Mónica is an Assistant Professor and researcher at the University of Madeira (UMa) and the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira-ITI) in Portugal. In the past she worked as research assistant at the SPECS Laboratory of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH-Zürich, Switzerland; and was visiting scholar at the Quality of Life Technologies center of Carnegie Mellon University.
Since Mónica arrived in Madeira in 2011, she has been co-principal investigator and co-founder of the NeuroRehabLab Research Group, an interdisciplinary research group that investigates at the intersection of technology, neuroscience and clinical practice to find novel solutions to increase the quality of life of those with special needs. Mónica has been involved in the development and clinical assessment of virtual reality technologies for stroke rehabilitation and her work gave rise to a number of high impact publications in journals such as Stroke, Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation. Mónica's work in VR explores specific brain mechanisms that relate to functional recovery to approach motor and cognitive stroke rehabilitation by means of non-invasive and low-cost technologies. Her research addresses aspects such as serious gaming, personalization of training, integrative motor-cognitive tasks, physiological computing or the emotional content of training stimuli. More recently, Mónica also started applying these principles to technology mediated fitness training for the elderly population.
Mónica has been recently awarded the 2016 ISVR Early Career Investigator Award, an award granted by the International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation. The purpose of this award is to recognize and acknowledge outstanding contributions by early career scientists whose research relates to virtual rehabilitation.