Success Stories

Attention and consciousness (University of Granada) Dr. Ana B. Chica (RYC-2011-09320)

I obtained my BA in Psychology at the University of Granada in 2003. I then joined the Experimental Psychology and Neuroscience PhD program at the University of Granada thanks to a PhD scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. During my PhD, I did several research stays at Oxford University and Dalhousie University. In 2008, I graduated with a Cum Laude, and obtained a research contract from the Neuropôle de Recherche Francilien to work in an INSERM lab at the Salpêtrière Hospital of Paris. In 2009 I was awarded a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship (7th Framework Program of the European Union) to pursuit my research for two more years. In 2012 I returned to Granada with a Ramon and Cajal research fellowship. Presently, I combine my research career with teaching in the degrees of Psychology and Occupational Therapy, and in the Masters of Cognitive Neuroscience. I am also the undergraduate coordinator of the Psychology Faculty.


My main research topic is the Cognitive Neuroscience of attention and conscious perception. I am interested in understanding the neural basis of different forms of attention and how they relate to our conscious experience. I apply different methodologies to the study of healthy individuals and brain damaged patients, such as behavioural psychophysics, oculo-motor and electro-encephalogram recordings, magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation.


My main contributions to the literature can be sumarised as follows: 1) we have demonstrated that endogenous and exogenous attention consist of two independent processes, implemented in different nodes of the fronto-parietal network (see Chica et al., Behavioural Brain Research, 2014); 2) we have demonstrated that some attentional systems can be dissociated from conscious perception, while some other interact with it. We have explored the neural bases of these dissociations and interactions (see Chica et al., Frontiers in Psychology, 2012).


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