Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
The Developmental COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE Lab is located at the Mind Brain and Behavior Research Center (CIMCYC) of the University of Granada. In this lab we study the development of mind and brain with a focus on attention and self-regulatory processes. We use a variety of cognitive methods and brain imaging technology, including high-density EEG, eye-tracking, and magnetic resonance.
Charo Rueda, PhD
Senior researcher & Principal Investigator
Charo is Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Granada. She completed the PhD in Granada and expended several years of postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Psychology of the University of Oregon and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology in New York. She has a broad interest in understanding the development of human cognition and the constitutional and educational factors that shape it.
Nines Ballesteros, PhD
Nines is professor of Psychobiology at the University of Granada. She has participated in several research projects on the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Currently, she is a health psychologist, specialist in early childhood care and neurodevelopmental disorders. She is interested in the study of the development of attention and social cognition at an early age and is member of the University of Granada’s Psychology Clinic (CP-UGR).
Ángela Conejero, PhD
Ángela is Assistant Professor at the University of Granada where she carried out her PhD on the early development of executive attention. During her PhD, she spent several months at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (University of London). She is interested in understanding the neurocognitive development of executive attention during infancy and toddlerhood from a multidimensional perspective, including the use of EEG, eye tracking and behavioural methods.
Lina Cómbita, PhD
Lina is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Granada. She is interested on the study of the development of attention and self-regulation and how to boost children’s cognitive function through the means of cognitive training. Lina has co-founded Neuromindset, a Spin-off certified by the University of Granada committed to the development of science-based tools to improve children’s attention and executive functions.
Mariel Musso, PhD
Mariel completed a PhD in Psychology in Argentina and a second PhD in Educational Sciences at KU Leuven University (Belgium). She is currently working at the LadNCd with a Maria Zambrano Postdoctoral Fellowship. Mariel specializes on using machine learning approaches for the early prediction of attentional development and self-regulation. Mariel also has an appointment as Associate Researcher at the National Research Council in Argentina.
Sebastián Moyano, MSc
Sebastian completed his Master’s degree in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Granada. He is employing eye-tracking to study the development of visual attention control during infancy, toddlerhood and early childhood taking into account both temperamental and environmental factors. In his free time, he likes to devour series, plan future trips, buy unnecessary plants and go out for drinks with friends. He also spends time playing with machine learning and deep learning models.
Josué Rico Picó, MSc
Josué is a PhD candidate at the University of Granada in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience programme. He is applying graph theory and other mathematical methods to the analysis of high-density EEG data. He is interested in understanding how brain activity is linked to the emergence of cognitive processes in babies as well as the modulation due to environmental and educational factors. Josué loves absurd humour, running and listening to old-fashion songs.
Alana Daly, MS
MSc Cognitive Neuroscience student
Alana completed a master degree in Psychology of Social Intervention at the UGR in 2021 where she studied the association between socioeconomic status, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the development of executive functions in toddlers. She is now completing a second master degree in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience. Alana is interested in the interaction between social and biological influences in cognitive processes and development.
Martina Bovo, BA
Visiting Master Student
Martina is an Italian student of the master in Neuroscience and Neuropsychologic Rehabilitation at University of Padua. She is interested in understanding the development of human mind and brain. She obtained an Erasmus+ Scholarship to work at the LabNCd for a semester. During her stay, she has focus on studying the development of attentional capacities in relations to preterm birth.
José Luis Higueras
Jose Luis is a last year Psychology student at the UGR. He is performing Intervention an undergraduate internship and a research scholarship in the field of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. He is passionate about understanding cognitive development, particularly the development of attention from infancy to adulthood, according to both biological and social factors.
Irune Ramírez Achutegui
Irune is a last year Psychology student at the UGR. She is working on her undergraduate dissertation in the LabNCd, exploring babies’ brain responses to violation of expectations and their subsequent behaviour. She is eager to take on this new journey as a researcher and hopes to help achieve a better understanding of babies’ knowledge of the world.
- Kepa Paz-Alonso, Post doc. Juan de la Cierva
- Puri Checa, PhD Graduate
- Alicia Abundis Gutiérrez, PhD graduate
- Ángela Hoyo Ramiro, PhD graduate
- Joan Paul Pozuelos, PhD graduate
Our lab is located in the ground floor of the Mind Brain and Behaviour Research Center (CIMCYC) of the UGR (Lab 24, floor 0). We have rooms for testing and experimental control, as well as waiting/playing room with access to a patio with a beautiful ginkgo biloba tree. In addition, we have access to additional testing/evaluation rooms and equipment available to personnel of the CIMCYC.
We have access to an electroencephalography system that can be used with 128-channel hydrogel nets. These nets are easy to use with infants and children, as well as adults. EEG is used to measure electric signals originated by neurons thru electrodes located in the surface of the head. It is a very safe technology widely used in cognitive neuroscience studies with pediatric populations.
