Roser Sala-Llonch, PhD

Assistant Professor,

Department of Biomedicine. University of Barcelona



Research Interests

Neuroimaging · Magnetic Resonance Imaging · Positron Emission Tomography · Monte Carlo Simulation · Aging · Alzheimer's Disease


Personal Profile


My research focuses on the application of structural and functional imaging techniques -mainly Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET)- to study human brain in health and disease. I enjoy being part of interdisciplinary research, where the use of advanced image processing methods becomes a useful tool towards the understanding of cognitive neuroscience and its clinical applications. Using MRI-related techniques, my work is centered on the study of the structure and function of brain networks. Furthermore, in the field of PET-imaging, my research is based on improving methods for quantification, assessing various methodological choices such as the correction for Partial Volume Effects or the use of different brain regions as reference and target for quantifying PET uptake.


               [EDUCATION]                 [RESEARCH]          [PUBLICATIONS]





2010-2015  PhD in Neurosciences. University of Barcelona. Supervisors: Dr. Carme Junqué and Dr. David Bartrés-Faz

2009-2010  Master in Neuroscience. University of Barcelona

2002-2007   Degree in Telecommunication Engineering. Polytechnic University of Catalunya

Research Internships

2015-2016 University of Oslo, Norway. Center of Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition (LCBC).  Postdoctoral researcher.

2013  Universy of Oxford. Oxford, United Kingdom. The Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB). PhD student

Selected Publications

·       Sala-Llonch R, Idland AV, Borza T, Watne LO, Wyller TB, Brækhus A, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Walhovd KB, Fjell AM. Inflammation, Amyloid, and Atrophy in The Aging Brain: Relationships with Longitudinal Changes in Cognition. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017 ;58(3):829-840. View.

·       Fjell AM, Grydeland H, Krogsrud SK, Amlien I, Rohani DA, Ferschmann L, Storsve AB, Tamnes CK, Sala-Llonch R, Due-Tønnessen P, Bjørnerud A, Sølsnes AE, Håberg AK, Skranes J, Bartsch H, Chen CH, Thompson WK, Panizzon MS, Kremen WS, Dale AM, Walhovd KB. Development and aging of cortical thickness correspond to genetic organization patterns. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 15;112(50):15462-7. View.

·       Sala-Llonch R, Bartrés-Faz D, Junqué C. Reorganization of brain networks in aging: a review of functional connectivity studies. Front Psychol. 2015 May21;6:663. Review. View.

·       Sala-Llonch R, Junqué C, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Vidal-Piñeiro D, Valls-Pedret C, Palacios EM, Domènech S, Salvà A, Bargalló N, Bartrés-Faz D. Changes in whole-brain functional networks and memory performance in aging. Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Oct;35(10):2193-202. View.

·       Baggio HC, Sala-Llonch R, Segura B, Marti MJ, Valldeoriola F, Compta Y, Tolosa E, Junqué C.Functional brain networks and cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Sep;35(9):4620-34. View.

·       Palacios EM, Sala-Llonch R, Junque C, Roig T, Tormos JM, Bargallo N, Vendrell P. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging activity and connectivity and cognitive outcome in traumatic brain injury. JAMA Neurol. 2013 Jul;70(7):845-51. View.

·       Sala-Llonch R, Peña-Gómez C, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Vidal-Piñeiro D, Bargalló N, Junqué C, Bartrés-Faz D. Brain connectivity during resting state and subsequent working memory task predicts behavioural performance. Cortex. 2012 Oct;48(9):1187-96. View.

·       Fortea J, Sala-Llonch R, Bartrés-Faz D, Lladó A, Solé-Padullés C, Bosch B, Antonell A, Olives J, Sanchez-Valle R, Molinuevo JL, Rami L. Cognitively preserved subjects with transitional cerebrospinal fluid ß-amyloid 1-42 values have thicker cortex in Alzheimer's disease vulnerable areas. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Jul 15;70(2):183-90. View.



·    Fjell AM, Idland AV, Sala-Llonch R, Watne LO, Borza T, Brækhus A, Lona T, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Wyller TB, Walhovd KB. Neuroinflammation and Tau Interact with Amyloid in Predicting Sleep Problems in Aging Independently of Atrophy. Cereb Cortex. 2017 Jun 26:1-11. View.

·    Idland AV, Sala-Llonch R, Borza T, Watne LO, Wyller TB, Brækhus A, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Walhovd KB, Fjell AM. CSF neurofilament light levels predict hippocampal atrophy in cognitively healthy older adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Jan;49:138-144. View.

·    Vaqué-Alcázar L, Sala-Llonch R, Valls-Pedret C, Vidal-Piñeiro D, Fernández-Cabello S, Bargalló N, Ros E, Bartrés-Faz D. Differential age-related gray and white matter impact mediates educational influence on elders' cognition. Brain Imaging Behav. 2017 Apr;11(2):318-332.View.

