Laboratory of Neuropsychology

Head: Elżbieta SZELĄG

Staff: Anna Bombińska, Anna Dacewicz (PhD student), Weronika Duda (PhD student), Kamila Nowak (PhD student), Anna Oroń (PhD student), Aneta Szymaszek, Małgorzata Węsierska

Research profile:

We study the europhysiology and neuropsychology of cognition in human and animal models in norm and pathology. Human studies are focused on temporal aspects of information processing, learning, language, memory and attention and are aimed at the development of innovative neurorehabilitation methods. Our research involves normal subjects (children and adults), patients suffering from various brain diseases (stroke, focal brain damage, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease), cochlear implant users, as well as children with various speech and/or language disorders, e.g. language – learning – impairment, aphasia, deafness, stuttering, infantile autism. Animal studies are focused on neural substrates of learning, memory and other cognitive processes, like cognitive coordination and flexibility. Mechanisms engaged in memory improvement induced by direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the brain are studied in the model of spatial working memory in rats.

More information about Laboratory on the web page

Methods:

• temporal aspects of information processing in norm and pathology
• innovative methods of neurorehabilitation
• speech therapy in different language disorders: aphasia, stuttering, infantile autism, hearing deficits
• neuropsychology of language restoration
• cognitive deficits in infantile autism
• neuropsychology of normal chronological ageing, longevity and neurodegeneration
• neuropsychological assessment of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease
• neural basis of learning, spatial and recognition memory in rats
• comparative behavioral studies on memory in different strains of rats and other animal species
• neural basis of auditory recognition memory and auditory processing in rats
• neural substrate of cognitive processes in spatial memory model in rat
• efficacy of tDCS brain stimulation on cognitive processes in animal model

Current research activities:

• neuropsychological basis of human and animal cognition
• temporal aspects of information processing, language, hemispheric asymmetry, normal chronological aging, neurodegeneration and neurorehabilitation
• animal studies on the neural basis of memory in different strains of rats
• cognitive abilities in patients with brain damage, aphasia, hearing deficits as well as neurodevelopmental or neurodegenerative diseases
• the studies are combined with behavioral methods, electrophysiological, fMRI, molecular, pharmacological, neuroanatomical and lesion techniques

Selected publications:

Szeląg E., Skolimowska J. (2012) Cognitive function in elderly can be ameliorated by training in temporal information processing. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 30: 419-434.

Szeląg E., Szymaszek A., Aksamit-Ramotowska A., Fink M., Ulbrich P., Wittmann M., Pöppel E. (2011) Temporal processing as a base for language universals: cross-linguistic comparison of sequencing abilities with some implication for language therapy. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 29: 35-45.

Skolimowska J., Węsierska M.J., Lewandowska M., Szymaszek A., Szeląg E. (2011) Divergent effects of age on performance in spatial associative learning and real idiothetic memory in humans. Behavioural Brain Research, 218: 87-93.

Dockery C.A., Liebetanz D., Birbaumer N., Malinowska M., Węsierska M.J. (2011) Cumulative benefits of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial working memory training and skill learning in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 96: 452–460.

Dockery C.A., Węsierska M.J. (2010) A spatial paradigm, the allothetic place avoidance alternation task, for testing visuospa- tial working memory and skill learning in rats. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 191: 215–221

New site http://www.pracownia-neuropsychologii.nencki.gov.pl/english.html