Magnetic Resonance Scanner
The CIMCYC is equipped with a 3T Siemens Magnetom Prisma MRI scanner that is located in the ground floor. The scanner is available for paediatric imaging research. With this technology we can create high-resolution 3D images of the brain structure in a few minutes. We can also measure brain activation (levels of oxygen consumption of different regions) at rest or linked to the performance of tasks inside the scanner.
We use eye-tracking technology for monitoring of looking in infants and children. Tracking patterns of looking is very useful to study babies’ attention and learning skills. This technology provides precise measures of gaze direction and fixation, saccade latency and pupil dilation to displayed experimental conditions.
Early development of attention and self-regulation (BEXAT and EDEXAT projects)
This is a longitudinal project which main aim is to understand the early development of executive attention. The project started in 2017 with a sample of over 150 babies who have been evaluated in different testing sessions from 6 months to 4 years of age. This project is providing valuable information about brain and cognitive markers of the development of attention and its relation to self-regulation, as well as temperament and environment factors that modulate such development.
Spanish Research Agency (AEI) – Grant PSI2017-82670-P
Spanish Research Agency (AEI) – Grant PID2020-113996GB-I00
Early detection of executive attention deficits in babies at-risk for neurodevelopmental disorders (R-BEXAT project)
With this project we aim at finding early markers of atypical attentional development. We have followed the development of attention using diverse methods (eye-tracking, EEG, lab tasks) in a sample of children at risk for developmental disorders due to a variety of conditions (i.e. preterm birth, family risk for particular disorders, etc.).
Regional Government of Andalucía, Programa Operativo FEDER 2018 – Grant A-SEJ-152-UGR18
Edmunds, S. R., MacNaughton, G. A., Rueda, M. R., Combita, L.M., & Faja, S. (2022). Beyond group differences: Exploring the preliminary signals of target engagement of an executive function training for autistic children. Autism Research, 1–13. VIEW
Hoyo., A., Conejero, A., & Rueda, M. R. (2022) Attention, temperament, self-regulation and the development of coping. In: E.A. Skinner & M. J. Zimmer-Gembeck (Ed.) Cambridge Handbook on the Development of Coping. Cambridge University Press.
Rueda, M. R., Moyano, S. & Rico-Picó, J. (2021) Attention: the grounds of self-regulated cognition. WIREs Cognitive Science; e1582 VIEW
Pietto, M. L., Giovannetti, F., Segretin, M.S., Rueda, M. R., Kamienkowski, J. E. & Lipina, S.J. (2021) Conflict-related brain activity after individualized cognitive training in preschoolers from poor homes. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 1-34. VIEW
Faja, S., Clarkson, T., Gilbert, R., Vaidyanathan, A., Greco, G., Rueda, M. R., Combita, L. M., & Driscoll, K. (2021). A preliminary randomized, controlled trial of executive function training for children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. VIEW
Rico-Picó, J., Hoyo, A., Guerra, S., Conejero, A., & Rueda, M. R. (2021) Behavioral and brain dynamics of executive control in relation to children’s fluid intelligence. Intelligence, 84, 101513. DOI: VIEW
Rueda, M.R., Cómbita, L.M. & Pozuelos, J.P. (2021) Cognitive training in childhood and adolescence. In: T. Strobach & J. Karbach (Eds.) Cognitive Training. An overview of features and applications. 2nd Edition. Springer: Cham, Switzerland. DOI: VIEW
TEDx Talk: La atención es el corazón de la inteligencia
UGR A Ciencia Cerca: La inteligencia de los bebés
Charo Rueda’s interview – ConCiencia Magazine Andalucía TV
3,2,1 UGR responds: Charo Rueda about the impact of violence exposure in child development
Educar la atención con cerebro – Alianza Editorial
Do you want to know what is attention and how to educate it? Reading this book you will learn what is attention and how it is studied in the lab, as well as the brain basis of this important cognitive function. The book also explains factors that contribute to individual differences in attentional efficiency, the importance of this function for socioemotional adjustment and academic achievement.
On the Media
Artículo en Ciencia Cognitiva: Desarrollo de la atención en el primer año de vida
Artículo en The Conversation: La conversación puede transformar el mundo
Artículo en InfoLibre: Un estudio apunta que reducir la pobreza mejora la actividad cerebral en la infancia
Entrevista para la agencia SINC: Con la atención se puede ‘hackear” la mente de las personas y cómo conducen sus vidas
Entrevista a Charo Rueda en El diario de la Educación: El cerebro del alumnado tendrá unas habilidades que se determinan, en gran medida, por la educación que recibe
Entrevista a Charo Rueda en Ideal: Lo grave de “El juego del calamar” es que la violencia se pone en un contexto infantil
Neuromindset is a certified Spin-off at the University of Granada linked to the Developmen al Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. Neuromindset is specialized on the development of science based tools to help parents and educators boost children’s brain development, attention, self regulation and socioemotional skills.
If you are interested in participating in studies carried out in our lab, or would like to write us for any other reason you can use any of the following contact information: