Alethia de la Fuente

Alethia de la Fuente
National Scientific and Technical Research Council | conicet · COCUCO-DF

Biochemistry | M. Sc in Medical Sciences | PhD Applied science and engenieering

About

46
Publications
9,392
Reads
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465
Citations
Introduction
My research program examines how consciousness is fulfilled with content. A particular focus of my program is the intersection between the physiological and cognitive levels that support environment concept stabilization. Using tools from computational cognitive neuroscience, I study the impact of psychedelic drugs on conscious subjective experience and adolescent behavioral stabilization.
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - April 2017
Instituto de Neurología Cognitiva
Position
  • Project Manager
November 2011 - November 2014
Centro Uruguayo de Imagenología Molecular
Position
  • Consultant
Education
April 2018 - April 2022
IFIBA-DF-UBA COCUCO
Field of study
  • Cognitive development, social cognition, adolescence, vulnerability, drug use
August 2013 - September 2020
Universidad de la República de Uruguay Facultad de Medicina
Field of study
  • Kinetic modeling of PET images
March 2007 - March 2012
Faculty of Science, University of the Republic, Uruguay
Field of study
  • complex networks analysis, functional brain imaging

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
Contemporary neurocognitive models of drug addiction have associated this condition with changes in interoception —namely, the sensing and processing of body signals that fulfill homeostatic functions relevant for the onset and maintenance of addictive behavior. However, most previous evidence is inconsistent, behaviorally unspecific, and virtually...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Background Widespread commercialization of cannabis has led to the introduction of brand names based on users’ subjective experience of psychological effects and flavors, but this process has occurred in the absence of agreed standards. The objective of this work was to leverage information extracted from large databases to evaluate the co...
Article
Full-text available
Coca paste is the most popular form of smoked cocaine (SC) in Latin America and also the most widespread among adolescents in vulnerable sectors of society, thus representing a significant public health concern. Despite evidence suggesting that abnormal executive-attention function is predictive of addiction to stimulant drugs, no study to date has...
Article
In cognitive neurosciences, fundamental principles of mental processes and functional brain organization have been established with highly controlled tasks and testing environments. Recent technical advances allowed the investigation of these functions and their brain mechanisms in naturalistic settings. The diversity in those approaches have been...
Article
Full-text available
Dissipative systems evolve in the preferred temporal direction indicated by the thermodynamic arrow of time. The fundamental nature of this temporal asymmetry led us to hypothesize its presence in the neural activity evoked by conscious perception of the physical world, and thus its covariance with the level of conscious awareness. We implemented a...
Article
Full-text available
The use of low sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics (“microdosing”) has gained popularity in recent years. Although anecdotal reports claim multiple benefits associated with this practice, the lack of placebo-controlled studies severely limits our knowledge of microdosing and its effects. Moreover, research conducted in standard laboratory settings...
Preprint
Adolescence is a stage of development characterized by neurodevelopmental specialization of cognitive processes. In particular, working memory continues to improve through adolescence, with increases in response accuracy and decreases in response latency continuing well into the twenties. Human electroencephalogram (EEG) studies indicate that gamma...
Preprint
It has been proposed that both conscious and unconscious perception are associated with a feedforward sweep of oscillatory activity in the gamma band (>40 Hz), while conscious perception also requires recurrent feedback via beta band (~20 Hz) oscillations. To investigate the causal relationship between these oscillations and (un)conscious visual pe...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Serotonergic psychedelics are being studied as novel treatments for mental health disorders and as facilitators of improved well-being, mental function, and creativity. Recent studies have found mixed results concerning the effects of low doses of psychedelics ("microdosing") on these domains. However, microdosing is generally investiga...
Preprint
Full-text available
Serotonergic psychedelics are being studied as novel treatments for mental health disorders and as facilitators of improved well-being, mental function and creativity. Recent studies have found mixed results concerning the effects of low doses of psychedelics (microdosing) on these domains. However, microdosing is generally investigated using instr...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of low sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelics (microdosing) has gained popularity in recent years. Although anecdotal reports claim multiple benefits associated with this practice, the lack of placebo-controlled studies limits our knowledge of microdosing and its effects. Moreover, research conducted in laboratory settings might fail to c...
