Dr Elisabetta Versace

Elisabetta Versace

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Queen Mary University of London



Publications of specific relevance to Advanced Robotics


Versace E, Bliss L, Vasas V, Freeland L, Roach R and Ferrè E (2023). A spontaneous gravity prior: Newborn chicks prefer stimuli that move against gravity. Biology Letters  10.1098/rsbl.2022.0502


Versace E, Sgadò P, George J, Loveland JL, Ward J, Thorpe P, Jensen LJ, Spencer KA, Paracchini S and Vallortigara G (2022). Light-induced asymmetries in embryonic retinal gene expression are mediated by the vascular system and extracellular matrix. Scientific Reports  vol. 12, (1) 10.1038/s41598-022-14963-8
Versace E, Gallo V, Xin Z, Abdallah D, Angioi M, Redding E, Ackroyd B and Galvan C (2022). MotionPerfection: An agile tool for the visualisation, analysis, annotation, and record of motor practice. SoftwareX  10.1016/j.softx.2022.101247
Wang C, Benetos E, Versace E and Wang S (2022). Joint Scattering for Automatic Chick Call Recognition. Conference: 30th European Signal Processing Conference (Belgrade, Serbia)  10.23919/eusipco55093.2022.9909738
Josserand M, Rosa-Salva O, Versace E and Lemaire BS (2022). Visual Field Analysis: A reliable method to score left and right eye use using automated tracking. Behavior Research Methods  vol. 54, (4) 1715-1724. 10.3758/s13428-021-01702-6
Szabó E, Chiandetti C, Téglás E, Versace E, Csibra G, Kovács ÁM and Vallortigara G (2022). Young domestic chicks spontaneously represent the absence of objects. eLife  vol. 11, 10.7554/eLife.67208
Versace E, Lonardo L and Huber L (2022). Recognition of rotated objects and cognitive offloading in dogs. iScience  10.1016/j.isci.2022.103820


Lemaire BS, Rucco D, Josserand M, Vallortigara G and Versace E (2021). Stability and individual variability of social attachment in imprinting. Scientific Reports  vol. 11, (1) 10.1038/s41598-021-86989-3
Versace E, Ragusa M, Pallante V and Wang S (2021). Attraction for familiar conspecifics in young chicks (Gallus gallus): an interbreed study. Behavioural Processes  10.1016/j.beproc.2021.104498
Slonina Z, Bonzini AA, Brown J, Wang S, Farkhatdinov I, Althoefer K, Jamone L and Versace E (2021). Using RoboChick to Identify the Behavioral Features Promoting Social Interactions. IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning, ICDL 2021  Conference: 2021 IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL)  10.1109/ICDL49984.2021.9515641
Rosa-Salva O, Mayer U, Versace E, Hébert M, Lemaire BS and Vallortigara G (2021). Sensitive periods for social development: Interactions between predisposed and learned mechanisms. Cognition  vol. 213, 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104552
Pallante V, Rucco D and Versace E (2021). Young chicks quickly lose their spontaneous preference to aggregate with females. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology  vol. 75, (5) 10.1007/s00265-021-03012-5
Lorenzi E, Lemaire BS, Versace E, Matsushima T and Vallortigara G (2021). Resurgence of an inborn attraction for animate objects via thyroid hormone T3. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience  10.3389/fnbeh.2021.675994


Versace E, Damini S and Stancher G (2020). Early preference for face-like stimuli in solitary species as revealed by tortoise hatchlings. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  10.1073/pnas.2011453117
Versace E, Caffini M, Werkhoven Z and de Bivort BL (2020). Individual, but not population asymmetries, are modulated by social environment and genotype in Drosophila melanogaster. Scientific Reports  vol. 10, (1) 10.1038/s41598-020-61410-7
Versace E, Schloetterer C, Hsu S-K, Jaks?ic? AM, Nolte V, Lirakis M, Kofler R and Barghi N (2020). Rapid sex-specific adaptation to high temperature in Drosophila. eLife  10.7554/eLife.53237


