Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells

Universitat de Barcelona & Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

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

– Peñaloza C, Mirman D, Cardona P, Juncadella M, Martin N, Laine M & Rodríguez-Fornells A 2017, ‘Cross-situational word learning in aphasia‘. Cortex. 93:12-27

– Vaquero L, Rodríguez-Fornells A & Reiterer S 2017, ‘The left, the better: white matter brain integrity predicts foreign language imitation ability‘, Cerebral Cortex. 27(8):3906-3917

– Sierpowska J, Gabarrós A, Fernández-Coello A, Camins A, Castañer S, Juncadella M, Morís J & Rodríguez-Fornells A 2017, ‘Words are not enough. Non-word repetition as an indicator of arcuate fasciculus integrity during brain tumor resection‘, Journal of Neurosurgery. 126(2):435-445

– Gurtubay-Antolin A & Rodríguez-Fornells A 2017, ‘Neurophysiological evidence for enhanced tactile acuity in early blindness in some but not all haptic tasks‘, NeuroImage. 162:23-31

– Ripollés P, Biel D, Peñaloza C, Kaufmann J, Marco-Pallarés J, Noesselt T, Rodríguez-Fornells A 2017, ‘Strength of ventral white matter pathways predicts semantic learning success‘. Journal of Neuroscience. 37(46),11101-11113

– Vilà-Balló A, Mas-Herrero E, Ripollés ., Simo M, Miro J, López-Barroso D, Cucurell D, Juncadella M, Marco-Pallarés J, Falip M, Rodríguez-Fornells A 2017, ‘Unravelling the role of the hippocampus in reversal learning‘, Journal of Neuroscience. 37(28):6686-6697

– François C, Teixidó M, Takerkart S, Agut T, Bosch L, Rodríguez-Fornells A 2017, ‘Enhanced Neonatal Brain Responses To Sung Streams Predict Vocabulary Outcomes By Age 18 Months‘, Scientific Reports. 7(1):12451

Selected research activities

Director of the doctoral program Brain, Cognition and Behavior, UB

Symposium organized at the “The Neuroscience and Music VI” conference (with T. Särkämö): Towards evidence-based practice of music interventions in stroke rehabilitation. Boston, 2017.