Human Neuroscience Lab

The Human Neuroscience Lab (LNH) focuses its work on the recording and analysis of electroencephalographic activity (qEEG, ERPs) to study the neural activity associated with certain situations, and stimulating contexts in different populations. Also, one of the hallmarks of the laboratory is the design of cognitive and perceptive tasks to assess any cerebral function in humans, from memory to language, and including perception, attention or emotions.

The use of this type of technologies, along with the synergy that is the fruit of collaboration between various disciplines, makes possible scientific production of international excellence geared to transferring these results with social impact.

Related Lines of Research
Processes of learning and its role in reading and writing

Description of the line of research:

This project aims to research learning processes, both implicit and explicit. Also, it tries to discover the role of these processes in reading and writing, and especially in the learning of these skills.

Various studies suggest that certain non-strategic processes, like the implicit learning of sequences, have an important role in learning reading and writing. In spite of this, implicit learning is an under-investigated area, understood as a phenomenon in itself and as a process that underpins reading and writing.

For this reason, the project will research learning as a phenomenon of interest, while also searching for links with reading/writing processes. In this respect, the project will include the work of Arciuli and Simpson (2011a; 2012a).

The project will also directly consider other  less researched aspects of reading in Spanish, like prosody, in both children (Calet, Gutiérrez-Palma, Simpson, González-Trujillo, and Defior, 2015), as well as in adults (Calet, Dumitrache, and Simpson, 2015; Dumitrache, Calet,and Simpson, 2015).

As another parallel line of research, the project will adapt a computational model of writing developed in Greek into Spanish (Katidioti, Simpson, and Protopapas, 2012).
In all cases, the project will contribute to our scientific understanding of a phenomenon of implicit learning, and of how reading and writing develop in children, and how these capabilities can diminish in the elderly. This knowledge will allow us to refine psycho-cognitive models of reading and writing.

The project will be in collaboration with research teams in Spain (Granada and Oviedo) and abroad (Australia), and the results will be published in international journals indexed in the JCR.

Specific Objectives

  • To advance in scientific knowledge on implicit learning.
  • To explore the learning role implicit in reading and writing, especially in Spanish.
  • To advance scientific knowledge about the relationship between implicit learning and other forms of learning.
  • To explore the trajectory of the development of prosody in Spanish-speaking children.
  • To explore the social effects of the decline in language of elderly Spanish-speakers.
  • To develop a computational model of reading and writing processes in Spanish.

The Research Team:

Head: Ian Craig Simpson (Loyola University Andalusia)

Research Team:

  • Cristina Dumitrache  (University of Granada)
  • Nuria Calet (University of Granada)
  • Fernando Cuetos Vega (University of Oviedo)
  • Paz Suarez-Coalla (University of Oviedo)
  • Joanne Arciuli (University of Sydney)
Memory, language and cognition

Description of the line of research:

This is a study of the autobiographic memoirs of adolescents with respect to affective-sexual relationships where there had been violence. It is a study of the role that experience and  language play in the encoding, storage and retrieval of these memories, as well as in their potential reconstruction.

The general objective:

Eric Kandel (2006) explains that we are who we are through what we learn and what we remember. From social learning about the attraction to violence (Gómez, 2015) as well as the malleable nature of autobiographic memory (Conway2005), our line of research examines the possibility of transforming the autobiographic memory of adolescents regarding their affective-sexual relationships where there had been some type of violence, through interventions of socialization to prevent gender violence.

Since memory is the axis of cognitive schemata, this change in what is remembered – especially passing from attraction to rejection – is essential to facilitate the subsequent choice of affective relations free of violence, passionate and healthy and that promote human excellence in all its dimensions. We wish to contribute scientifically to that goal of human development. This research program is developed within the framework of the Community of Researchers in Excellence for All (CREA), with national and international researchers. The line is affiliated with the Human Neuroscience Lab (HNL) of Loyola University Andalusia.

Specific Objectives:

  • To advance in scientific knowledge about autobiographic memory, in particular concerning the affective domain, including its neural correlates (“language of desire”) in the reconstruction of autobiographic memory on affective-sexual types of violence.
  • To advance scientific knowledge about the relationship between memory, cognition and language, both from a cognitive psychological point of view as well as from one of neuroscience.
  • Examine, through techniques like EEG, potential changes in brain activity with respect to the function of recovering autobiographic memories of violent types of affective-sexual relationships through preventive socialization programs regarding gender violence.
  • Make progress in the combined use of methods and techniques characteristic of affective psychology in order to study autobiographic memory.
  • The scientific, social and political impact of the research undertaken.

Research Team:

Head: Sandra Racionero Plaza (Loyola University Andalusia)

Research Team of Loyola University Andalusia:

  • Diego Gómez Baya (Loyola University Andalusia)
  • Joaquín Ibáñez (Loyola University Andalusia)

External research team:

  • Lídia Puigvert (University of Cambridge)
  • Roseli Rodigues de Mello (Universidad e Federal de São Carlos, Brazil)
  • Elena Duque (University of Girona)
  • Carmen Elboj (University of Zaragoza)
  • Tinka Schubert (University of Barcelona)
Psychobiological Analysis of cognitive deterioration in adults

Description of the line of research:

Precise and multidisciplinary evaluation (supported on clinical, neuropsychological and electrophysiological tools and techniques of  Neuroimagen) of cognitive deterioration and of the effects of rehabilitation and stimulation in adult patients with diverse pathologies (especially Multiple Sclerosis, Acquired Brain damage and adult ADHD).

