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Research Topics

 

Contextual Cues. Recent studies suggest that cognition is a context-dependent process. Our laboratory is interested in studying the cerebral bases of cognition from a ‘situated’ or ’embodied’ perspective by using ecological designs in which contextual cues are crucial. These studies are made with healthy participants and with schizophrenic, bipolar and ADHAD patients.

Feeling your heart: An interoceptive study about cardiac reinnervation and brain activity. The aim of this project is to determine the degree of cardiac reinnervation by using multiple measures of heart-brain and heart-peripheral integration in a population of heart transplanted patients covering from 1 year to 16 years after transplantation. Furthermore, this study aims to address the cardiac and cerebral bases of interoception in the mentioned group of patients. The experimental protocol includes sympathetic, parasympathetic and brain activity measures. Obtaining multiple heart-body integration measures will have a direct application in the clinical description, evaluation and monitoring of these patients. In turn, this project will evaluate the relationship between cardiac and reinnervation interoception capacity.

Integration of Verbal and Non-Verbal Information. Recent findings suggest that language is not detached from other cognitive process such as perception and action. Non-verbal information (e.g., gestures, gaze, body postures and goal-directed motor behaviors), is a powerful source of communication that enables us to accurately interact with our conspecifics in daily life. Our laboratory is interested in studying the coupling between language and sensory-motor systems in healthy participants and in patients with Parkinson and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Decision-making and Semantic Valence Integration. Although decision-making is well studied in the neuropsychiatry field, direct brain markers are not frequently used. Our lab desings and carries out a variety of studies using decision-making paradigms with direct brain measures. Simultaneously, we study the impact of emotion on this process.

Facial Expressions and Social Cues Processing. Social Neuroscience is a relatively recent approach in the Cognitive Neuroscience field. Our lab studies the brain dynamics of multiple socio-affective processes such as empathy, social cues, facial emotions and semantics in healthy subjects and neuropsychiatric patients.

Human Intracranial Recordings and Cognitive Neuroscience. Our lab carries out studies using intracranial recordings in patients with epilepsy in order to get insights into brain correlates underlying conscious activity, language and decision-making processes. This project is in collaboration with Favaloro University, INECO Foundation, the Ramos Mejía Hospital, the University of Buenos Aires and the Cambridge MRC.

If you are a motivated person who wants to begin a Master or a PhD study in Cognitive Neurosciences, please contact us: lpen@ineco.org.ar

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