History UNED 1

The UNED1 Consolidated Research Group (G33E59) “Studies on Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseaseshttp://www.agingandcognitionlab.com/ is coordinated by Prof. Soledad Ballesteros, Director of the Master in Gerontology since 2001 and former Director of the Department of Basic Psychology II (June 2010-September 2017). The main goal of the UNED group is to investigate the cognitive and brain changes that occur in normal and pathological aging using behavioral methods along with electrophysiological recordings and functional magnetic resonance imaging. The group has experience on conducting randomized controlled trials (RCT) designed to mitigate cognitive decline in aging. Since 2009 our Laboratory is a Collaborator Center of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG). Several FPI and FPU granted students obtained their European and International Ph.D. degrees in our group, and several post-docs researchers have worked in projects financed by the European Community (FP6, FP7, H2020). Five of our Doctoral students obtained Graduated Awards (Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado) and are now Associated Professors and Research Assistant Professors in several Universities. Professor José Manuel Reales has a great expertise in Experimental Design, Methodology, Programming and Data Analysis.

Members

JOSÉ M. REALES AVILÉS is working as a full profesor at UNED. He teachs several topics about methodology applied to Psychology (inferential statistics, neural networks, formal modeling and signal analysis) at UNED and he has achieved three sexenios by his published research in topics about memory, haptic perception, music, aging and methodology, amont others. He is a research follow in the SAND Research Group-Studies on Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases (UNED).

SOLEDAD BALLESTEROS JIMÉNEZobtained her Graduate Degree in Psychology in 1972 with the Highest Honor of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and was First National Prize in Psychology, and the Ph.D degree in 1979 at the same university. She is Emeritus Professor of Basic (Experimental) Psychology at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Director of the Master degree in Gerontology, Ph.D. Honours Program “Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases”, and coordinates the Consolidated Research Group Studies in Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases. She was Director of the Department of Basic Psychology II (June 2010-September 2017). Her research interests focus on the cognitive neuroscience of aging, attention, executive control and long-term memory processes in young adults, healthy older adults and pathological aging, cross-modal priming, and haptic and visual perception. She has authored more than 260 scientific publications and has been principal investigator in 44 research projects awarded by the European Community (AGNES: FP7; SOMAPS: FP6; sustAGE: H2020), IMSERSO, DGICYT, MINECO and the Madrid Community, Research in Biomedicine. She has been Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (USA), The Beckman Institute (UIUC, USA), Oxford University (UK), the University of Texas Dallas (USA), The University of California Berkeley (USA) and CNRS La Salpetriére (Paris, France). She has evaluated research projects for the European Commission (EC) Research Executive Agency (H2020-SC1-PM-2017; H2020-FET OPEN-2014/2015; HORIZON 2020 - Health, demographic change and wellbeing; EC Future Emerging Technologies; FET PROACT 2 – 2014: Knowing, doing, being: cognition beyond problem solving, EC, H-2020 - Health, demographic change and wellbeing; EC – FET Proactive; FP7 call 9, Neuro-Bio-Inspired Systems, 2012; FP6 2002-2006; Marie Curie Actions-EIF Panel Life Sciences; ERC Panel Evaluator Starting Grants: Ideas Specific Programme (ERC-2007-StG); EC RTD/S/2- Management of the IDEAS Programme; Research Talent 2012 grants, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); Member Expert Panel Professorship Accreditation Commission; Evaluator, National Research Projects, Spanish National Agency since 2002; President Social Science Evaluation Committee (CSJ4), ACAP Madrid Universities; Member of the Assessment Commission Programmes Ramón y Cajal and Juan de la Cierva; Member Social Sciences Commission (ANECA) and Mention of Excellence Ph.D. Programmes, among others. She is member of several journals editorial boards and acted as reviewer for more than 40 journals.

PILAR TORIL BARRERA,Received her PhD’s degree at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in 1993. In line with the research topic of her doctoral thesis, she has developed different works in the field of "neuropsychology and neurophysiology of schizophrenia" using Brain Neuroimaging Techniques (Brain Cartography and SPECT). During a research stay in the UNED, she carried out different works in the line of research: "Stress and illness: Psychological Factors". After joining the Department of Basic Psychology II of the UNED, where she is a professor, she is developing her research activity in the field of emotional processing and the interaction of cognition and emotion.

JULIA MAYAS ARELLANO, during the last 8 years I have been working as assistant professor of Psychology in the department of Basic Psychology at the UNED. Teaching orientation as well as research interest have been focused on attentional mechanisms and memory systems during lifespan. I have a large experience in neuropsychological assessment and intervention with healthy and pathological aging and I have collaborated with expertise in this research area during the last 10 years. I have participated in numerous projects, some of them related with the effect of cognitive training during the lifespan and I have published many papers in international journal of high impact.