Poster
Full-text available
Even though the fundamental laws of physics are the same when the direction of time is inverted, dissipative systems evolve in the preferred temporal direction indicated by the thermodynamic arrow of time. The fundamental nature of this temporal asymmetry led us to hypothesize its presence in the neural activity evoked by conscious perception of th...
Article
Full-text available
N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a classic psychedelic capable of inducing short-lasting but profound changes in consciousness. As with other psychedelics, the experience induced by DMT strongly depends upon contextual factors, yet the neurobiological determinants of this variability remain unknown. The present study investigated changes in neural o...
Poster
Full-text available
Early onset consumption of coca paste associated with executive-attention vulnerability markers linked to caudate-frontal structural and functional abnormalities
Preprint
Full-text available
Even though the fundamental laws of physics are the same when the direction of time is inverted, dissipative systems evolve in the preferred temporal direction indicated by the thermodynamic arrow of time. The fundamental nature of this temporal asymmetry led us to hypothesize its presence in the neural activity evoked by conscious perception of th...
Article
Reduced empathic abilities are frequently observed in drug abusers. These deficits may compromise interpersonal interactions and contribute to diminished social functioning. However, previous evidence regarding empathy and addiction is behaviorally unspecific and virtually null in terms of their brain structural or functional correlates. Moreover,...
Preprint
Full-text available
N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a classic psychedelic capable of inducing short-lasting but profound changes in consciousness. As with other psychedelics, the experience induced by DMT strongly depends upon contextual factors, yet the neurobiological determinants of this variability remain unknown. We combined wireless electroencephalography and so...
Article
Full-text available
Background: N,N-dimethyltryptamine is a short-acting psychedelic tryptamine found naturally in many plants and animals. Few studies to date have addressed the neural and psychological effects of N,N-dimethyltryptamine alone, either administered intravenously or inhaled in freebase form, and none have been conducted in natural settings. Aims: Our...
Preprint
Full-text available
In cognitive neurosciences, fundamental principles of mental processes and functional brain organization have been established with highly controlled tasks and testing environments. Recent technical advances allowed to investigate those functions and their brain mechanisms in naturalistic settings. The diversity in those approaches has been recentl...
Poster
Rationale, despite evidence that the route of administration impacts on short and long-term effects of cocaine consumption, the neurophysiological basis remains controversial. Given that cocaine affects executive and reward system, clarification of neurophysiological basis related to administration route differential profiles, particularly involvin...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Neurological nosology, based on categorical systems, has largely ignored dimensional aspects of neurocognitive impairments. Transdiagnostic dimensional approaches of interoception (the sensing of visceral signals) may improve the descriptions of cross-pathological symptoms at behavioral, electrophysiological, and anatomical levels. Alte...
Presentation
Cocaine is a dopamine (DA) reuptake inhibitor that can be smoked (SC) or insufflated (IC), which present different pharmacokinetics and behavioral pattern of consumption. Our work has shown that the administration route can drive interoceptive differences in consumers, involving insular adaptations. And drive different neuropsychological features,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a short acting psychedelic tryptamine found naturally in many plants and animals. Few studies to date addressed the neural and psychological effects of DMT alone, either administered intravenously or inhaled in freebase form, and none conducted in natural settings. Aims Our primary aim was to study the ac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: There is growing evidence linking cocaine consumption with a broad spectrum of neurocognitive deficits. Despite of evidence suggesting that the route of administration should be taken into account to assess the short and long term effects of cocaine consumption, to our knowledge no study to date has characterized clinically relevant neu...
Article
Full-text available