·    Fernández-Cabello S, Valls-Pedret C, Schurz M, Vidal-Piñeiro D, Sala-Llonch R, Bargallo N, Ros E, Bartrés-Faz D. White matter hyperintensities and cognitive reserve during a working memory task: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in cognitively normal older adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Dec;48:23-33. View.

·    Martin-Trias P, Bragulat V, Peña-Gómez C, Sala-Llonch R, Lanteaume L, Cassé-Perrot C, Blin O, Micallef J, Auffret A, Bartrés-Faz D. Translational Challenge Models in Support of Efficacy Studies: Neurobehavioral and Cognitive Changes Induced by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Healthy Volunteers. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2016;15(7):802-15. Review. View.

·    Sánchez-Valle R, Monté GC, Sala-Llonch R, Bosch B, Fortea J, Lladó A, Antonell A, Balasa M, Bargalló N, Molinuevo JL. White Matter Abnormalities Track Disease Progression in PSEN1 Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer's Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;51(3):827-35. View.

·    Jovicich J, Minati L, Marizzoni M, Marchitelli R, Sala-Llonch R, Bartrés-Faz D, Arnold J, Benninghoff J, Fiedler U, Roccatagliata L, Picco A, Nobili F, Blin O, Bombois S, Lopes R, Bordet R, Sein J, Ranjeva JP, Didic M, Gros-Dagnac H, Payoux P, Zoccatelli G, Alessandrini F, Beltramello A, Bargalló N, Ferretti A, Caulo M, Aiello M, Cavaliere C, Soricelli A, Parnetti L, Tarducci R, Floridi P, Tsolaki M, Constantinidis M, Drevelegas A, Rossini PM, Marra C, Schönknecht P, Hensch T, Hoffmann KT, Kuijer JP, Visser PJ, Barkhof F, Frisoni GB; PharmaCog Consortium. Longitudinal reproducibility of default-mode network connectivity in healthy elderly participants: A multicentric resting-state fMRI study. Neuroimage. 2016 Jan 1;124(Pt A):442-54. View.

·    Sala-Llonch R, Palacios EM, Junqué C, Bargalló N, Vendrell P. Functional networks and structural connectivity of visuospatial and visuoperceptual working memory. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Jun 11;9:340. View.

·    Baggio HC, Segura B, Junque C, de Reus MA, Sala-Llonch R, Van den Heuvel MP. Rich Club Organization and Cognitive Performance in Healthy Older Participants. J Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Sep;27(9):1801-10. View.

·    Sala-Llonch R, Lladó A, Fortea J, Bosch B, Antonell A, Balasa M, Bargalló N, Bartrés-Faz D, Molinuevo JL, Sánchez-Valle R. Evolving brain structural changes in PSEN1 mutation carriers. Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Mar;36(3):1261-70. View.

·    Vidal-Piñeiro D, Valls-Pedret C, Fernández-Cabello S, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Sala-Llonch R, Solana E, Bargalló N, Junqué C, Ros E, Bartrés-Faz D. Decreased Default Mode Network connectivity correlates with age-associated structural and cognitive changes. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Sep 25;6:256. View.

·    Baggio HC, Segura B, Sala-Llonch R, Marti MJ, Valldeoriola F, Compta Y, Tolosa E, Junqué C. Cognitive impairment and resting-state network connectivity in Parkinson's disease. Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Jan;36(1):199-212. View.

·    Vidal-Piñeiro D, Martin-Trias P, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Sala-Llonch R, Clemente IC, Mena-Sánchez I, Bargalló N, Falcón C, Pascual-Leone Á, Bartrés-Faz D. Task-dependent activity and connectivity predict episodic memory network-based responses to brain stimulation in healthy aging. Brain Stimul. 2014 Mar-Apr;7(2):287-96.

·    Palacios EM, Sala-Llonch R, Junque C, Roig T, Tormos JM, Bargallo N, Vendrell P. White matter/gray matter contrast changes in chronic and diffuse traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Dec 1;30(23):1991-4View.

·    Jovicich J, Marizzoni M, Sala-Llonch R, Bosch B, Bartrés-Faz D, Arnold J, Benninghoff J, Wiltfang J, Roccatagliata L, Nobili F, Hensch T, Tränkner A, Schönknecht P, Leroy M, Lopes R, Bordet R, Chanoine V, Ranjeva JP, Didic M, Gros-Dagnac H, Payoux P, Zoccatelli G, Alessandrini F, Beltramello A, Bargalló N, Blin O, Frisoni GB; PharmaCog Consortium. Brain morphometry reproducibility in multi-center 3T MRI studies: a comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal segmentations. Neuroimage. 2013 Dec;83:472-84. View.

·    Sala-Llonch R, Fortea J, Bartrés-Faz D, Bosch B, Lladó A, Peña-Gómez C, Antonell A, Castellanos-Pinedo F, Bargalló N, Molinuevo JL, Sánchez-Valle R. Evolving brain functional abnormalities in PSEN1 mutation carriers: a resting and visual encoding fMRI study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;36(1):165-75. View.

·    Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Molinuevo JL, Sala-Llonch R, Solé-Padullés C, Balasa M, Bosch B, Olives J, Antonell A, Lladó A, Sánchez-Valle R, Rami L, Bartrés-Faz D. Cognitive reserve proxies relate to gray matter loss in cognitively healthy elderly with abnormal cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;35(4):715-26. View.

·    Moreno F, Sala-Llonch R, Barandiaran M, Sánchez-Valle R, Estanga A, Bartrés-Faz D, Sistiaga A, Alzualde A, Fernández E, Martí Massó JF, López de Munain A, Indakoetxea B. Distinctive age-related temporal cortical thinning in asymptomatic granulin gene mutation carriers. Neurobiol Aging. 2013 May;34(5):1462-8. View.

·    Segura B, Ibarretxe-Bilbao N, Sala-Llonch R, Baggio HC, Martí MJ, Valldeoriola F, Vendrell P, Bargalló N, Tolosa E, Junqué C. Progressive changes in a recognition memory network in Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;84(4):370-8. View.

·    García-García I, Jurado MA, Garolera M, Segura B, Marqués-Iturria I, Pueyo R, Vernet-Vernet M, Sender-Palacios MJ, Sala-Llonch R, Ariza M, Narberhaus A, Junqué C. Functional connectivity in obesity during reward processing. Neuroimage. 2013 Feb 1;66:232-9. View.

·    Zubiaurre-Elorza L, Soria-Pastor S, Junque C, Sala-Llonch R, Segarra D, Bargallo N, Macaya A. Cortical thickness and behavior abnormalities in children born preterm. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42148. View.

·    Sala-Llonch R, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Valls-Pedret C, Vidal-Piñeiro D, Bargalló N, Junqué C, Bartrés-Faz D. Dynamic functional reorganizations and relationship with working memory performance in healthy aging. Front Hum Neurosci. 2012 Jun 7;6:152. View.

·    Rami L, Sala-Llonch R, Solé-Padullés C, Fortea J, Olives J, Lladó A, Peña-Gómez C, Balasa M, Bosch B, Antonell A, Sanchez-Valle R, Bartrés-Faz D, Molinuevo JL. Distinct functional activity of the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex during encoding in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;31(3):517-26. View.

·    García-García I, Jurado MÁ, Garolera M, Segura B, Sala-Llonch R, Marqués-Iturria I, Pueyo R, Sender-Palacios MJ, Vernet-Vernet M, Narberhaus A, Ariza M, Junqué C. Alterations of the salience network in obesity: a resting-state fMRI study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2013 Nov;34(11):2786-97. View.

·    Palacios EM, Sala-Llonch R, Junque C, Fernandez-Espejo D, Roig T, Tormos JM, Bargallo N, Vendrell P. Long-term declarative memory deficits in diffuse TBI: correlations with cortical thickness, white matter integrity and hippocampal volume. Cortex. 2013 Mar;49(3):646-57.View.

·    Pereira JB, Junqué C, Bartrés-Faz D, Martí MJ, Sala-Llonch R, Compta Y, Falcón C, Vendrell P, Pascual-Leone A, Valls-Solé J, Tolosa E. Modulation of verbal fluency networks by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in Parkinson's disease. Brain Stimul. 2013 Jan;6(1):16-24.View.

·    Palacios EM, Sala-Llonch R, Junque C, Roig T, Tormos JM, Bargallo N, Vendrell P. White matter integrity related to functional working memory networks in traumatic brain injury. Neurology. 2012 Mar 20;78(12):852-60. View.

·    Peña-Gómez C, Sala-Lonch R, Junqué C, Clemente IC, Vidal D, Bargalló N, Falcón C, Valls-Solé J, Pascual-Leone Á, Bartrés-Faz D. Modulation of large-scale brain networks by transcranial direct current stimulation evidenced by resting-state functional MRI. Brain Stimul. 2012 Jul;5(3):252-63. View.

·    Fortea J, Sala-Llonch R, Bartrés-Faz D, Bosch B, Lladó A, Bargalló N, Molinuevo JL, Sánchez-Valle R. Increased cortical thickness and caudate volume precede atrophy in PSEN1 mutation carriers. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22(3):909-22. View.

·    Sala-Llonch R, Bosch B, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Rami L, Bargalló N, Junqué C, Molinuevo JL, Bartrés-Faz D. Greater default-mode network abnormalities compared to high order visual processing systems in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: anintegrated multi-modal MRI study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22(2):523-39. View.

·    Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Bosch B, Sala-Llonch R, Solé-Padullés C, Junqué C, Fernández-Espejo D, Bargalló N, Rami L, Molinuevo JL, Bartrés-Faz D. Specific anatomic associations between white matter integrity and cognitive reserve in normal and cognitively impaired elders. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;19(1):33-42. View.

·    Bosch B, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, Rami L, Sala-Llonch R, Junqué C, Solé-Padullés C, Peña-Gómez C, Bargalló N, Molinuevo JL, Bartrés-Faz D. Multiple DTI index analysis in normal aging, amnestic MCI and AD. Relationship with neuropsychological performance. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jan;33(1):61-74. View.