T. (2018). Does hangover affect visual attention and working memory? ECVP 2018, Trieste (Italy).

  • Prpic, V., Kristjánsson, Á., & Thornton, I.M. (2018).  Visual search and foraging behaviour: An iPad app for simulating foraging in the wild. Experimental Psychology Society (EPS), London (UK).

  • Playfoot, D., Di Betta, A.M., Prpic, V., & Thirkettle, M. (2017). The Optimal Viewing Position in dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers. Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics Annual Research & Scholarship Conference, Sheffield (United Kingdom).

  • Thornton, I. M., Kniestedt, I., Camilleri, E., Gómez Maureira, M., Kristjánsson, A., & Prpic, V. (2017). Simulating foraging in the wild using an iPad. ECVP 2017, Berlin (Germany).

  • Prpic, V., Soranzo, A., Fantoni, C., Galmonte, A., Murgia, M., & Agostini, T. (2017).  SNARC effect & visual illusions: Do phenomenal magnitudes equate physical magnitudes? ECVP 2017, Berlin (Germany).

  • Fantoni, C., Baldassi, G., Prpic, V., Murgia, M., Rigutti, S., & Agostini, T. (2017). Comparative judgements of facial emotions are affected by Semantic Congruity not by SNARC. ECVP 2017, Berlin (Germany).

  • Baldassi, G., Murgia, M., Agostini, T., Prpic, V., & Fantoni, C. (2017). SNARC flexibility is explained by the Semantic Congruity Effect. ECVP 2017, Berlin (Germany).

  • Prpic, V. & De Tommaso, M. (2017). Evidence of range specificity in the spatial association for music tempo. Trieste Encounters in Cognitive Sciences (TEX): timing and temporal cognition. SISSA, Italy.

  • Prpic, V. (2017). Perceiving musical note values causes spatial shift of attention in musicians. International workshop on Reflexive Shift of Attention, Sheffield (United Kingdom).

  • Prpic, V., Sarcetta, M., Murgia, M., Chshieva, Z.G., Galmonte, A., & Agostini, T. (2016). Spatial coding of optical illusions: Do illusory magnitudes equate real magnitudes? The 12th Alps-Adria Psychology Conference, Rijeka (Croatia). Review of Psychology, 2016, Vol. 23, No. 1-2, pag. 82.

  • Prpic, V., Boschetti, G., Luccio, R. (2015). The auditory version of the solitaire illusion. The Trieste Symposium on   Perception and Cognition, Trieste (Italy).

  • Prpic, V., Fumarola, A., De Tommaso, M., Brusaferro, A., Murgia, M., & Agostini, T. (2015). Do we process order or magnitude information? New evidence from the SNARC effect for note value. ICPS (International Convention of Psychological Science), Amsterdam (Holland).

  • Prpic V., Fumarola A., De Tommaso M., Brusaferro A., Luccio R., & Agostini T. (2014). A SNARC-like effect for note value: Differences and similarities with number representation. The 11th Alps-Adria Psychology Conference, Pecs (Hungary). Review of Psychology, 2014, Vol. 21, No. 1, pag. 76.

  • Prpic V., Fumarola A., De Tommaso M., Angelon G., Murgia M., & Agostini T. (2014). When dark is left and bright is right: evidence of a spatial-luminance association effect. ECVP 2014, Belgrade (Serbia), Perception supplement vol.43 pag. 164.

  • Prpic V., Fumarola A., DeTommaso M., Brusaferro A., & Agostini T. (2013). Common spatial association for musical notes in piano and flute players. The Trieste Symposium on Perception and           Cognition, Trieste (Italy).

  • Prpic V., Fumarola A., Brusaferro A., & Agostini T. (2013). Spatial representation for musical notes is not biased by the specific musical instrument played. XIX Congresso di psicologia sperimentale, AIP. Rome (Italy).

  • Prpic V., Fumarola A., De Tommaso M., Baldassi G., Gratton I., & Agostini T. (2012). SNARC-like effect for musical tempo: An association between beat frequencies and the horizontal spatial axis. Trieste Symposium on Perception and Cognition, Trieste (Italy).

  • Prpic V., Fumarola A., De Tommaso M., Gratton I., & Agostini T. (2012). Spatial representation of time in music. ECVP 2012, Alghero (Italy), Perception supplement vol. 41,  pag. 141.

  • Prpic, V., Bolognini, A., Zavagni, M. (2010). “Striker performance optimisation: A study based on a rhythmical audio model”. The 1st SPASS Conference, Lignano (Italy), abstract cd, pag 55.

Current research students

Ola Tkacz, 2nd supervisor, De Montfort University (UK)

Giulio Baldassi, 2nd supervisor, University of Trieste (Italy)

Externally funded research grants information

  • Research Grant funded by the XV Executive Programme for Cultural Collaboration between Malta and Italy, 2016-2017 (1,260 €). Project name: Using sound to see the invisible. Supervisor: Prof. Ian M. Thornton.

  • Erasmus Placement Fellowship for professional training in a foreign country, University of Rijeka, Croatia, 2013 (1,500 €).

  • Visiting Scholar Research Grant at the University of Rijeka, Croatia, 2013 (1,500 €).

  • S.H.A.R.M. "Supporting Human Assets in Research and Mobility" grant for courses abroad: "18th Meeting Of The European Society Of Cognitive Psychology", Budapest, Hungary, 2013 (~700).

  • S.H.A.R.M. "Supporting Human Assets in Research and Mobility" grant for courses abroad: "9th ENYSSP Workshop", Gothenburg, Sweden, 2013 (~500).

  • S.H.A.R.M. "Supporting Human Assets in Research and Mobility" grant for courses abroad: "8th ENYSSP Workshop", Kosice, Slovak Republic, 2012 (~500).

  • PhD Scholarship, School in Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy, 2011-2014 (~49,000 €).

  • Research Scholarship on doping prevention in young athletes, University of Trieste, Italy, 2010 (7,680 €).

Professional esteem indicators

Frontiers in Psychology (review editor – section Cognitive Science)

Frontiers in Sport and Active Living (review editor - section Movement Science and Sport Psychology)

Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience

Frontiers in Neuroscience

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Psychological Research

Acta Psychologica


The Open Psychology Journal

Psihologija (Serbian Psychological Association)

European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP)

PhD thesis reviewer (University of Trieste)

SAGE book (Sensation and Perception, new edition, Harris, J. & Smith, J.)

Memberships of external commitees and societies

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
  • 41st European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) – member of the scientific committee
  • Experimental Psychology Society (EPS)
Valter Prpic

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