Cesar Avila

Cesar Avila
Universitat Jaume I | UJI · Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology

About

202
Publications
72,573
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6,762
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
3108 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500

Publications

Publications (202)
Article
Reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) of personality establishes the punishment sensitivity trait as a source of variation in defensive avoidance/approach behaviors. These individual differences reflect dissimilar sensitivity and reactivity of the fight-flight-freeze and behavioral inhibition systems (FFFS/BIS). The sensitivity to punishment (SP)...
Article
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An important line of research related to the resolution of word problems is the study of the cognitive processes involved when subjects translate problems into the language of algebra. One of the most common errors in problem‐solving is the reversal error (RE), which occurs when students reverse the relationship between two variables when translati...
Article
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Bilingualism has been shown to induce neuroplasticity in the brain, but conflicting evidence regarding its specific effects in grey matter continues to emerge, probably due to methodological differences between studies, as well as approaches that may miss the variability and dynamicity of bilingual experience. In our study, we devised a continuous...
Article
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Background: Working memory (WM) deficits are common in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Computerized cognitive training may enhance WM capabilities but its efficacy in MS patients has not been sufficiently explored. Methods: This study examines the effects of n-back training on cognitive performance and functional connectivity (FC) in 29 MS patie...
Article
Identifying emotional states and explicitly putting them into words, known as affect labeling, reduces amygdala activation. Crucially, bilinguals do not only label emotions in their native language; they sometimes do it in their foreign language as well. However, one's foreign languages are less emotional and more cognitively demanding than one's n...
Article
Structural and functional neuroimaging studies have shown that brain areas associated with fear and anxiety (defensive system areas) are modulated by individual differences in sensitivity to punishment (SP). However, little is known about how SP is related to brain functional connectivity and the factors that modulate this relationship. In this stu...
Article
Working memory training causes functional adaptations in the brain, which include changes in activation and functional connectivity that remain stable over time. Few studies have investigated gray matter (GM) changes after working memory training, and they have produced heterogeneous results without clarifying the stable effects of training. The pr...
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Individual differences in pitch discrimination have been associated with the volume of both the bilateral Heschl’s gyrus and the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, most of these studies used samples composed of individuals with different amounts of musical training. Here, we investigated the relationship between pitch discrimination and i...
Article
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In the original version of the article, the abstract section was missed to be added, and the abstract should read as below.
Article
The Jake Mandell Tone Deaf Test (JMT) is an online measure designed to evaluate pitch discrimination in the normal population. The test has been available online since 2006, but no psychometric data have been published. The present research was designed to provide validity and reliability data for this test. Study 1 was conducted in university stud...
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Current evidence suggests that volitional opening or closing of the eyes modulates brain activity and connectivity. However, how the eye state influences the functional connectivity of the primary visual cortex has been poorly investigated. Using the same scanner, fMRI data from two groups of participants similar in age, sex and educational level w...
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Lifelong bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve (CR) in neurodegenerative diseases as shown by a delay of the age at symptom onset in bilinguals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). However, some studies have failed to show this bilingual advantage, suggesting that it might depend on the type and degree of bi...
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Sensitivity to reward is a personality trait that predisposes a person to several addictive behaviors, including the presence of different risky behaviors that facilitates uncontrolled eating. However, the multifactorial nature of obesity blurs a direct relationship between the two factors. Here, we studied the brain anatomic correlates of the inte...
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The large number of behavioral studies testing whether working memory training improves performance on an untrained task have yielded inconclusive results. Moreover, some studies have investigated the possible neural changes during the performance of untrained tasks after training. Here, we studied the transfer from n-back training to the Paced Aud...
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Brain functional connectivity is supposed to capture personal and lifetime learning experiences and contribute to generating individual differences in cognitive abilities. We tested this possibility using the visual search task as a measure of visual information processing and the functioning of the visual attention control system. Forty-two underg...
