Christian Agrillo, PhD
phone: +390498277424
fax: +390498276600
Research interests

Animal Cognition
Numerical competence
Brain lateralization
Mate choice
Visual perception

Human Cognition
Numerical competence
Color cognition
Choking under pressure in musicians
Psychobiology of body-mind problem


Agrillo C, Miletto Petrazzini ME, Bisazza A (2016). Brightness illusions in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Journal of Comparative Psychology, in press.

Miletto Petrazzini ME, Agrillo C. (2016). Turning to the larger shoal: are there individual differences in small- and large-quantity discrimination of guppies? Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, online first, doi: 10.1080/03949370.2015.1029011.

Parrish AE, Agrillo C, Perdue B, Beran MJ (2016). The elusive illusion: Do children (Homo sapiens) and capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) see the solitaire illusion? Journal of Child Experimental Psychology, 142, 83-95.

Miletto Petrazzini ME, Lucon-Xiccato T, Agrillo C, Bisazza A (2015). Use of ordinal information by fish. Scientific Reports, 5, 15497; doi: 10.1038/srep15497.

Agrillo C, Piffer L, Bisazza A, Butterworth B (2015). Ratio dependence in small number discrimination is affected by the experimental procedure. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:1649. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01649.

Dadda M, Agrillo C, Bisazza A, Brown C (2015). Laterality enhances numerical skills in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9:285. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00285.

Lucon-Xiccato T, Miletto Petrazzini ME, Agrillo C, Bisazza A (2015). Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) discriminate among two quantities of food items but prioritise item size over total amount. Animal Behaviour, 107, 183-191.

Miletto Petrazzini ME, Agrillo C, Izard, V, Bisazza A (2015). Relative versus absolute numerical representation in fish: Can guppies represent "fourness"? Animal Cognition, 18(5), 1007-1017.

Facco E, Agrillo C, Greyson B (2015). Epistemological implications of Near-Death Experiences and other Non-Ordinary Mental Expressions: moving beyond the concept of Altered State of Consciousness. Medical Hypotheses, 85, 85-93.

Agrillo C, Gori S, Beran MJ (2015). Do rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) perceive illusory motion? Animal Cognition, 18(4), 895-910.

Gori S, Agrillo C, Dadda M, Bisazza A (2014). Do fish perceive illusory motion? Scientific Reports, 4, 6443; doi:10.1038/srep06443.

Agrillo C, Parrish AE, Beran MJ (2014). Do primates see the solitaire illusion differently? A comparative assessment of humans (Homo sapiens), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 128(4), 402-413.

Agrillo C, Bisazza A (2014). Spontaneous versus trained numerical abilities. A comparison between the two main tools to study numerical competence in non-human animals. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 234, 82-91.

Bisazza A, Agrillo C, Lucon-Xiccato T (2014). Extensive training extends numerical abilities of guppies. Animal Cognition, 7(6), 1413-1419.

Agrillo C, Parrish AE, Beran MJ (2014). Do rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) perceive the Zöllner illusion? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(4), 986-994.

Bisazza A, Tagliapietra C, Bertolucci C, Foà A, Agrillo C. (2014). Non-visual numerical discrimination in a blind cavefish (Phreatichthys andruzzii). Journal of Experimental Biology, 217(11), 1902-1909.

Bisazza A, Butterworth B, Piffer L, Bahrami B, Miletto Petrazzini ME, Agrillo C. (2014). Collective enhancement of numerical acuity by meritocratic leadership in fish. Scientific Reports, 4, 4560; doi:10.1038/srep04560.

Agrillo C, Miletto Petrazzini ME, Bisazza A. (2014). Numerical acuity of fish is improved in the presence of moving targets, but only in the subitizing range. Animal Cognition, 17(2), 307-316.

Miletto Petrazzini ME, Agrillo C, Piffer L, Bisazza A (2014). Ontogeny of the capacity to compare discrete quantities in fish. Developmental Psychobiology, 56 (3), 529-536.

Agrillo C, Piffer L & Adriano A. (2013). Individual differences in non-symbolic numerical estimation predict mathematical abilities but contradict ATOM. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 9:26 doi:10.1186/1744-9081-9-26.

Agrillo C, Miletto Petrazzini ME and Dadda M (2013). Illusory patterns are fishy for fish, too. Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 7:137. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00137.

Piffer L, Miletto Petrazzini ME, Agrillo C (2013). Large number discrimination in newborn fish. PLoS ONE, 8(4): e62466.

Agrillo C (2013). One vs. two non-symbolic numerical systems? Looking to the ATOM theory for clues to the mystery. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:73. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00073.

Agrillo C & Beran MJ (2013). Number without language: comparative psychology and the evolution of numerical cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:295. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00295.

Agrillo C & Miletto Petrazzini M (2013). Glimpse of ATOM in non-human species? Frontiers in Psychology, 4:460. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00460

Agrillo,C. (2013). Numerical and arithmetic abilities in non-primate species. In: “Oxford Handbook of Mathematical Cognition”. Editors: Roi Cohen Kadosh e Ann Dowker, Oxford University Press, Oxford (UK).

Agrillo,C (2012). Once upon a time there was complex numerical estimation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:300. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00300.

Agrillo,C., & Piffer,L. (2012). Musicians outperform non-musicians in magnitude estimation: evidence of a common processing mechanism for time, space and numbers. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65 (12), 2321–2332.

Agrillo,C. (2012). Numeri senza linguaggio: il contributo della psicologia animale. CLEUP, Padova.

