Personal profile

Research interests

Cognitive mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal ageing. Cognitive and behavioural changes in neurodegenerative diseases, with emphasis on Alzheimer’s Disease. The investigation of functional brain changes (fMRI and ERPs) in the course of dementing illnesses and other brain disorders. Development of cognitive tests for the early detection of dementia with emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. Development of technology based intervention procedures to enahnce functions of everyday life in older people who are experiencing cognitive decline.



I graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1993 and as a Clinical Neurophysiologist in 1997. I worked at the Cuban Neuroscience Centre and at different University Hospitals in Cuba and in Colombia. During my clinical work I focused on neurophysiological aspects of dementia syndromes and other neurological disorders. I taught neuroscience related subjects in the field of medicine and psychology. My motivation for teaching and research led me to a major career change into academia. This started with my PhD in 2005 and continued with two Postdoctoral Fellowships and a position as a Clinical Studies Officer within the NHS. In 2015 I was appointed as an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University. 

Research Group Contact Details

Detecting Alzheimer's and Enhancingf Memory (DAEM)


What is DAEM about? 


Longitudinal Assessment of Memory: We are assessing people with memory problems yearly using novel methodologies that are shedding light on the earliest symptoms linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This study is approved by the NHS. The information drawn from these assessments is used to provide research evidence and to inform clinical practice. We are also performing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings to people interested in these assessments.

EEG assessment: We collect the EEG while people perform a memory task. This assessment involves putting a cap with some electrodes on the head and to respond to some stimuli on a computer screen while we record the EEG. This session lasts approximately one hour. It provides information on the brain functions associated to memory performance. We can investigate how different brain regions communicate to each other while people remember things. This assessment takes place at the Heriot-Watt University Neurophysiology Lab.

fMRI Assessment: This assessment involves obtaining images of the brain in action while people respond to some visual stimuli. This session lasts approximately one hour. It provides information on the brain functions and structures associated to memory performance. This assessment is carried out at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience of the Wester General Hospital. 


  • BF Psychology
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Electrophysiology
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychology
  • Ageing
  • Emotion
  • Attention

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Short-Term Memory Medicine & Life Sciences
Alzheimer Disease Medicine & Life Sciences
Aptitude Medicine & Life Sciences
Color Medicine & Life Sciences
Dementia Medicine & Life Sciences
Presenilin-1 Medicine & Life Sciences
Memory Disorders Medicine & Life Sciences

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1997 2018

Visual processing during short-term memory binding in mild Alzheimer's disease

Fernández, G., Orozco, D., Agamennoni, O., Schumacher, M., Sañudo, S., Biondi, J. & Parra Rodriguez, M. 18 Jan 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Short-Term Memory
Alzheimer Disease
Eye Movements
Eye Abnormalities

Acreemagnosia (Loss of financial knowledge): a symptom of functional and cognitive loss in frail elderly

Kozlova, I., Parra Rodriguez, M. & Della Sala, S. 24 Apr 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Attentional bias during emotional processing: evidence from an emotional flanker task using IAPS

Parra Rodriguez, M., Sánchez Cuellar, M. G., Valencia, S. & Trijillo, N. 14 Mar 2017 In : Cognition and Emotion. p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reaction Time
Attentional Bias

Atypical modulations of N170 component during emotional processing and their links to social behaviors in ex-combatants

Trujillo, S., Valencia, S., Trijillo, N., Ugarriza, J. E., Rodríguez, M. V., Rendon, J., Pineda, D. A., Lopez, J. D., Ibáñez, A. M. & Parra Rodriguez, M. May 2017 In : Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 11, 244

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Social Behavior
Word Processing
Theory of Mind

Brain information sharing during visual short-term memory binding yields a memory biomarker for familial Alzheimer’s disease

Parra Rodriguez, M., Mikulan, E. P., Trujillo, N., Della Sala, S., Lopera, F., Manes, F., Starr, J. M. & Ibáñez, A. M. 14 Jun 2017 In : Current Alzheimer Research. p. 1-46 46 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Information Dissemination
Short-Term Memory
Alzheimer Disease