MARIA DEL PILAR JIMÉNEZ,  Received her PhD’s degree at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in 1993. In line with the research topic of her doctoral thesis, she has developed different works in the field of "neuropsychology and neurophysiology of schizophrenia" using Brain Neuroimaging Techniques (Brain Cartography and SPECT). During a research stay in the UNED, she carried out different works in the line of research: "Stress and illness: Psychological Factors". After joining the Department of Basic Psychology II of the UNED, where she is a professor, she is developing her research activity in the field of emotional processing and the interaction of cognition and emotion.

ANTONIO PRIETO LARA, during the last 4 years I have been working in my doctoral thesis supported by a Doctoral fellowship from MECD (FPU13/05914) in the department of Basic Psychology at the UNED. My research interest has been focused on the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of perceptual grouping in vision and touch, with special interest in how the attentional mechanisms and memory processes are influenced by perceptual organization. I have a large experience in the use of electrophysiological tools (EEG) and experimental methods in young and elderly populations. Finally, I have participated in different projects, some of them devoted to assess the effect of cognitive training during the lifespan and published several papers in international journals related to this topic.

JENNIFER ANGELIKA RIEKER, I am a PhD student in Psychology, and research fellow working in the SAND Research Group-Studies on Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases, at the National Distance Education University (UNED) in Madrid, Spain. I'm interested in cognitive neuroscience of aging and executive-control processes. Particularly, I investigate the effects of proxies, such as multidomain training and bilingualism, on the executive functioning of older adults, and their linkage to a delay or prevention of age-related cognitive decline.


Publications

  • Prieto, A., Mayas, J., & Ballesteros, S. (2018b). Alpha and beta band correlates of haptic perceptual grouping: Results from an orientation detection task. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0201194. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201194
  • Prieto, A., Mayas, J., & Ballesteros, S. (2018a). Interaction dynamics between grouping principles in touch: phenomenological and psychophysical evidence. Psychological Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-018-1029-0.
  • Caballero, A., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2018). Taste priming and cross-modal taste-olfactory priming in normal aging and in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Psicothema, 30 (3), 304-309. doi: 10.7334/psicothema2017.382.
  • Ballesteros, S., Voalcker-Rehage, C., Bherer, L. (2018). Editorial. Cognitive and brain plasticity induced by physical exercise, cognitive training, video games and combined interventions. Editorial. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, May 2018 | Volume 12 | Article 169. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00169.
  • Muiños, M., & Ballesteros, S. (2018). Does physical exercise improve perceptual skills and visuospatial attention in older adults? A review. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity 15:2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s11556-018-0191-0
  • Ballesteros, S., & Redondo, M. T. (2017). Alzheimer´s disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Similar memory and executive functions impairments? Journal of Alzheimers Disease and Parkinsonism, 7: 389. doi: 10.4172/2161-0460.1000389.
  • Toril, P., Reales, J.M., Mayas, J., & Ballesteros, S. (2017). Effects of age and color on visuospatial working memory assessed with the computerized jigsaw-puzzle task. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1080/138255585.2017.1377680
  • Ballesteros, S., Mayas, J., Prieto, A., Ruíz-Márquez, E., Toril, P., & Reales, J. M. (2017). Effects of video game training on measures of selective attention and working memory in older adults: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9:354. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00354.
  • Ballesteros, S., Mayas, J., Ruíz, E., Prieto, A., Toril, P., Ponce de León, L., de Ceballos, M., Reales, J. M. (2017). Effects of video game training on behavioral and electrophysiological measures of attention and memory: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols(Jan 24); 6(1):e8. doi:10.2196/resprot.6570.
  • Muiños, M., Palmero, F., & Ballesteros, S. (2016). Peripheral visión, perceptual asymmetries and visuospatial attention in Young, Young-old and oldest old adults. Experimental Gerontology,75, 30-36. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2015.12.006.
  • Redondo, M. T., Beltrán-Brotóns, J. L., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2016). Executive functions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes patients and cognitively healthy older adults. Experimental Gerontology, 83, 47-55. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2016.07.013.
  • Toril, P., Reales, J.M., Mayas, J., & Ballesteros, S. (2016). Brain training with video games enhances visuospatial working memory in older adults. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10:206. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00206.
  • Ballesteros, S., Kraft, E., Santana, S., & Tziraki, C. (2015). Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 55. 453-477. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.06.008
  • Redondo, M. T., Beltrán-Brotóns, J. L., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2015). Word-stem priming and recognition in type 2 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer´s disease and cognitively healthy older adultsExperimental Brain Research,233 (11), 3163–3174. doi: 10.1007/s00221-015-4385-7
  • Toril, P., Reales, J.M., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Video game training enhances cognition of older adults? A meta-analytic study. Psychology andAging, 29 (3), 706-716. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037507.
  • Ballesteros, S., Prieto, A., Mayas, J., Toril, P., Pita, C., Ponce de León, L., Reales, J. M., & Waterworth, J. (2014). Training older adults with non-action video games enhances cognitive functions that decline with aging: A randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6:277. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00277. 
  • Muñoz, F., Reales, J. M., Sebastian, M. A., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Modulation of attention during tactile roughness perception: Revisiting the P300 component in the somatosensory system. Brain Research, 1562, 59-68. ISSN: 0006-8993.
  • Ballesteros, S., Toril, P., Mayas, J., Reales, J. M., Waterworth, J. (2014). An ICT –mediated social network in support of successful ageing. Gerontechnology, 13 (1), 39-48; doi: 4017/gt.2014.13.1.007.00.
  • Ballesteros, S., Bischof, G. N., Goh, J. O., & Park, D. C. (2013). Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: An event-related fMRI study. Neurobiology of Aging, 34, 1254-1264. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.09.019.
  • Sebastián, M., & Ballesteros, S. (2012). Effects of normal aging on event-related potentials and oscillatory brain activity during a haptic repetition priming task. NeuroImage. 60, 7–20. DOI 1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.060
  • Sebastián, M., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2011). Aging affects event-related potentials and brain oscillations: A behavioral and electrophysiological study using a haptic recognition memory task with familiar objects. Neuropsychologia, 49, 3967-3980. DOI 1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.10.013
  • Osorio, A., Pouthas, V., Fay, S., & Ballesteros, S. (2010). Ageing affects brain activity in highly educated older adults: An ERP study using a word-stem priming task. Cortex, 46, 522-534.
  • Reales, J.M., Muñoz, F., Kleinboehl, D., Sebastián, M., & Ballesteros, S. (2010). A new device to present textured stimuli to touch with simultaneous EEG recording. Behavioral Research Methods, 42, 547-555.doi:10.3758/BRM.42.2.547

