What is the mind made of? How mind and brain are related? How environmental factors affect gene expression? In our lab we are seeking answers, using some of the world's most advance techniques, such as cellular reprogramming but always from hypothesis generation; we think the important thing is theory rather than technique and, therefore, we are influenced by classical authors, such as Ramón y Cajal, Crick, Watson, Popper, Rizzolatti, Edelman, Feynman and many others.
Epigenetic analysis of thalamic interneurons in the normal and schizophrenic human brain
Morphological characterization of mirror neurons in the normal human brain
Epigenetic mechanisims in the refractory OCD: development and validation of a hiPS model
A Quantum Neurological Model of Perception-Cognition in the normal human brain
Schizophrenia is one of the most complex and enigmatic of all psychiatric disorders, being characterized by the heterogeneous presence of positive, negative and cognitive symptoms that lacks a unifying neuropathology but affects all aspects of mental activity.
OCD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by the presence of persistent thoughts, intrusive and irrational impulses that appear accompanied by (obsessions) and repetitive and intentional behavior (compulsions). We try to develop and validate a cellular model of patient-specific neurons that will allow us to study the epigenetic mechanisms of this disorder.
Mirror neurons are a distinct class of neurons that discharge both when individuals perform a given motor act and when individuals observe another person performing a motor act with a similar goal. This type of neurons has been described in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), intraparietal sulcus (IPS), dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), parietal area F (PF), superior temporal sulcus (STS) and ventral premotor cortex (PMv), indicating that the mirror mechanism, far from being a specific characteristic of the premotor cortex, is a basic principle of brain functioning. Its activity has been recorded using electrophysiological techniques and brain imaging techniques, such as fMRI, although the morphological characterization of this cell population remains unknown. We present a epigenome-wide association study approach to characterize, for the first time, the mirror neuron system in the normal human brain including immunohistochemical and histochemical procedures to describe the morphology of these neurons in collaboration with Professor Giacomo Rizzolatti´s Lab.