Melissa Libertus

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Research Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center


Education and Training

PhD, Duke University

Research Interests

  • Neural and behavioral basis of numerical cognition
  • Development of quantitative understanding
  • Developmental cognitive neuroscience
  • Individual differences in math achievement
  • Relationship between working memory, attention, and mathematical abilities
  • Developmental dyscalculia
  • Interventions for math difficulties

Cognitive Neuroscience Community & Family-based Learning Developmental Neuroscience Imaging Methods Learning & Memory Numerical Cognition Socio-cultural Factors

Related Research Areas

Cognitive & Neural Foundations of Learning Developmental Processes and Outcomes STEM

Recent Publications

Leyva, D., Libertus, M.E., & McGregor, R. (2021) Relations between subdomains of home math activities and corresponding math skills in 4-year-old children. Education Sciences. 

Elliott, L., Silver, A.M., Imbeah, A., & Libertus, M. (2021). Actions may speak louder than words: Comparing methods of assessing children’s spontaneous focusing on number. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 

Elliott, L., Silver, A.M., Imbeah, A., & Libertus, M. (2021) "Actions may speak louder than words: Comparing methods of assessing children’s spontaneous focusing on number." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.  

Silver, A. M., Elliott, L., & Libertus, M. E. (2021). Parental math input is not uniformly beneficial for young children: The moderating role of inhibitory control. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Möhring, W., Ribner, A.D., Segerer, R., Libertus, M., Kahl, T., Troesch, L.M., & Grob, A. (2021). Developmental trajectories of children's spatial skills: Influencing variables and associations with later mathematical thinking. Learning and Instruction, 75.

Melissa's Google Scholar profile

News and Awards

Melissa Libertus, LRDC Research Scientist, was the focus of the March 2 Institute for Learning's newsletter, answering questions on numeracy and math sense in young children.

March 2, 2021


Jennifer Russell, Professor, Education, and Melissa Libertus, Associate Professor, Psychology were quoted in a February 19 NPR article “Why Kindergarten? Pandemic Disruption Forces Big Questions About U.S. Education System.”

February 19, 2021


Melissa Libertus, Associate Professor, Psychology, is interviewed for the October 22, 2020, Inverse article "Brain Study Reveals How Much of Math Ability is Genetic." Inverse is a digital media company covering topics such as technology, science, and culture for a millennial audience.

October 22, 2020


Kudos to Diana Leyva, Associate Professor, Psychology, and Melissa Libertus, Associate Professor, Psychology for receiving an LRDC 2020 internal grant for their research on “Personalizing Family Routines to Support Three-Year-Olds’ Math Skills.”

May 15, 2020

Melissa Libertus has been elected to the board of the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society.

January 6, 2020


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