Interoception (the sensing of inner-body signals) is a multi-faceted construct with major relevance for basic and clinical neuroscience research. However, the neurocognitive signatures of this domain (cutting across behavioral, electrophysiological, and fMRI connectivity levels) are rarely reported in convergent or systematic fashion. Additionally,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Commercial cannabis strains have multiplied in recent years as a consequence of regional changes in legislation for medicinal and recreational use. The lack of a standardized system to label plants and seeds hinders the consistent identification of particular strains with their elicited psychoactive effects. We analyzed a large publicly available d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Commercially available cannabis strains have multiplied in recent years as a consequence of regional changes in legislation for medicinal and recreational use. Lack of a standardized system to label plants and seeds hinders the consistent identification of particular strains with their elicited psychoactive effects. The objective of this...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives: Neurocognitive plasticity is critical for maturation throughout adolescence. However, these adaptive processes also increase vulnerability for developing addictions. The connection between plasticity and vulnerability for addictions is not fully known. Smoked cocaine (SC) is the earliest intermediate product of cocaine hydrochloride (CC...
Poster
Full-text available
Over eight hundred cannabis strains characterized by the relationship between their subjective effects, perceptual profiles, and chemical compositions Commercial cannabis strains have multiplied in recent years due to regional changes in legislation for medicinal and recreational use. The lack of standardized systems to label plants and seeds hinde...
Poster
Full-text available
Lophophora williamsii, known as "peyote" in the occidental culture, it is a spineless cactus from the Chihuahuan Desert with hallucinogen properties, which can be explained by the presence of the psychedelic alkaloid mescaline as its main constituent. The amount of diverse alkaloids present in this particular species is remarkably large in comparis...
Article
Biomarkers represent a critical research area in neurodegeneration disease as they can contribute to studying potential disease-modifying agents, fostering timely therapeutic interventions, and alleviating associated financial costs. Functional connectivity (FC) analysis represents a promising approach to identify early biomarkers in specific disea...
Article
Biomarkers represent a critical research area in neurodegeneration disease as they can contribute to studying potential disease-modifying agents, fostering timely therapeutic interventions, and alleviating associated financial costs. Functional connectivity (FC) analysis represents a promising approach to identify early biomarkers in specific disea...
Article
We have read the insightful letter byO’Callaghan andHornberger (2016), wherein they propose a neurocomputa-tional model for recent reports (Mellonietal., 2016;O’Callaghanetal., 2016) of social decision-making impair-ments in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia(bvFTD). To follow up, here we outline a predictive, con-text-sensitive account of...
Article
Interoception is a complex process encompassing multiple dimensions, such as accuracy, learning and awareness. Here, we examined whether each of those dimensions relies on specialized neural regions distributed throughout the vast interoceptive network. To this end, we obtained relevant measures of cardiac interoception in healthy subjects and pati...
Article
View largeDownload slide Social bargaining requires the ability to integrate one’s own preferences with inferences about another’s choices. Melloni et al . investigate the structural correlates, ongoing brain dynamics, and fMRI networks of social negotiation in individuals with neurodegeneration or stroke. A successful self-other integration strat...
Article
Interoception is a complex process encompassing multiple dimensions, such as accuracy, learning, and awareness. Here we examined whether each of those dimensions relies on specialized neural regions distributed throughout the vast interoceptive network. To this end, we obtained relevant measures of cardiac interoception in healthy subjects and pati...
Technical Report
Interoception is a complex process encompassing multiple dimensions, such as accuracy, learning and awareness. Here, we examined whether each of those dimensions relies on specialized neural regions distributed throughout the vast interoceptive network. To this end, we obtained relevant measures of cardiac interoception in healthy subjects and pati...
Article
Interoception is a complex process encompassing multiple dimensions, such as accuracy, learning and awareness. Here, we examined whether each of those dimensions relies on specialized neural regions distributed throughout the vast interoceptive network. To this end, we obtained relevant measures of cardiac interoception in healthy subjects and pati...
Article
Stroke and neurodegeneration cause significant brain damage and cognitive impairment, especially if the insular cortex is compromised. This study explores for the first time whether these 2 causes differentially alter connectivity patterns in the insular cortex. Resting state-functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from patients w...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Evaluate the impact of chronic consumption of paco over the adolescence on brain dynamics in general and the dopaminergic system in particular. Determine by active paradigms, neuropsychological and clinical assessment the cerebral correlates of decision-making, social cognition, interoceptive networks and empathy in consumers. Generate a profile of epigenetic modifications (in blood and saliva). These are potential epigenetic markers related to synaptic plasticity and brain development in areas of altered brain circuits in situations of child abuse or psychiatric illness.