Versace E, Ragusa M and Vallortigara G (2019). A transient time window for early predispositions in newborn chicks. Scientific Reports  vol. 9, (1) 10.1038/s41598-019-55255-y
Hebert M, Versace E and Vallortigara G (2019). Inexperienced preys know when to flee or to freeze in front of a threat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA  10.1073/pnas.1915504116
Versace E, Rogge JR, Shelton-May N and Ravignani A (2019). Positional encoding in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Animal Cognition  vol. 22, (5) 825-838. 10.1007/s10071-019-01277-y
Lorenzi E, Pross A, Rosa-Salva O, Versace E, Sgadò P and Vallortigara G (2019). Embryonic exposure to valproic acid affects social predispositions for dynamic cues of animate motion in newly-hatched chicks. Frontiers in Physiology  vol. 10, (APR) 10.3389/fphys.2019.00501


Versace E, Martinho-Truswell A, Kacelnik A and Vallortigara G (2018). Priors in Animal and Artificial Intelligence: Where Does Learning Begin? Trends in Cognitive Sciences  vol. 22, (11) 963-965. 10.1016/j.tics.2018.07.005
Belloni V, Galeazzi A, Bernini G, Mandrioli M, Versace E and Haase A (2018). Corrigendum to “Evolutionary compromises to metabolic toxins: Ammonia and urea tolerance in Drosophila suzukii and Drosophila melanogaster” [Physiol. Behav. 191, 1 July 2018, 146–154] (S0031938418301975) (10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.04.021)). Physiology and Behavior  vol. 194, 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.05.013
rosa-salva O, Fiser J, VERSACE E, Dolci C, Chehaimi S, Santolin C and Vallortigara G (2018). Spontaneous learning of visual structures in domestic chicks. Animals  10.3390/ani8080135
Belloni V, Galeazzi A, Bernini G, Mandrioli M, Versace E and Haase A (2018). Evolutionary compromises to metabolic toxins: Ammonia and urea tolerance in Drosophila suzukii and Drosophila melanogaster. Physiology and Behavior  vol. 191, 146-154. 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.04.021
Sgadò P, Rosa-Salva O, VERSACE E and Vallortigara G (2018). Embryonic Exposure to Valproic Acid Impairs Social Predispositions of Newly-Hatched Chicks. Scientific Reports  10.1038/s41598-018-24202-8
VERSACE E, Damini S, Caffini M and Stancher G (2018). Born to be asocial: Newly-hatched tortoises avoid unfamiliar individuals. Animal Behaviour  10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.02.012
Vallortigara G and Versace E (2018). Filial Imprinting. Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior  10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1989-1


Versace E, Spierings MJ, Caffini M, ten Cate C and Vallortigara G (2017). Spontaneous generalization of abstract multimodal patterns in young domestic chicks. Animal Cognition  vol. 20, (3) 521-529. 10.1007/s10071-017-1079-5
Versace E, Fracasso I, Baldan G, Dalle Zotte A and Vallortigara G (2017). Newborn chicks show inherited variability in early social predispositions for hen-like stimuli. Sci Rep  vol. 7, 10.1038/srep40296


Rogers LJ, Frasnelli E and Versace E (2016). Lateralized antennal control of aggression and sex differences in red mason bees, Osmia bicornis. Sci Rep  vol. 6, 10.1038/srep29411


Versace E, Nolte V, Pandey RV, Tobler R and Schlötterer C (2014). Experimental evolution reveals habitat-specific fitness dynamics among Wolbachia clades in Drosophila melanogaster. Mol Ecol  vol. 23, (4) 802-814. 10.1111/mec.12643


Grants of specific relevance to Advanced Robotics
Generalisation from limited experience: how to solve the problem of induction
Versace E
£294,000 Leverhulme Trust (15-08-2021 - 14-08-2024)
Developmental reprogramming following prenatal acoustic signals
Versace E
£353,000 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (01-12-2018 - 30-11-2022)

Generalisation using sparse data: from animal to artificial systems
Versace E
£65,000 Royal Society Leverhulme Trust fellowship (01-10-2021 - 30-09-2022)
Augmented Feedback to Enhance Motor and Artistic Learning During Social Distancing
Angioi M and Versace E
£269,000 Economic and Social Research Council (01-01-2021 - 30-04-2022)