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Music processing and right hemispheric language lateralization share a common network in the right auditory cortex and its frontal connections. Given that the development of hemispheric language dominance takes place over several years, this study tested whether musicianship could increase the probability of observing right language dominance in le...
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Background: Evidence from previous studies suggests that bilingualism contributes to cognitive reserve because bilinguals manifest the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) up to 5 years later than monolinguals. Other cross-sectional studies demonstrate that bilinguals show greater amounts of brain atrophy and hypometabolism than monolinguals...
Article
Introduction: Surgical operations in patients with lesions in the temporal lobe may cause deficits in their episodic memory. However, there are no functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) protocols that individually inform about the functionality of the hippocampus. The aim of the present study was to map the functionality of this area by using...
Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with brain network dysfunction. Network-based investigations of brain connectivity have mainly focused on alterations in the strength of connectivity; however, the network breakdown in AD spectrum is a complex scenario in which multiple pathways of connectivity are affected. To integrate connectivity changes t...
Article
Background: Previous investigations show that bilinguals exhibit the first symptoms of dementia 4-5 years later than monolinguals. Therefore, bilingualism has been proposed as a cognitive reserve mechanism. Recent studies have advanced towards an understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying bilingualism's protection against dementia, but none...
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Brain plasticity occurs over the course of the human lifetime. Learning and training modify our neuronal synapses and adapt our brain activity, from priming effects in modal areas to higher-order changes in the association cortex. The current state of the art suggests that learning and training effects might induce large-scale brain connectivity ch...
Article
Structural and functional neuroimaging studies have reported brain alterations in occipitotemporal, temporoparietal, and left frontal areas in dyslexic patients. These areas have been linked to reading skill impairments, due to their involvement in word recognition and processing. However, most of the patients in these studies were speakers of lang...
Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with memory impairment due to alterations in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and the precuneus. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate the effects of AD on the brain networks associated with the hippocampus and precuneus during an encoding memory task. 68 mild cognitive impairment patients (...
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Neurobehavioral effects of cognitive training have become a popular research issue. Specifically, behavioral studies have demonstrated the long-term efficacy of cognitive training of working memory functions, but the neural basis for this training have been studied only at short-term. Using fMRI, we investigate the cerebral changes produced by brie...
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Increasing neuroimaging evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation expertise is related to different functional and structural configurations of the default mode network (DMN), the salience network (SN) and the executive network at rest. However, longitudinal studies observing resting network plasticity effects in brains of novices who started t...
Article
Individual differences in the level of pleasure induced by music have been associated with the response of the striatum and differences in functional connectivity between the striatum and the auditory cortex. In this study, we tested whether individual differences in music reward are related to the structure of the striatum and the ability to discr...
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Background: Studies assessing volumetric sex differences have provided contradictory results. Total intracranial volume (TIV) is a major confounding factor when estimating local volumes of interest (VOIs). We investigated how the number, size, and direction of sex differences in gray matter volume (GMv) vary depending on how TIV variation is stati...
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Background/objective: To explore the effectiveness of a specific working memory (WM) training program in MS patients and healthy controls (HC). Method: 29 MS patients and 29 matched HC were enrolled in the study. MS and HC were randomly split into two groups: nontraining groups (15HC/14 MS) and training groups (14 HC/15 MS). Training groups unde...
Article
We investigated the neural correlates of accented speech processing (ASP) with an fMRI study that overcame prior limitations in this line of research: we preserved intelligibility by using two regional accents that differ in prosody but only mildly in phonetics (Latin American and Castilian Spanish), and we used independent component analysis to id...
Article
Can resting‐state functional connectivity (rs‐FC) detect the impact of learning on the brain in the short term? To test this possibility, we have combined task‐FC and rs‐FC tested before and after a 30‐min visual search training. Forty‐two healthy adults (20 men) divided into no‐contact control and trained groups completed the study. We studied the...
