Cognitive NeuroLab

Cognitive NeuroLab

Main investigator:
Muñoz Marrón, Elena
Health sciences
Area of specialization:
Digital health
Affiliation center:
UNESCO codes:
2490, 2490, 610601
3 - Health and well-being
4 - Quality education
5 - Gender equality
  • Non-invasive brain stimulation
  • Decision making

The Cognitive NeuroLab research group studies the neural mechanisms underlying different cognitive processes by means of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques. The three main research lines are:

  • The functional dissociation of two neural systems that are critical in cognitive control, modulating their excitability by NIBS, with the aim of increasing knowledge of the neural bases of different processes related with cognitive control, such as emotional interference with the working memory, decision making and theory of mind.
  • Improvement, stimulation and rehabilitation of these cognitive functions in neurodegenerative disorders.
  • The use of NIBS in the study of the neural bases of different aspects of eating behaviour and in the treatment of related disorders, such as obesity and anorexia.

Use of non-invasive cerebral stimulation on the control of food intake in patients with obesity

This research line focuses on the application of a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as a tool for modulating altered neurocognitive patterns in patients suffering from obesity. The aim is to foster self-control and reduce intake, allowing them to better keep to a diet, subsequently losing weight and able to maintain this loss in the medium and long term.

Functional dissociation between dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex: decision making, theory of mind and emotional interference in working memory

Two main neural systems, each with different functions, are involved in cognitive control processes: a dorsal system, which includes the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and a ventral system, which includes the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. This project aims to examine the dissociation of these two systems through transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in order to characterize the neural bases of three processes linked with cognitive control:


- Emotional interference on working memory.

- Risk decision-making.

- Mind theory.

Reduction of tobacco addiction using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques

A tobacco addiction is often characterized by dysfunctional cognitive control, a strong reward impulse and an altered decision-making process. The aim of this research line is to study transcranial direct current stimulation's (tDCS) capacity to modify altered neurocognitive patterns in tobacco addiction. The ultimate goal is to design a course of treatment aimed at raising self-control in habitual smokers, reduce the anxiety caused by abstinence and reducing or eliminating the consumption of nicotine.

Stimulation and rehabilitation of cognitive, emotional and behavioural alterations in neurodegenerative diseases

This research line focuses on the therapy potential of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques as a new approach to improving cognitive, emotional and behavioural alterations in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. This research line explores the therapy potential of both transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), with the ultimate goal of improving patients’ quality of life.