Iria SanMiguel

Associate Professor. PI: Predictive processes in Motor-Sensory interactions
Iria profile picture-2

I am a cognitive neuroscientist with scientific interests in the brain mechanisms underlying perception, attention and other cognitive processes, with a particular focus in the auditory domain. I obtained my Psychology degree in 2004 from the University of Barcelona, where I continued on to do my dissertation at the Brainlab – Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, obtaining my PhD in the Neurosciences graduate program in 2008. During my PhD, I spent several months in the UK, at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience in Bangor, Wales. After defending my PhD thesis, entitled “Working memory influences on auditory novelty processing in the human brain”, I was hired at the University of Leipzig (Germany) working as a Postdoc in the Reinhart-Koselleck project “Predictive Modelling in Audition”. During the five years I spent working on the project, I was also a visiting scientist in Montréal (Canada) at the BRAMS – International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research, and in Budapest (Hungary) at the Cognitive Development Center. In January 2015, I returned as a senior researcher (Ramón y Cajal fellow, tenure-track position) to the University of Barcelona, where I have joined the Brainlab leading the motor-sensory interactions research line.

During my PhD studies, I investigated electrophysiological indices of auditory distraction caused by unexpected novel sounds, and explored the effects of short-term memory load on auditory novelty effects using oddball-type paradigms. In my postdoctoral period, I have focused on the role of automatic predictions in sensory processing and perception, in particular predictions arising from motor-sensory associations. My interests in this field have ramified into three main lines of studies: a first line aiming to identify the fundamental neural code of sensory prediction making use of stimulus omission paradigms; a second line investigating the idiosyncrasies of sensory responses elicited by self-delivered stimulation as compared to externally triggered stimulation; and a third line investigating the relationship between self-delivery effects on sensory processing and the sense of agency.

My methodological expertise lies in the area of behavioral measures and human electrophysiology, however, in collaboration with expert groups, I’ve gathered experience in other methods like MEG, fMRI, TMS, and essentially whichever techniques were necessary to answer the scientific questions at hand.

My full CV can be downloaded here (pdf), and my publication list is available in Google Scholar and ResearcherID.