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Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST) proposes a widely used taxonomy of human personality linked to individual differences at both behavioral and neuropsychological levels that describe a predisposition to psychopathology. However, the body of RST research was based on animal findings, and little is known about their anatomical correspondence in...
Article
The behavioral approach system (BAS), based on reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST), is a neurobehavioral system responsible for detecting and promoting motivated behaviors towards appetitive stimuli. Anatomically, the frontostriatal system has been proposed as the core of the BAS, mainly the ventral tegmental area and the ventral striatum and th...
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Introduction: Language is a brain function left-lateralized for the majority of population. However, left-handedness has been associated with a higher probability of presenting atypical (right) dominance for language. It is believed that this effect would be caused by an inter-hemispheric asymmetry in the auditory brain regions. Taking into account...
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Cocaine addicts present reduced activity in the left frontoparietal network, a brain network associated with cognitive control, during the processing of non-drug reward related stimuli (Costumero et al., Addiction Biology 22:479–489, 2015). However, the involvement of this network in drug-related stimuli processing remains unclear. Here, fifteen co...
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Patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) show mild cognitive impairment associated with alterations in attentional and executive networks. There are no studies evaluating the relationship between memory in MHE and structural and functional connectivity (FC) changes in the hippocampal system. This study aimed to evaluate verbal learning an...
Article
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The present study aimed to investigate altered grey matter (GM) and functional connectivity (FC) in deep subcortical areas, such as the thalamus and basal ganglia, and their relationship with cognitive impairment (CI) in multiple sclerosis (MS). Thirty-six patients were neuropsychologically assessed, classified as cognitive preserved (CP) and CI, a...
Poster
Full-text available
Although role of subcortical gray matter (GM) structures such as thalamus and hippocampus in cognitive performance in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients has been previously demonstrated (Schoonheim et al., 2015, González-Torre et al. 2016), influence of basal ganglia has not been fully addressed. Very little is known about the independent contributio...
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Background and aims Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is associated with cognitive alterations and changes in connectivity. We assessed the relationship of the abnormalities of resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) and gray matter (GM) volume with different cognitive alterations and biochemical parameters associated to MHE. Methods Thir...
Data
Gray matter (GM) volume of basal ganglia nuclei and bilateral insula for each group. (DOC)
Data
Diagnostic accuracy of reduction in resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) for detection of MHE. (DOC)
Data
Neuropsychological assessment; Biochemical determinations in blood; Data preprocessing. (DOC)
Data
Diagnostic accuracy of gray matter (GM) volume for detection of MHE. (DOC)
Article
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Background: Reduced information-processing speed (IPS) is a primary cognitive deficit of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The neural efficiency hypothesis describes an inverse relationship between cognitive performance in a task and the amount of cognitive resources devoted to it. Previous studies have shown that the neural efficiency hypothesis...
Article
According to Hickok and Poeppel (2007), the acquisition of new vocabulary rests on the dorsal language pathway connecting auditory and motor areas. The present study tested this hypothesis longitudinally by measuring BOLD signal changes during a verbal repetition task and modulation of resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) in the dorsal str...
Article
Background: Previous studies demonstrated that patients with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) show altered startle reflex responses to alcohol-related stimuli. However, there is little information about the role of these altered responses in the development of AUDs. This study examined the startle reflex response to different visual stimuli and the ro...
Article
There is some evidence that functional connectivity (FC) measures obtained at rest may reflect individual differences in cognitive capabilities. We tested this possibility by using the FAS test as a measure of phonemic fluency. Seed regions of the main brain areas involved in this task were extracted from meta-analysis results (Wagner et al., 2014)...
Article
Background: Previous studies have suggested a relationship between neuroanatomical and neurofunctional hippocampal alterations and episodic memory impairments in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Objective: We examined hippocampus volume and functional connectivity (FC) changes in MS patients with different episodic memory capabilities. Methods...
