Hiwet Costa- About Us

Hiwet Mariam Costa

Dr Hiwet Mariam Costa has a PhD in educational psychology. She is co-founder of Happy Mind Training, and currently she is part of the content development team at Smartick, an online platform for children to learn and master maths. Her research focuses on the development of cognitive intervention programs for the prevention of learning difficulties in mathematics. Currently, she collaborates with the Numerical Cognition Lab (Univeristy of Malaga) on projects related to assessment and intervention in dyscalculia.


  • PhD, Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences
  • MSc and BSc, Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PR 108732)
  • Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society ID 467718)



  • Álvarez-Montesinos J. A., Costa H. M., & García-Orza J. (2018). What is needed for learning multiplication? The role of basic numerical skills and anxiety. Escritos de Psicologia, 11(3), 103-11. doi: 10.5231/psy.writ.2018.221.
  • Passolunghi M. C., & Costa H. M. (2019). Working Memory and Mathematical Learning. In Fritz, Annemarie, Haase, Vitor Geraldi, Räsänen, Pekka (Eds.), International Handbook of Mathematical Learning Difficulties. ISBN 978-3-319-97148-3.
  • Van Herwegen, J., Costa, H.M., Nicholson, B., & Donlan, C. (2018). Improving number abilities in low achieving preschoolers: symbolic versus non-symbolic training programs. Research in Developmental Disabilities [advance online].
  • Costa, H. M., Nicholson, B., Donlan, C., & Van Herwegen, J. (2018). Low performance on mathematical tasks in preschoolers: the importance of domain‐general and domain‐specific abilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.
  • Van Herwegen J., Costa H.M. & Passolunghi M.C. (2017). Improving Approximate Number Sense Abilities in Preschoolers: PLUS Games. School Psychology Quarterly, 32(4), 497. doi: 10.1037/spq0000191
  • 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


  • Costa H.M. (2017). Number development in Down syndrome: interventions and future avenues. Down Syndrome Research Forum. Hatfield, September 19-20, 2017.
  • Costa H.M. (2017). Working memory training: effects on typical and atypical development. In: Neurodevelopmental Disorders Annual Seminar. London, June 29-30, 2017.
  • Costa H.M. (2016). Preschoolers’ number foundation: how to Improve ANS abilities. Developmental Neurocognition Seminars. Birkbeck University London, June 7, 2016. (invited talk).
  • Costa, H.M., Purser H., & Passolunghi, M.C. (2014). Working memory in individuals with down syndrome: a treatment case study. Proceedings in: 10th European Conference on Psychological Theory and Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Linköping, June 12-14, 2014.
  • Costa H.M. (2013). Working memory interventions and children’s mathematical abilities. Developmental Neurocognition Seminars, Birkbeck University London, February 19, 2013. (invited talk).