Ruth de Diego-Balaguer

Ruth de Diego-Balaguer

Universitat de Barcelona

Social & Behavioural Sciences

After a Degree in Psychology I specialised at the University of Barcelona (UB) in Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience during my PhD. I spent three years as a post-doc at the INSERM in Paris (Université Paris Est, Créteil, UPEC) where I studied the involvement of the striatum in the learning of new rules in language. I was a Research-Lecturer at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris before I created my lab at the UB back in Barcelona as an ICREA Junior Researcher, After that I became an ICREA Research Professor and consolidated my group at the UB. My research is mainly focused on the cognitive functions and neural circuits engaged in the extraction of grammatical rules while learning a new language. [March to July Maternity Leave]

Research interests

My research combines information from brain-damaged patients, developmental populations and brain-imaging in healthy individuals to understand whether words and rules of language require different neural and cognitive mechanisms to be acquired since the earliest stages of contact with a new language. I am particularly interested in i) the role of the attentional systems in the acquisition of different aspects of language; ii) the role of the striatum as a brain structure that could make the interface between language and other cognitive functions necessary in the learning process; and iii) how is the acquired information consolidated and modified when we learn new additional information.

Selected publications

- O’Rourke T & de Diego-Balaguer R 2020, 'Names and their meanings: A dual-process account of proper-name encoding and retrieval'Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 108, 308-321. 

- Orpella, Joan; Ripolles, Pablo; Ruzzoli, Manuela; Amengual, Julia L.; Callejas, Alicia; Martinez-Alvarez, Anna; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth 2020, 'Integrating when and what information in the left parietal lobule allows language rule generalization', Plos Biology, 18, 11, e3000895.

Selected research activities

ERC Starting Grant Pannel Member SH4

Expert reviewer for the Agencia Andaluza del Conocimiento.

Thesis Committee: Imme Lammertink, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Supervisions: Irene Acero (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Treball de Grau),  Audrey DePaepe (Fullbright fellowship).

Editorial board activities: eLife, PLoS One.

Invited Talks:

June 2020 (postponed to 2021). Mechanisms of Auditory-motor Integration in Language Learning. 40th Anniversary of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Nijmegen, The Netherlands

June 2020 (postponed to 2021). Workshop on Statistical Learning. University of Amsterdam. The Netherlands.