Agrillo,C., Miletto Petrazzini,M.E., Tagliapietra,C., & Bisazza,A. (2012). Inter-specific differences in numerical abilities among teleost fish. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:483. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00483.

Agrillo,C., Miletto Petrazzini,M.E., Piffer,L., Dadda,M., & Bisazza,A. (2012). A new training procedure for studying discrimination learning in fishes. Behavioural Brain Research, 230, 343-348.

Miletto Petrazzini,M.E., Agrillo,C., PifferL., Dadda,M., & Bisazza, A. (2012). Development and application of a new method to investigate cognition in newborn guppies. Behavioural Brain Research, 233, 443-449.

Facco,E., & Agrillo,C. (2012). Near-death experiences between science and prejudice. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:209. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00209.

Facco,E, & Agrillo,C. (2012). Near-death-like experiences without life-threatening conditions or brain disorders: hypothesis from a case report. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:490. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00490.

Agrillo,C., & Miletto Petrazzini,M.E. (2012). The importance of replication in comparative psychology: the lesson of elephant quantity judgments. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:181. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00181.

Agrillo,C., Piffer,L., Bisazza,A., & Butterworth,B. (2012). Evidence for two numerical systems that are similar in humans and guppies. PLoS ONE, 7(2): e31923

Agrillo,C. & Agrillo,D. (2012). Near-death experiences as a tool for forming a broader comprehension of the link between consciousness and social perception: commentary on Graziano and Kastner (2011). Frontiers in Psychology, 3:6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00006

Piffer,L., Agrillo,C., Hyde,C.D. (2012). Small and large number discrimination in guppies. Animal Cognition, 15: 215–221.

Agrillo,C., Piffer,L., & Bisazza,A. (2011). Number versus continuous quantity in numerosity judgments by fish. Cognition, 119: 281-287.

Agrillo,C. (2011). Near-death experience: Out-of-body and out-of-brain? Review of General Psychology, 15(1), 1-10.

Agrillo,C., Piffer,L., & Bisazza,A. (2010). Large number discrimination by fish. PLoS ONE, 5(12): e15232. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015232.

Bisazza,A., Serena,G., Piffer,L., & Agrillo,C. (2010). Ontogeny of numerical abilities in guppies. PLoS ONE, 5(11): e15516. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015516.

Agrillo,C., Ranpura,A., & Butterworth,B. (2010). Time and numerosity estimation are independent: behavioural evidence for two different systems using a conflict paradigm. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1(2), 96-101.

Dadda,M., Zandonà,E., Agrillo,C., & Bisazza,A. (2009). The costs of hemispheric specialization in a fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 276, 4399-4407.

Dadda,M., Piffer,L., Agrillo,C., & Bisazza,A. (2009). Spontaneous number representation in mosquitofish. Cognition, 112, 343-348.

Agrillo,C. (2009). Il ruolo della direzione dell’attenzione nel fenomeno “choking under pressure”: lo stato dell’arte. Giornale di Psicologia, 3(3), 319-326.

Agrillo,C., Dadda,M., & Bisazza,A. (2009). Escape behaviour elicited by a visual stimulus. A comparison between lateralised and non-lateralised female topminnows. Laterality, 14(3), 300-314.

Agrillo,C., & Roberson,D. (2009). Colour language and colour cognition: Brown and Lenneberg revisited. Visual Cognition, 17(3), 412-430.

Pisa,E.P., & Agrillo,C. (2009). Quantity discrimination in felines: a preliminary investigation of the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus). Journal of Ethology, 27(2), 289-293.

Agrillo,C., Dadda,M., Serena,G., & Bisazza,A. (2009). Use of number by fish. PloS ONE, 4(3), e4786, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004786.

Agrillo,C., & Nelini,C. (2008). Childfree by choice: a review. Journal of Cultural Geography, 25(3), 347-363.

Agrillo,C. (2008). L’evoluzione cerebrale degli ominidi: quando antropologia, paleontologia e psicologia convergono su una domanda. Antrocom: Online Journal of Anthropology, 4(1), 51-58.

Agrillo,C., Dadda,M., Serena,G., & Bisazza,A. (2008). Do fish count? Spontaneous discrimination of quantity in female mosquitofish. Animal Cognition, 11(3), 495-503.

Agrillo,C., Dadda,M., & Serena,G. (2008). Choice of female groups by male mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Ethology, 114(5), 479-488.

Agrillo,C. 2007. Suonare in pubblico. L'esperienza concertistica e i processi neuro cognitivi. Carocci Editore, Roma.

Agrillo,C., & Dadda,M. (2007). Discrimination of the larger shoal in the poeciliid fish Girardinus falcatus. Ethology, Ecology & Evolution, 19(2), 145-157.

Agrillo,C. & Nelini,C. (2007). Figli di una società senza tempo: una lettura sociobiologica del fenomeno childfree. Rivista di Studi Familiari: Famiglia, Interdisciplinarità, Ricerca, 12(1), 124-136.

Agrillo,C., Dadda,M., & Bisazza,A. (2007). Quantity discrimination in female mosquitofish. Animal Cognition, 10, 63-70.

Agrillo,C., Dadda,M., & Bisazza,A. (2006). Sexual harassment influences group choice in female mosquitofish. Ethology, 112, 592-598.

Department of General Psychology - personal page (in Italian)
Suonare in pubblico
RAI report
Corriere della Sera (Italian newspaper)
National Geographic report 2011
National Geographic report 2009
Brain Awareness Week
“Numeri senza linguaggio”