Raquel Viejo-Sobera

Raquel Viejo-Sobera
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya | UOC · Faculty of Health Sciences

PhD

About

29
Publications
10,390
Reads
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232
Citations
Introduction
I am a neuroscientist and neuropsychologist, professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) since 2017. In 2013 I started collaborating at the Cognitive NeuroLab at UOC. Our research is focused on the use of non invasive brain stimulation to study brain function (executive functions, working memory and decision making), and its use as a therapeutic tool. In 2016 I became a research fellow of the Laboratory for Neuropsychiatry and Neuromodulation at the Massachusetts General Hospital where I use fMRI data to explore the functional connectivity of brain regions related to affective processing.
Education
November 2011 - July 2013
Complutense University of Madrid
Field of study
  • Neuropsychology
November 2009 - October 2014
Complutense University of Madrid
Field of study
  • Neuroscience
October 2004 - July 2009
Complutense University of Madrid
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
The Stroop Color-Word Test is a useful tool to evaluate executive attention and speed of processing. Recent studies have provided norms for different populations of healthy individuals to avoid misinterpretation of scores due to demographic and cultural differences. In addition, clinical norms may improve the assessment of cognitive dysfunction sev...
Article
Full-text available
Theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocols hold high promise in neuropsychological rehabilitation. Nevertheless, their ability to either decrease (continuous, cTBS) or increase (intermittent, iTBS) cortical excitability in areas other than the primary motor cortex, and their consistency modulating human behaviors with clinically relevant tasks remain...
Article
Full-text available
Human neuroimaging studies have consistently reported changes in cerebellar function and integrity in association with obesity. To date, however, the nature of this link has not been studied directly. Emerging evidence suggests a role for the cerebellum in higher cognitive functions through reciprocal connections with the prefrontal cortex. The pur...
Article
Full-text available
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique able to modulate cortical excitability. This modulation may influence areas and networks responsible for specific cognitive processes, and the repetition of the induced temporary changes can produce long-lasting effects. TMS effectiveness may be enhanced when used...
Article
Full-text available
Background An increase in lifespan in our society is a double-edged sword that entails a growing number of patients with neurocognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease being the most prevalent. Advances in medical imaging and computational power enable new methods for the early detection of neurocognitive disorders with the goal of preventing or red...
Article
Background: Although δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main cannabinoid from the cannabis plant, is responsible for the psychotomimetic effects of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, does not show any psychotomimetic effect. Cannabidiol has even been proposed to be antipsychotic and to counter...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Increase in life-span in our society is a double-edged sword that entails a growing number of patients with neurocognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease being the most prevalent. Advances in medical imaging and computational power, enable new methods for early detection of neurocognitive disorders with the goal of preventing or reducin...
Preprint
Increase in life-span in our society is a double-edged sword that entails a growing number of patients with neurocognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) being the most prevalent. Advances in medical imaging and computational power, enable new methods for early detection of neurocognitive disorders with the goal of preventing or reducing cogni...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Alzheimer's disease is a major health problem in our society. To date, pharmacological treatments have obtained poor results and there is a growing interest in finding non-pharmacological interventions for this disease. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that is able to induce changes in brain activity a...
Poster
Full-text available
Cognitive rehabilitation in patients and cognitive enhancement in healthy people is a recurrent goal in neuroscience research. To date two newly developed methods have shown positive results in this regard: noninvasive brain stimulation and the use of commercial videogames. Specifically transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has shown promising re...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Video gaming is an increasingly popular activity in contemporary society, especially among young people, and video games are increasing in popularity not only as a research tool but also as a field of study. Many studies have focused on the neural and behavioral effects of video games, providing a great deal of video game derived brain...
Poster
Introduction On the basis of neuroimaging (fMRI) and electrophysiological (EEG) evidence, the cascade-of-control model developed for executive processing predicts an early involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in selecting task relevant information, whereas the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex would be involved at later-stages o...
Article
