Clara Pretus

Clara Pretus
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine

PhD in Neuroscience

About

25
Publications
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209
Citations

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Objective Neuroimaging studies in children with ADHD indicate that their brain exhibits an atypical functional connectivity pattern characterized by increased local connectivity and decreased distant connectivity. We aim to evaluate if the local and distant distribution of functional connectivity is also altered in adult samples with ADHD who have...
Preprint
Given the spread of partisan misinformation in politically polarized environments, it is critical to develop interventions that are effective at reducing misinformation sharing in these contexts. Across three online experiments with liberals and conservatives in the U.S. and the UK, we found that crowdsourced accuracy judgments in the form of a Mis...
Article
Full-text available
Identity fusion with the community has been previously found to mediate altruism in post‐disaster settings. However, whether this altruistic response is specifically triggered by ingroup threat, or whether it can also be triggered by global threats remains unclear. We evaluated willingness to sacrifice in the context of the COVID‐19 pandemic across...
Article
While conspiracy theories may offer benefits to those who believe in them, they can also foster intergroup conflict, threaten democracy, and undercut public health. We argue that the motivations behind conspiracy theory belief are often related to social identity. Conspiracy theories are well-positioned to fulfill social identity needs such as belo...
Preprint
While conspiracy theories may offer benefits to those who believe in them, they can also foster intergroup conflict, threaten democracy, and undercut public health. We argue that the motivations behind conspiracy theory belief are often related to social identity. Conspiracy theories are well-positioned to fulfill social identity needs such as belo...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Neuroimaging studies in children with ADHD indicate that their brain exhibits an atypical functional connectivity pattern characterized by increased local connectivity and decreased distant connectivity. We aim to evaluate if the local and distant distribution of functional connectivity is also altered in adult samples with ADHD who have...
Preprint
Online misinformation poses a significant threat to global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Misinformation is disproportionality shared by people with extreme political attitudes, especially among the far right. To understand the psychological and neurocognitive processes that underlie misinformation sharing among extre...
Preprint
Identity fusion with the community has been previously found to mediate altruism in post-disaster settings. However, whether this altruistic response is specifically triggered by ingroup threat, or whether it can also be triggered by global threats remains unclear. We evaluated willingness to sacrifice in the context of the covid-19 pandemic across...
Article
Full-text available
Negative symptoms in the motivational domain are strongly correlated with deficits in social and occupational functioning in schizophrenia. However, the neural substrates underlying these symptoms remain largely unknown. Twenty-eight adults with schizophrenia and twenty healthy volunteers underwent functional magnetic resonance while completing a l...
Article
Full-text available
The transition into fatherhood is a life-changing event that requires substantial psychological adaptations. In families that include a father figure, sensitive paternal behavior has been shown to positively impact the infant’s development. Yet, studies exploring the neuroanatomic adaptations of men in their transition into fatherhood are scarce. T...
Conference Paper
La capacidad del jabalí ( Sus scrofa ) para explotar nuevos ambientes ha propiciado que esta especie sea frecuente en el entorno urbano de Barcelona y de otras ciudades españolas y europeas. El jabalí se ve atraído por el medio urbano por la abundancia de comida de origen humano como la basura orgánica o el pienso para gatos callejeros. Las zonas a...
Article
Neuroimaging studies indicate that children with attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present alterations in several functional networks of the sensation‐to‐cognition spectrum. These alterations include functional overconnectivity within sensory regions and underconnectivity between sensory regions and neural hubs supporting higher order...
Article
Full-text available
Violent intergroup conflicts are often motivated by commitments to abstract ideals such as god or nation, so-called ‘sacred’ values that are insensitive to material trade-offs. There is scant knowledge of how the brain processes costly sacrifices for such cherished causes. We studied willingness to fight and die for sacred values using fMRI in Barc...
Article
Objective: Impaired multisensory integration in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may arise from functional dysconnectivity among brain systems. Our study examines the functional connectivity integration between primary modal sensory regions and heteromodal processing cortex in ASD, and whether abnormalities in network integration relate to clinical...
Article
Full-text available
Willingness to fight and die (WFD) has been developed as a measure to capture willingness to incur costly sacrifices for the sake of a greater cause in the context of entrenched conflict. WFD measures have been repeatedly used in field studies, including studies on the battlefield, although their neurofunctional correlates remain unexplored. Our ai...
