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

Silver, A. M., Elliott, L., Reynvoet, B., Sasanguie, D., & Libertus, M. E. (2022). Teasing apart the unique contributions of cognitive and affective predictors of math performance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.  

Ren, X., Liu, R., Coutanche, M.N. ,Fiez, J.A., & Libertus, M.E. (2022). Numerical estrangement and integration between symbolic and non-symbolic numerical information: Task-dependence and its link to math abilities in adults. Cognition.  

Silver, A. M. & Libertus, M. E. (2022). Environmental influences on mathematics performance in early childhood. Nature Reviews Psychology. 

Bachman, H.J., Miller, P.,  Elliott, L.,  Duong, S.,  Libertus, M., & Votruba Drzal, E. (2022). Associations among socioeconomic status and preschool-aged children’s, number skills, and spatial skills: The role of executive function, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,   Volume 221. 

Elliott, L., Silver, A., Imbeah, A., Libertus, M. (2022). Actions may speak louder than words: Comparing methods of assessing children’s spontaneous focusing on number. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 214, 105301.

Melissa Libertus's Google Scholar profile

News and Awards

Andrew Ribner, Alex Silver, Leanne Elliott, and Melissa Libertus were featured in a LRDC brief, "Parent-child Interaction is Important for Effective Early Math Intervention."

September 14, 2022


Alex Silver, Melissa Libertus, and Leanne Elliot were featured in the March 2022 LRDC Research News article "Studying the Cognitive and Affective Predictors of Math Performance."

January 28, 2022


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


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