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Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells

Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells

Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge & Universitat de Barcelona

Social & Behavioural Sciences

I got my PhD at the University of Barcelona (UB, 1996) and afterwards, I worked at the University of Magdeburg (Germany, 1999-2002) as a post-doctoral researcher. My main topics of research are language learning, executive functions and the brain correlates of error and reward monitoring. In 2002, I got a "Ramón y Cajal" research position 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. Recently I was a visitant resercher at Columbia University (2018-2019).


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 – magnetic resonance imaging), crucial to better understand human cognitive functions. Recently, 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 preserved learning mechanisms in aphasic people. We explored also 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

Rodriguez-Fornells, A., Leon-Cabrera, P., Gabarros, A., Sierpowska, J. ‘Inner speech brain mapping. Is it possible to map what we can not observe?’ Mandonnet, E., & Herbet, G (Eds.). Intraoperative awake brain mapping. Which tasks for which location. Springer

– Ferreri, L., Riba, J., Zatorre, R., Rodriguez-Fornells (2021). ‘Chills, bets and dopamine: a journey into music reward’. Brain, Beauty, and Art. Essays Bringing Neuroaesthetics into Focus. Edited by Anjan Chatterjee and Eileen Cardilo. Oxford University Press.

– Ramos-Escobar, N., Laine, M., Sanseverino-Dillenburg, M., Cucurell, D., Francois, C., Rodriguez-Fornells, A., (2021). The interplay between domain-general and domain-specific mechanisms during the time-course of verbal associative learning: An event-related potential study. Neuroimage, 242, 118443.

– Elmer, S., Valizadeh, S., Cunillera, T., Rodriguez-Fornells, A., (2021). Statistical learning and prosodic bootstrapping differentially affect neural synchronization during speech segmentation. Neuroimage, 235, 118051.

– Leon-Cabrera, P., Pagonabarraga, J., … Rodriguez-Fornells, A., (2021). Neural signatures of predictive language processing in Parkinson’s disease with and without mild cognitive impairment, Cortex, 141, 112 – 127.

– Vaquero, L., Ramos-Escobar, N., Cucurell, D., François, C., Putkinen, V., Segura, E., & Rodríguez-Fornells, A. (2021). Arcuate fasciculus architecture is associated with individual differences in pre-attentive detection of unpredicted music changes. NeuroImage, 229, 117759.

– Ferreri, L., Mas-Herrero, E., Cardona, G., Zatorre, R., Antonijoan, R., Valle, M., Riba, J., Ripolles, P., Rodriguez-Fornells, A. (2021), ‘Dopamine modulations of reward-driven music memory consolidation’, Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences, 1502(1), 85-98.


Selected research activities

Organization of the event “Being a Curious Music-Mind” at the Sonar+D (CCCB/Sala Salamandra, October 2021), comprising a field experiment in a natural setting.

ICREA Memoir 2021