Líneas de investigación

  • Network mechanisms of working memory in the prefrontal cortex

    We combine computational model simulations with data analysis of electrophysiological single-neuron recordings from collaborating laboratories in order to define the mechanistic basis of working memory in the prefrontal cortex. We are currently investigating the dynamics of working memory representations during the delay period, in order to discriminate between competing computational models. We are also focusing on exploring history-dependent effects during working memory, where reponses in a trial are affected by the items stored previously in the session. We are testing the hypothesis that synaptic plasticity mechanisms are responsible for these biases.

  • The NMDAR hypothesis of schizophrenia

    NMDAR hypofunction has been hypothesized as a possible mechanism of schizophrenia. By comparing behavioral, EEG and fMRI parameters between anti-NMDAR encephalitis patients and patients with schizophrenia we plan to test this hypothesis. We are using both cognitive and perceptual tasks to test patients and identify if the similitudes or differences operate mostly in associative or sensory cortical areas.

  • The role of NMDARs in slow-wave sleep

    We investigate sleep patterns in anti-NMDAR encephalitis patients by recording polysomnogram and EEG longitudinally as patients recover from the disease. We are analyzing slow-wave sleep periods to identify how NMDARs modulate the parameters of this global cortical network dynamics as seen from the EEG. This will be integrated in computational models to validate our mechanistic understanding of this brain dynamics and its dependence on NMDARs.

  • The role of NMDARs in working memory

    We are investigating the specific deficits in working memory of patients recovering from anti-NMDAR encephalitis. We study their behavioral parameters, their EEG activity and brain activations during fMRI. Through a collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Jaime de la Rocha (IDIBAPS) we are developing an animal model to study neuronal activity during these tasks, and how it is affected by anti-NMDAR human antibodies. The results from the animal and patient studies will be integrated in computational models to provide a mechanistic account of the role of NMDARs in working memory and the specific deficits in these patients.