General Objective:

This line of research aims to generate not only basic and applied scientific knowledge, but also techniques that will be valid for the daily clinical practice of diverse professionals and health centers who work with patients with cognitive impairment. Also, this line of research focuses its interest on researching physiological markers of cognitive impairment and their functional recuperation over time (longitudinal studies with techniques studying brain activity).

Specific Objectives:

To advance the scientific understanding of cognitive impairment and its biological basis in various pathologies.
To advance scientific knowledge about the effects of rehabilitation and different existing stimulation techniques, with a multidisciplinary perspective in various pathologies.
To explore the usefulness, effectiveness and validity of different techniques in the study of brain activity (EE;fMRI, etc.) to evaluate cognitive impairment in various pathologies.

Research team:

Head: Alejandro Galvao Carmona (Loyola University Andalusia)

Research team:

  • Milagrosa Sánchez Martín (Loyola University Andalusia)
  • Joaquín Ibáñez (Universidad Loyola Andalucía)

Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía. Córdoba (España):

  • Dr. Fernando Sánchez López (Coordinator of the Multiple Sclerosis Unit and General Neurologist SAS)
  • Eduardo Agüera Morales (Coordinator of the Dementia Unit and General Neurologist SAS)
  • Carmen Bahamonde Román (General Neurologist SAS)
  • Roberto Valverde Moyano (General Neurologist SAS)
  • Cristina Conde Gavilán (Neuropsychologist and coordinator of the Neuropsychology section)
  • Ana Jover Sánchez (Neuropsychologist)
  • María de los Ángeles Peña Toledo (Nurse and coordinator of clinical trials)

Service of Neuro-rehabilitation and Brain Damage in NISA Hospitals, Spain:

  • Dr. Enrique Noé Sebastián (Neurologist and Scientific Director)
  • Dr. Roberto Llorens Rodríguez ( Research Associate)

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlín (Germany):

  • Dr. Andrés H Neuhaus (Main Researcher)

Human Psychophysiology Unit. Departament of Experimental Psychology. University of Seville. Seville (Spain):

  • Dr. Manuel Vázquez Marrufo (Main Researcher)

Center of Biomedical Technology (CTB), Universidad Politécnica of Madrid, Madrid, Spain:

  • Dr. Javier J. González Rosa (Marie Curie Researcher)
Multisensory stimulation for altering body and space perception, emotion and motor behavior

Research line description
How we perceive our own body and the space and events around is influenced by the sensory information we continously receive. These perceptions of body and space impact on emotional, social, and motor functioning. Neuroscientific studies have shown that people can experience having a different body and being in a different environment through the use of specially designed sensory feedback. This research line focuses on studying which types of sensory feedbacks are optimum to provoke such experiences, as well as understanding their interaction with emotion and behaviour. At the intersection between the fields of neuroscience and human-computer interaction (HCI), this research line is affiliated to the Human Neuroscience Lab (HNL) at Universidad Loyola Andalucía.

General objectives
The main aim is to make a positive impact on the emotional and physical health of people, including those persons with body perception distortions. With this aim, the two general research objectives are: on the one hand, to understand the effects of sensory feedback, specially the largely unexplored effects of sound, in shaping body and space representations; and on the other hand, to investigate the interaction between these representations, and people’s emotion and behaviour. These objectives are being achieved by conducting experimental studies that combine self-report, psychophysical and psychophysiological techniques. In addition, wearable prototypes are being iteratively designed and developed to enable a systematic study of novel applications that enhance people’s mental representations of their own physical appearance, physical capabilities and self-efficacy.

Specific objectives

  • To conduct an in-depth investigation of sensory-driven alterations of mental body and space representations
  • To conduct an in-depth investigation of the interaction between mental body-representations, emotion and action patterns
  • To design wearable devices integrating body sensing and sensory feedback technology that change body and space representations, motor behaviour and emotion
  • To study the feasibility of using these technologies as treatment or self-management tools to support emotional and physical health in clinical and non-clinical populations
  • To disseminate the conducted research in national and international contexts, linking it to national and international key research priorities and programmes

The research team

  • Dr. Ana Tajadura-Jiménez (Universidad Loyola Andalucía)

Research Team of Universidad Loyola Andalucía:

  • Dr. Francisco José Cuadrado Méndez
  • Dr. Alejandro Galvao Carmona
  • Dr. Milagrosa Sánchez Martín
  • Dr. Diego Gómez Baya
  • Dr. Joaquín Ibañez Alfonso

External research team:

  • Prof Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze (University College London, UK)
  • Dr. Torsten Marquardt (University College London, UK)
  • Dr. David Swapp (University College London, UK)
  • Aneesha Singh (University College London, UK)
  • Joseph Newbold  (University College London, UK)
  • Dr. Helen Cohen (University College London & Stanmore Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, UK)
  • Dr. Matt Thornton (University College London & Stanmore Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, UK)
  • Dr. Ophelia Deroy (School of Advanced Study, UK)
  • Dr. Merle Fairhurst (School of Advanced Study, UK)
  • Dr. Alisa Mandrigin (University of Warwick, UK)
  • Prof. Frédéric Bevilacqua (IRCAM-CNRS-UPMC, France)
  • Dr. Aleksander Väljamäe (Tallinn University, Estonia)
  • Dr. Norimichi Kitagawa (NTT Communication Science Lab, Japan)
  • Dr. Tomohisa Asai (NTT Communication Science Lab, Japan)
  • Dr. Toshitaka Kimura (NTT Communication Science Lab, Japan)
  • Prof. Mel Slater (Universidad de Barcelona & University College London)
  • Domna Banakou (Universidad de Barcelona)
  • Prof. Borda Más (Universidad de Sevilla)
  • Dr. Martín Borrás (FPCEE & FCS Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull)

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