Article
COVER ILLUSTRATION This image aims to reflect the parallelism that exists between the morphometric brain changes that occur during pregnancy and those that take place during adolescence. The image has no copyright and the neurons were inspired in one of the Ramon y Cajal drawings.
Article
Mapping the impact of pregnancy on the human brain is essential for understanding the neurobiology of maternal caregiving. Recently, we found that pregnancy leads to a long‐lasting reduction in cerebral gray matter volume. However, the morphometric features behind the volumetric reductions remain unexplored. Furthermore, the similarity between thes...
Article
Full-text available
Violent extremism is often explicitly motivated by commitment to abstract ideals such as the nation or divine law – so-called “sacred” values that are relatively insensitive to material incentives and define our primary reference groups. Moreover, extreme pro-group behavior seems to intensify after social exclusion. This fMRI study explores underly...
Article
Background: Negative symptoms in schizophrenia, which are related to poor functioning, are thought to be grounded on aberrant functioning in the reward system. We aimed to disentangle how negative symptoms and two cognitive aspects of goal-directed behavior, mental representation of reward and reward value, affect willingness to invest effort to a...
Article
Full-text available
ADHD neuroimaging studies have identified substantial differences in reward‐related circuits on a trial‐by‐trial basis. However, no research to date has evaluated the effect of motivational context on neural activity in settings with intermittent reward in ADHD. Aim The present study was designed to identify neural processes underlying both immedi...
Article
Previous studies have associated Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with a maturational lag of brain functional networks. Functional connectivity of the human brain changes from primarily local to more distant connectivity patterns during typical development. Under the maturational lag hypothesis, we expect children with ADHD to exhibi...
Article
Full-text available
Long-term effects of psychostimulants such as methylphenidate on ADHD patients have been proved to be difficult to capture in cross-sectional studies comparing medicated and non-medicated samples and in longitudinal studies with children, with age-related maturational processes possibly confounding independent effects of medication. However, chroni...
Article
Negative symptoms in schizophrenia, and specifically amotivation/apathy, have been correlated with impaired general functioning. Its neurobiological basis are thought to rely on an aberrant reward system. To study the association of reward deficits and negative symptoms, 25 schizophrenia patients and 35 controls underwent a new reward behavioral ta...
Article
Objective: It is widely accepted that patients with ADHD exhibit greater susceptibility to distractors, especially during tasks with higher working memory load demands. However, no study to date has specifically measured the impact of distractors on timing functions, although these have consistently shown alterations in ADHD. In this investigation...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To understand, by means of magnetic resonance studies, the brain remodeling that mothers and fathers undergo during pregnancy and early postpartum periods. To elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms and the clinical and cognitive implications of this neural reorganization.
Project
Extreme forms of violence are not a new phenomenon. However, the increased number of acts of terrorism in the name of strong held values and beliefs has become a worldwide growing concern. Thus, one the most crucial challenges that science faces is to understand how seemingly unremarkable and ordinary individuals progress towards extreme forms of violence. There have been many efforts to understand why and how somebody can choose to commit acts of extreme violence and atrocities, sometimes deliberately conducted to maximize visibility and media attention. These studies are based on social, demographic, economic or situational elements. However, even though all these factors must be at work, there is also a general agreement that it is paramount to incorporate evidence from the biological and cognitive sciences, taking advantage of new and powerful tools such as neuroimaging techniques. Since radicalization involves a complex network of elements, the study of the psychological and neural vectors underlying the pathways leading to radicalization is necessary and timely. There is now an impressive track of studies identifying the neural mechanisms of social and moral cognition that has provided evidence of the need of neurocognitive data to understand the psychological mechanisms that mediate political beliefs. However, there are still many issues that must be addressed. Among other questions, we need a more subtle and rich characterization of the neural mechanisms underlying the cognitive and affective psychological processes that underpin group dynamics, processing of norms and values and narrative comprehension and production. The interaction of individual factors (for instance, “the moral agent” or “identity fusion”) with those of group dynamics (for example, “radicalized networks”, or “social vulnerability”) offers an innovative and incisive way to see how psychological, socio-economic and cultural vectors intermingle to engender radicalism in contemporary societies. In addition, we need studies with a more ecological approach, using much more diversified populations as well as targeting radical individuals.