Neuropsychology, cognitive and development neuroscience

Neuropsychology, cognitive and development neuroscience

  • Neuropsychology

    Neuropsychology

    Coordinator: Maria Mataró

    Neuropsychology implies a clinical application of this knowledge, because it studies how brain injuries or disorders affect cognitive functions and behaviour. Research groups working in this area analyse changes in cognition associated with aging and degenerative illness, as well as the mechanisms of brain reorganization after a traumatic brain injury. We aim to investigate how cognitive functions can be improved in patients with mild cognitive impairment using non-invasive brain stimulated techniques. Also, we study the effects of cerebrovascular diseases and the neurobiological mechanisms of neuroprotective interventions, like exercise and cognitive training. Other research lines from this area focus on the differences in central nervous system function between normal-weight and obese people, as well as the coexistence of substance use disorders and severe mental disorders. In addition, we analyse several learning disorders, for instance dyslexia or nonverbal learning disability. Also, we work with patients suffering from cerebral palsy and we study the major impacts in cognitive functions. In these studies we use neuroimaging techniques, genetic studies and cognitive tests.

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  • Cognitive neuroscience

    Cognitive neuroscience

    Coordinator: Carles Escera

    Cognitive neuroscience studies the neurobiological substrates underlying cognition and aims to unravel the neural circuits implied in mental processes like perception, attention, working memory and learning. Researchers of this area focus their work on the comprehension of brain mechanisms of auditory perception and musical processing, and the relation with emotions. We are interested in understanding the neural mechanisms that support predictive processing and their effects on perception, and how the formulated predictions influence the interpretation of our environment. We also study the calculation strategies used to solve arithmetic problems, and the difficulties that math-anxious individuals face when solving numerical problems. In these studies we use electrophysiological techniques (for instance electroencephalogram and magnetoencephalography) and neuroimaging techniques, like magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • Developmental neurosience

    Developmental neurosience

    Coordinator: Laura Bosch

    We study the cognitive processes related with language learning, both in babies and in adults learning a foreign language. We also analyse the neural processes underlying the episodic memory, in order to understand how experiences are encoded, consolidated and later retrieved. Besides, another goal of our research is the study of the neural mechanisms involved in reward processing, for instance those mechanisms explaining why we enjoy music.

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