Introduction Theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocols hold high promise in neuropsychological rehabilitation thanks to its ability to induce lasting effects on cortical excitability following a short delivery time. Nevertheless, its ability to inhibit (continuous protocol, cTBS) or facilitate (intermittent, iTBS) brain function from cortical areas o...
Poster
Full-text available
Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), show promising results when used as tools for cognitive enhancement. Their ability to modulate cortical excitability with high spatial resolution makes them suitable to be paired with cognitive tasks relevant to specific brain regions. Executive functions, c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In neuroscientific research, neuro-enhancement is seldom considered as a stand-alone goal, but it is, nevertheless, a desired effect in non-invasive brain-stimulation which can provide valuable information about the underlying neural mechanisms which regulate cognitive functioning. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive stimulati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We aim to sumarizethe main findings of non-invasive brain stimulation studies in decision making process. Lesion and neuroimaging studies have pointed out a variety of cortical and subcortical areas involved in decision making. Recently, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as tDCSor TMS, have provided a new source of information about th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
After brain injury, cortical excitability and function may be altered, affecting neural networks due to decreased activation in the location of the lesion and resulting in an imbalance in interhemispheric interactions. TMS could be a therapeutic tool that can help brain plasticity processes through neuromodulation modifying cortical excitability, i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotion has often been compared to a 'double‐edged sword', as it can either improve or hinder various characteristics of behavior and cognition. Different studies have shown that emotional information tends to impair working memory (WM) maintenance, whereas emotional information tends to be better remembered in long‐term episodic memory (EM). Funct...
Book
La neuropsicología analiza la relación existente entre los diferentes procesos psicológicos, fundamentalmente cognitivos, y el funcionamiento cerebral. Es una disciplina en auge vinculada estrechamente a los avances que se realizan en otras áreas y disciplinas de las neurociencias, como la neurología, la neuroradiología, la neurobiología o la neuro...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
In animal models, it has been demonstrated that deep brain stimulation is a very effective method in the facilitation of various cognitive processes and even to compensation of the deficits associated with ageing or brain injury. In humans it has been used in the treatment of different disorders and has shown effectiveness in the facilitation of memory formation and in modifying the activity of the critical brain structures in this function. The principal disadvantage of deep brain stimulation is that it is highly invasive. Thus, the development of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, open new doors for therapeutic intervention and research into the neural substratum of different cognitive functions. Cognitive control allows us to use our perception, knowledge and information about our goals and motivation to configure the selection of an action or thought from a multitude of possibilities. Cognitive control underlies the temporary retention of information, whether newly perceived or recovered from long-term memory when that information is no longer available, i.e. in the so-called working memory. Also, cognitive control processes are of cardinal importance in decision-making and people’s ability to infer and predict the behaviour of others as well as their emotions, intentions and beliefs. In order to direct behaviour to achieve a particular objective, it is necessary to maintain the relevant information and avoid the interference of distracting stimuli. Within this type of stimulus, those of an emotional nature are particularly potent distractions, because they can easily capture our attention, redirecting resources to the processing of emotional information and thus deteriorating the ongoing cognitive performance. During risky decision-making there is an emotional arousal that can affect the outcome of decisions. When the risk information is available, the emotional arousal can hinder the cognitive processing of different options, resulting in a risky decision. However, in the absence of information about risk, emotional processing of potential gains and losses is necessary to learn what the best choices are. For its part, the concept of theory of mind refers to the ability to understand and predict the behaviour of other people, their knowledge, their emotions, intentions and beliefs. It is the basic ability that allows us to create a theory of the emotions and behaviour of others and is, therefore, essential in human relationships. Two neural systems are critical in cognitive control processes: dorsal system, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and ventral system, including the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. This project aims to dissociate the functional role of these cortical regions from a causal perspective. To do this, transcranial magnetic stimulation, which allows modulation of cortical activity, will be used in order to further our understanding of the neural bases of: - emotional interference on working memory, - risky decision-making - and the theory of mind.