MOST RELEVANT FINANCED PROJECTS

La profesora Ballesteros y su grupo de investigación han contado siempre con proyectos financiados a nivel Europeo, Nacional y de la Comunidad de Madrid. A continuación se indican algunos de estos proyectos financiados:

  • Investigador Principal 1: Soledad Ballesteros; Investigador Principal 2: José M. Reales.
  • Efectos del entrenamiento multidominio versus unidominio en el control ejecutivo y la memoria de adultos mayores, Proyecto MINECO (PSI2016-80377-R) ( 75.000 €  + becario predoctoral (FPI).). 2017-2019.
  • IP: Ballesteros, S. Age-related decline: Effects of video game training on behavioural and neuroimaging measures of attention and memory. MINECO (PSI2013-41409R). ( 78.650 €  + becario predoctoral (FPI). 2014-2017.
  • Coordinador: Cerdán García-Esteller, S.; IP grupo UNED: Ballesteros, S. Multimodal imaging of inflammation. Psychological factors in inflammation and neurodegeneration. I+D Biomedicine I+D Research Programs (UNED PI, Soledad
  • Ballesteros) (Ref.: S2011/BMD-2349) Comunidad de Madrid (969.610,00 €) . 2012-2015.
  • IP y Coordinador proyecto coord.: Ballesteros, S. Compensation factors of cognitive ageing: The role ofcomputer technology and physical activity. A behavioral and neuroimaging study of successful ageing. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Coord. Project Ref.:PSI2010-21609-C02-01). (114.950,00 €) , 2011-2014.
  • IP: Ballesteros, S. (PI). User-sensitive home-based system for successful Ageing in a Networked Society (AGNES).  European Commission FP7-2008-AAL; Reference: AAL-2008-1-014. (2.465.000 €). 2009-2012.
  • IP: Ballesteros, S. Complementary Action International SOMAPS European Project.  MINCIIN.  Ref.: PSI2008-01264-E/PSCI, 2009-2010.
  • IP: Ballesteros, S. Visual memory for objects and aging: A behavioral and neuroimaging study. Movility Program University Professors and Researchers. DGICYT (Ref.: PE-2007-0069). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (United States)
  • Coordinador: Cerdán García-Esteller, S.; IP grupo UNED: Ballesteros, S. Multiparametric imaging of vascular competence (MULTIMAG-CM). Comunidad de Madrid. Programa de Actividades de I+D entre Grupos de Investigación en Biociencias , Área Prioritaria: Ciencias de la Salud y Biotecnología. Imágenes Biomédicas. Ref.: 2006/BIO-0170. (600.000€). 2007-/2010.
  • IP: Ballesteros, S. Multilevel systems analysis and modelling of SOmatosensory, Memory, and Affective MAPs of body and objects in multidimensional Subjective space (SOMAPS). European Commission, FP6-2005-NEST-Path, Proposal No 043432. (2.039.380 €). 2007-2010.

Contact

José Manuel Reales Avilés - jmreales@psi.uned.es


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