Article
Full-text available
According to the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory, behavioral studies have found that individuals with stronger reward sensitivity easily detect cues of reward and establish faster associations between instrumental responses and reward. Neuroimaging studies have shown that processing anticipatory cues of reward is accompanied by stronger ventral st...
Article
Evidence suggests that sex/gender is an important factor for understanding multiple sclerosis (MS) and that some of its neuropathological consequences might manifest earlier in males. In the present study, we assessed gray matter (GM) volume and functional connectivity (FC) in a sample of female and male MS patients (MSp) and female and male health...
Article
Using functional MRI (fMRI) in Study 1, we examined the effect of 2 personality dimensions related to altruism, such as Agreeableness and Neuroticism, on the neural response to videos, including images of situations from developing countries and audio recordings of sentences employed by Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to request help. For all...
Article
Correlation of spontaneous fluctuations at rest between anatomically distinct brain areas are proposed to reflect the profile of individual a priori cognitive biases, coded as synaptic efficacies in cortical networks. Here, we investigate functional connectivity at rest (rs-FC) in musicians and nonmusicians to test for differences in auditory, moto...
Article
Gaining experience on a cognitive task improves behavioral performance and is thought to enhance brain efficiency. Despite the body of literature already published on the effects of training on brain activation, less research has been carried out on visual search attention processes under well controlled conditions. Thirty-six healthy adults divide...
Article
Full-text available
During public addresses, speakers accompany their discourse with spontaneous hand gestures (beats) that are tightly synchronized with the prosodic contour of the discourse. It has been proposed that speech and beat gestures originate from a common underlying linguistic process whereby both speech prosody and beats serve to emphasize relevant inform...
Article
High reward sensitivity has been linked with motivational and cognitive disorders related with prefrontal and striatal brain function during inhibitory control. However, few studies have analyzed the interaction among reward sensitivity, task performance and neural activity. Participants (N = 57) underwent fMRI while performing a Go/No-go task with...
Article
Full-text available
The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting-state and meditation-state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting-state fMRI both before and after 40 days...
Article
Cocaine addiction is characterized by alterations in motivational and cognitive processes. Recent studies have shown that some alterations present in cocaine users may be related to the activity of large functional networks. The aim of this study was to investigate how these functional networks are modulated by non-drug rewarding stimuli in cocaine...
Article
A "disinhibited" cognitive profile has been proposed for individuals with high reward sensitivity, characterized by increased engagement in goal-directed responses and reduced processing of negative or unexpected cues, which impairs adequate behavioral regulation after feedback in these individuals. This pattern is manifested through deficits in in...
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The existence of a behavioral advantage of bilinguals over monolinguals during executive tasks is controversial. A new approach to this issue is to investigate the effect of bilingualism on neural control when performing these tasks as a window to understand when behavioral differences are produced. Here, we tested if early bilinguals use more lang...
Article
Spatiotemporal activity that emerges spontaneously 'at rest' has been proposed to reflect individual a priori biases in cognitive processing. This research focused on testing neurocognitive models of visual attention by studying the functional connectivity (FC) of the superior parietal lobule (SPL) given its central role in establishing priority ma...
Article
The interplay between attention and multisensory integration has proven to be a difficult question to tackle. There are almost as many studies showing that multisensory integration occurs independently from the focus of attention as studies implying that attention has a profound effect on integration. Addressing the neural expression of multisensor...
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Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS) sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in pr...
Article
The present research used fMRI to measure brain activity in passive listening and picture-naming tasks with a group of early high proficient Spanish-Catalan bilinguals, in which Spanish was dominant, and a group of Spanish monolinguals. Both tasks were conducted in Spanish and the effect of cognateness was studied. The behavioural results showed sl...
Article
Prompt detection of unexpected changes in the sensory environment is critical for survival. In the auditory domain, the occurrence of a rare stimulus triggers a cascade of neurophysiological events spanning over multiple time-scales. Besides the role of the mismatch negativity (MMN), whose cortical generators are located in supratemporal areas, cum...