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Psychology

Alejandro Galvez Pol

Department of Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit

E: alejandro.galvez-pol.1@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Let's move! Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying sensorimotor memory and perception

Supervisors: Dr Beatriz Calvo-Merino and Dr Bettina Forster

Overview and research interests

One of the most outstanding expressions of the human cognitive system is the capability to represent information that is no longer visible, in other words, to create memories. While we know a great deal about the mechanisms that allow us to keep in mind semantic or basic visual information, little is known on how we are able to extract and later represent information about others’ bodies. Such gap is striking. All our cognition is ultimately grounded to our own body and what we can learn from others’ bodies (e.g., walking, dancing, imitating gestures, etc.)

Alejandro's (Alex) PhD research concerns the embodiment of sensorimotor representations that are built upon our perception and experience, this is to say, memories related to bodily information. Initially, Alex is using EEG and behavioural measures to better understand the temporal dynamics of neuronal firing when people process body stimuli. He is currently developing a systematic series of studies that aim to comprehend and disentangle body processing from non body-related information.

Research interests

  • Sensorimotor perception and memory
  • Tactile processing
  • Multisensory integration
  • Working memory
  • Familiarity, expertise
  • Embodiment
  • Sensory cortices.

Alex has a two BAs, Education Science and Psychology, respectively. Both from the University of the Balearic Islands (Spain), partially taken in Italy (Roma Tre) and in The USA (Cal State Northridge). After a great year in California he went back to Spain and carried on a M.A degree in Evolution and Human Cognition, collaborated in different fields (e.g., Neuroaesthetics, emotional priming), as well as, worked on the project "Novel neuropsychological assessment of frontal lobe lesions based on the hypothesis of dynamic neuroplasticity and compensation". Finally, after being awarded with a PhD-scholarship, he moved to London.

Publications

  • Galvez-Pol, A., Forster, B., & Calvo-Merino, B. Motor encoding during visual working memory of sensorimotor information: evidence using Lateralized Readiness Potential (In prep.)
  • Galvez-Pol, A., Calvo-Merino, B., Capilla, A., & Forster, B. Neural dissociation for visual and sensorimotor working memory storage (under review)
  • Galvez-Pol, A., Forster, A., & Calvo-Merino, B. Sensorimotor memory and perception beyond visual encoding (In prep.)
  • Forster, B., Galvez-Pol, A., Tüttenberg, S., Giallonardo, A., Comiti, V., & Calvo-Merino, B. Top-down regulation of primary somatosensory cortex when judging laterality of hand images (In prep.)
  • Nadal, M., Gomila, A & Galvez-Pol, A (2014). A history for neuroaesthetics. In J. O. Lauring (Ed.), An Introduction to neuroaesthetics: The neuroscientific approach to aesthetic experience, artistic creativity, and arts appreciation. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. (pp 3-49).
  • Galvez, A., Darriba, A., Villacampa, J., Martorell, R., Prada, L., & Barcelo, F. (2013). Effects of Aging and Executive Control on the Flexible Shifting of Stimulus-Response Mappings in a Bi-Field Visuomotor Task With Increasing Cognitive Demands. Journal of Psychophysiology, 27, 54-54.
  • Nadal, M., Flexas, A., Galvez, A., & Cela-Conde, C. J. (2012). Neuroaesthetics: Themes from the past, current issues, and challenges for the future. Rendiconti Lincei - Scienze Fisiche e Naturali. doi: 10.1007/s12210-012-0185-1

