hero image
Michael Figuccio - Farmingdale State College. Farmingdale, NY, US

Michael Figuccio Michael Figuccio

Assistant Professor of Psychology | Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale, NY, UNITED STATES

Dr. Figuccio's teaching interests include child development, atypical development, physiological psychology, and introductory psychology.


Dr. Michael Figuccio is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Farmingdale State College. Mike earned his PhD in Psychology from Boston University’s Brain, Behavior, and Cognition program.

Mike completed graduate training in the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he utilized functional magnetic resonance and diffusion-weighted imaging. His research explores brain and behavioral predictors of reading development in typically developing and children at-risk of developmental dyslexia. Mike has presented his research at domestic and international conferences, and was awarded the Nelson Butters Award by the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society.

Mike’s teaching interests include child development, atypical development, physiological psychology, and introductory psychology.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Child Development

Developmental Dyslexia

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Industry Expertise (2)



Accomplishments (2)

Nelson Butters Award (professional)

Presented by Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society for best poster.

Teaching Fellow of the Year (professional)

Presented by Boston University's Psychological and Brain Sciences Department for best Teaching Fellow.

Education (4)

Boston University: BS, Human Physiology 2011

Boston University: BA, Psychology 2011

Boston University: MA, Psychology 2012

Boston University: PhD, Psychology 2016


Affiliations (5)

  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Reading
  • Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  • Psi Chi
  • Sigma Alpha Lambda

Languages (1)

  • English

Event Appearances (4)

What makes someone a good reader?

Eleanor Fapohunda Colloquium Series  Farmingdale State College

White matter connectivity of the corpus callosum assessed in preschoolers predicts reading fluency in school-age children.

Society for Research in Child Development 2017 Biennial Meeting  Austin, TX

Brain and behavioral longitudinal studies of reading: a search for protective factors

23rd Society for the Scientific Study of Reading Meeting  Porto, Portugal

Infant white matter microstructure predicts preschool pre-reading skills in children with and without a familial risk of developmental dyslexia.

23rd Society for the Scientific Study of Reading Meeting  Porto, Portugal



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader

Research Grants (2)

Summer Research Award

Farmingdale State College $5,000

Summer Research Award

Swimming and Water Safety Grant

Autism Speaks $4,000

Swimming and Water Safety Grant

Published Articles (3)

Predicting developmental dyslexia: a brief review of genetics, language, and the brain. Journal of Childhood & Developmental Disorders.

M. J. Figuccio

Learning to read is an essential life skill, yet many children struggle and may even fail to learn to read.
Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a specific learning disorder characterized by deficits in reading and reading-related tasks.

Even though early intervention is crucial for successful remediation, many children do not receive a diagnosis until second grade or later. Research has shown high heritability of DD. Additionally, a link has been established between early language abilities and the development of reading skills. Moreover, individuals with DD display differences in neural structures implicated in reading even prior to learning to read compared to their typically developing peers. The aim of this review is to identify genetic, language, and brain predictors of reading.

Identifying brain and behavioral predictors of language and reading development in typically developing and at-risk children ProQuest

M. J. Figuccio

Even though learning to read is an essential skill in a young child’s life, a significant percentage of children struggle and ultimately are diagnosed with developmental dyslexia (DD). Despite ample research indicating early intervention is the gold standard of care, many children do not receive a diagnosis of DD until second or third grade. The aim of this dissertation is to identify brain and behavioral predictors of DD such that diagnosis may be made at a time when intervention is most effective.

Investigating the neural correlates of voice versus speech-sound directed information in pre-school children PloS one

M. J. Figuccio

Studies in sleeping newborns and infants propose that the superior temporal sulcus is involved in speech processing soon after birth. Speech processing also implicitly requires the analysis of the human voice, which conveys both linguistic and extralinguistic
information. However, due to technical and practical challenges when neuroimaging young children, evidence of neural correlates of speech and/or voiceprocessing in toddlers and young children remains scarce. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 20 typically developing preschool children (average age 55.8 y; range 5.2–6.8 y) to investigate brain activation during judgments about vocal identity versus the initial speech sound of
spoken object words. FMRI results reveal common brain regions responsible for voice-specific and speech-sound specific processing of spoken object words including bilateral primary and secondary language areas of the brain. Contrasting voice-specific with speech-sound specific processing predominantly activates the anterior part of the right-hemispheric superior temporal sulcus. Furthermore, the
right STS is functionally correlated with left-hemispheric temporal and righthemispheric prefrontal regions. This finding underlines the importance of the right
superior temporal sulcus as a temporal voice area and indicates that this brain
region is specialized, and functions similarly to adults by the age of five. We thus
extend previous knowledge of voice-specific regions and their functional
connections to the young brain which may further our understanding of the
neuronal mechanism of speech-specific processing in children with developmental
disorders, such as autism or specific language impairments.

Courses (4)

Introduction to Psychology

This course is designed to present basic psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Core topics include methods of psychological research, the biological bases of behavior, principles of learning, memory and cognition, personality, and psychopathology. Other selected topics to be covered would include the following: motivation and emotion, life-span development, social psychology, health psychology, sensation and perception, intelligence, human sexuality, statistics, and altered states of consciousness.

view more

Child Development

In this course the student will explore human development from preconception through the end of childhood. Course material will include historical and modern concepts of attitudes towards children, theories and models of child development, research methods in the study of children, genetics, prenatal development and influence, pregnancy, and birth. Within each age range the emphasis will be on factors influencing the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of the child. Developmental disorders, both physical and psychological, will also be explored

view more

Statistics for Psychology

This course will introduce students to the basic descriptive and inferential statistics used in the behavioral and social sciences. Topics will include the organization of data, measures of central tendency and variability, correlation and regression, hypothesis testing, and various parametric and nonparametric tests of significance including t-tests, ANOVA, and chi-square analysis. Students will learn the interconnections between theory, research methods, and statistical techniques in order to use statistics to analyze experimental data and reach objective conclusions regarding research questions in the social sciences. The course will also provide an introduction to using statistical software for data summarization, presentation and analysis.

view more

Atypical Development

In this course students will explore developmental deviations that result in disorders of childhood focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders (intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and specific learning disorder) and psychopathology (anxiety, mood, and conduct disorders). Developmental theories will be utilized to analyze disorders at the genetic, brain, behavioral, and cognitive levels. Emphasis will be placed on examining neurobiological and environmental factors contributing to disorders of childhood. The final portion of the course will focus on how atypical development may contribute to our understanding of typical development

view more