Dr Hiwet Mariam Costa

Lecturer in Psychology

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology


Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition

Hiwet is a lecturer in psychology and her research interests include child development, mathematical cognition and working memory.


The central aim of Hiwet's research is the investigation of domain-specific and domain-general precursors of school learning. She has specifically focused her projects on the investigation of the effectiveness of working memory and numeracy intervention programs for the prevention of learning difficulties in preschool years. Recently Hiwet has started to work in the field of special needs exploring the effectiveness of a working memory intervention program she has designed, on children with Down’s Syndrome.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Research interests

  • Working memory and learning
  • Foundation of mathematical learning
  • Cognitive training programs


Hiwet teaches on a number of psychology modules including:

  • RTP
  • Psychology project
  • Language & thought
  • Issues in scientific research
  • Neuropsychology


  • PhD, Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences, University of Trieste
  • MSc, Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Trieste, Department of Psychology
  • BSc, Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Trieste, Department of Psychology

Selected recent publications

Van Herwegen, J., Costa H.M. & Passolunghi M.C. (submitted). Improving number abilities in preschoolers: PLUS

Passolunghi M. C., & Costa H. M. (2016). Working memory and early numeracy training in preschool children. Child Neuropsychology, 22(1), 81-98. doi: 10.1080/09297049.2014.971726

Costa, H. M., Purser, H. R. M., & Passolunghi, M. C. (2015). Improving working memory abilities in individuals with Down syndrome: a treatment case study. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1331. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01331