Talks/posters/conferences

  • Galvez-Pol, A., Forster, B., & Calvo-Merino, B. (June 2015). The social homunculus sees better than the eyes. Aegina Summer School 2015 “The social self: how social interactions shape body and self-representations”. Aegina Greece.
  • Galvez-Pol, A., Calvo-Merino, B., Capilla, A., & Forster, B. (March 2015). Neural dissociation for visual and sensorimotor working memory storage: evidence for a Mnemonic Homunculus. Annual meeting Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, United States.
  • Forster, B., Tüttenberg, S., Galvez-Pol, A., Giallonardo, A., Comiti, V., & Calvo-Merino, B. (March 2015). Top-down regulation of primary somatosensory cortex when judging laterality of hand images. Annual meeting Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, United States.
  • Galvez-Pol, A. (March 2015). How does the brain store bodily related information? 5th Annual Researchers' Symposium, City University London, UK.
  • Darriba Á., Villacampa, J., Martorell, R., Chamielec, M., Galvez, A., & Barcelo, F. (September, 2014). Fast neural dynamics of a 'multiple demand' frontoparietal . XII International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Chamielec, M., Darriba Á., Villacampa, J., Martorell, R., Galvez, A., & Barcelo, F. (September, 2014). Fast dynamics of domain-general vs. specific neural mechanisms of task switching: Interactions between the frontoparietal and spatial orientating networks. XII International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Galvez-Pol, A. (March 2014). Let’s move! Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying sensorimotor memory. 4th Annual Researchers' Symposium, City University London, UK.
  • Galvez, A., Darriba A., Villacampa, J., Martorell, R., Prada, L., & Barcelo, F. (July 2013). Executive Control Effects on the Flexible Shifting of Stimulus-Response Mappings in a Novel Bi-field Visuomotor Task with Increasing Cognitive Demands. International Conference on Aging & Cognition, International Neuropsychological Society annual meeting, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Villacampa, J., Darriba, A., Galvez, A., Martorell, R., Prada, L., & Barceló, P. (July 2013) Unspecific Restart and mixing costs: Combined effects of Aging and Executive Control on Maintenance Task-set Inhibition as Indexed by Task-Switch. Int. Neuropsychological Society annual meeting, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Galvez, A., Darriba, A., Villacampa, J., Martorell, R., Prada, L., & Barceló, P. (April 2013) Effects of aging and executive control on the flexible shifting of stimulus-response mappings in a bi-field visuomotor task with increasing cognitive. International Conference on Aging & Cognition, Dortmund, Germany.
  • Villacampa, J., Darriba, A., Galvez, A., Martorell, R., Prada, L., & Barceló, P. (April 2013) Combined effect of aging and executive control on task-set inhibition and maintenance as indexed by task-switch unspecific restart and mixing costs. International Conference on Aging & Cognition, Dortmund, Germany.
  • Chellew, K., Nadal, M., Galvez, A., & García-Banda, G. (September 2012). Personality as predictor of aesthetic preference towards figurative and abstract art. II Jornada de la Asociación Iberoamericana para la Investigación de las Diferencias Individuales, Murcia, Spain.
  • Rossello, J., Olivera, A., Gálvez, A., & Homar, C. (May, 2012). Reaction time to discriminate facial expressions after anger and sadness induction depends on the congruence of the approach-withdrawal dimension. VII Simposio de la Asociación Española de Motivación y Emoción, Cádiz, Spain.
  • Galvez, A., Rossello, J., Flexas, A., & Nadal, M. (April, 2012). Preference toward Abstract Artworks after Facial Affective Priming. Annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, California.
  • Oliver, A., Rossello, J., Munar, E., & Galvez, A. (April, 2012). Displeasured Stimuli Reduces the Severity of Moral judgments. Annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, California.
  • Rossello, J., Galvez, A., Homar, C., & Munar, E. (September, 2011). Beyond emotional valence: approach-withdrawal congruency effects in the discrimination of facial expressions after anger and sadness induction. XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
  • Fernandez-Prieto, I., Galvez, A., Widick, P., Sternschein, R., Smith, W. B., Bromberger, B., Nadal, M., & Chatterjee, A. (June, 2011). Comparing the assessment of art attributes in Spanish and North America samples. Fourth Iberian Conference on Perception, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Teaching

  • City, University of London: Research Design and Analysis
  • City, University of London: Professional and Academic Development for Psychologists
  • California State University of Northridge: Research and Methods in Psychology.

Awards/grants

  • Summer School on “The social self: how social interactions shape body and self-representations” (2015)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting – San Francisco: people’s choice award: Neural dissociation for visual and sensorimotor working memory storage: evidence for a Mnemonic Homunculus (2015)
  • Guarantors of Brain – Travel grant (2015)
  • Grindley Grant EPS – Travel grant (2015)
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies - BAW project funded: “Heroes of Neurons” (2015)
  • City PhD Scholarship (2013-2016)
  • Santander scholarship: Best student in Psychology 2011/12. Fees and tuition for master degree (2012-2013).

Other information

Alex exhibits and creates his own artwork. The aim is to use Artwork-images to fade the boundary between labs, the scientific community and the non-scientific public. Then, approaching science to a broader audience. Some examples here: https://goo.gl/gAKsjP and more info of incoming work and events here: @AlexGalvezPol