I received my Bsc degree in Physics from the University of Porto, in 1996, and was accepted in the Gulbenkian PhD programme in Biology and Medicine (PGDBM). My PhD thesis was performed at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, on the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Since 2007, I have been working as a Research Associate in the field of human neuroscience in collaboration with Prof. Miguel Castelo-Branco at the IBILI (Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra).
I am interested in elucidating the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive control in the human brain and how these are disrupted in disorders affecting brain function. In particular, I am interested in understanding (1) the role of neuromodulation in cognitive control; (2) how neuromodulation affects global brain dynamics and behaviour on a moment-to-moment basis; (3) the brain mechanisms underlying moment-to-moment fluctuations in performance associated with poor attentional control.
Recent advances in signal processing have made it possible to non-invasively study the temporal evolution of whole brain activity patterns at the single trial level. This is an exciting time that promises to unravel not just where brain activity occurs, but also how neural activity is coordinated from one moment to the next, from brain region to brain region.
Currently, I am studying the link between task performance and the dynamics of the neuromodulatory systems, and how this link might explain age-related cognitive decline.