Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells

Universitat de Barcelona (UB) & Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL)

Social & Behavioural Sciences

I got my PhD at the University of Barcelona (UB, 1996) about individual differences in impulsiveness. Afterwards, I worked at the University of Magdeburg (Germany, 1999-2002) as a post-doctoral researcher. My main topics of research were bilingual language processing, executive functions and the brain correlates of error monitoring. In 2002, I got a "Ramón y Cajal" research position from the Spanish Government and afterwards I joined ICREA as a Research Professor. Since then, I have created a interdisciplinar research group (Cognition and Brain Plasticity Unit, CDBU), at ICREA-IDIBELL-UB devoted to the study of learning process and brain plasticity effects in healthy and brain damaged patients. The group is located at the Hospital of Bellvitge – IDIBELL biomedical institute. Our research is inherently interdisciplinary and requires expertise in interfacing research fields as brain plasticity, brain development and learning and memory mechanisms.

Research interests

My recent interests have been on the cognitive neuroscience of language learning and error monitoring. I have tried to combine the use of different neuroimaging techniques (electrophysiological and magnetic resonance imaging), crucial to better understand human cognitive functions. During the last years, my research has been focused on the investigation of the neural mechanisms involved when adults and infants learn a new language (an specially its interface with executive functions and the reward system). This approach has been recently applied to understand the preserved learning mechanisms in aphasic people. We recently explored the inherent relationship between brain structure and brain function (to which extent individual differences in white-matter connectivity constraint cognitive processing). Finally, we have focused on the possible neurorehabilitation effects of learning specific skills (music training) in stroke patients.

Selected publications

– Ripolles P, Rojo N, Grau-Sanchez J., Amengual JL, Camara E, Marco-Pallarés J, Juncadella M, Vaquero L, Rubio F, Duarte E, Garrido C, Altenmuller E, Münte TF & Rodríguez-Fornells A 2016, ‘Music supported therapy promotes motor plasticity in individuals with chronic stroke’, Brain Imaging and Behavior, 10, 1289-1307.

– Francois C, Ripolles P, Bosch L, Garcia-Alix A, Muchart J, Sierpowska J, Fons C, Sole J, Rebollo M, Gaitan H & Rodriguez-Fornells A 2016, ‘Language learning and brain reorganization in a 3.5-year-old child with left perinatal stroke revealed using structural and functional connectivity’, Cortex, 77, 95 – 118.

– Vaquero L, Rodriguez-Fornells A & Reiterer S 2016, ‘The left, the better: white matter brain integrity predicts foreign language imitation ability’, Cerebral Cortex 1-12.

– Sarkamo T, Altenmueller E, Rodriguez-Fornells A, Peretz I 2016, ‘Editorial: Music, Brain, and Rehabilitation: Emerging Therapeutic Applications and Potential Neural Mechanisms’, Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, 10, 103.

– Penaloza C, Mirman D, Tuomiranta L, Benetello A, Heikius I, Jarvinen S, Majos MC, Cardona P, Juncadella M, Laine M, Martin N & Rodriguez-Fornells A 2016, ‘Novel word acquisition in aphasia: Facing the word-referent ambiguity of natural language learning contexts’, Cortex, 79, 14 – 31.

– Ripolles P, Marco-Pallares J, Alicart H, Tempelmann C, Rodriguez-Fornells A & Noesselt T 2016, ‘Intrinsic monitoring of learning success facilitates memory encoding via the activation of the SN/VTA-Hippocampal loop’, Elife, 5, e17441.

– Martínez-Molina N, Mas-Herrero E, Rodriguez-Fornells A, Zatorre RJ & Marco-Pallarés J 2016, ‘The broken link in specific musical anhedonia: reduced NAcc activation and functional connectivity with auditory cortex’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, E7337-E7345.