Research themes & publications

The research theme of our lab is mainly focused in the development of a physiological model of the embodied mind, by means of studying the interaction between brain dynamics and cardiac, respiratory and intestinal function. To encompass this complexity, we simultaneously develop a mathematical framework based on graph theory and artificial intelligence, allowing the study from a multi modal perspective.

Research topics: Progression in Alzheimer disease, mechanisms of attention and memory in meditation, regulation and somatization of stress.

Techniques: Magnetoencefalography (MEG), electroencefalography (EEG), electrocardiography (EKG), electrogastrography (EEG), DNA secuenciation of gut microbiome, blood cortisol.

Research themes. Publications

Heart-Brain interaction in dementia

We evaluate the influence of cardiac dynamics on magnetic brain activity, under the hypothesis that it is needed to the generation of brain rhythms. We study the interruption of heart-brain axis in dementia given by the reduction of the heart evoked neuronal response and its role as biomarker in the progression to Alzheimer disease.

Involved institutions: Instituto Nirakara, Centro de tecnología Biomédica de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Facultad de Psicología de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Escuela de ingeniería de la Universidad de La Laguna

Influence of active life and diet on the microbiote and its cognitive implications

We evaluate the influence of lifestyle on the microbiote diversity and bacterial gut network reorganization in active and sedentary subjects. We will study the role of microbiote alteration in progression to Alzheimer disease.

Involved institutions: Universidad Europea de Madrid, Instituto Nirakara, Hospital Universitario de Murcia

Cognitive and psichological reorganization after a mindfulness based intervention

We evaluate the changes evoked by a 8 weeks course of mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR) and cultive compassion training (CCT) by studying the reorganization of the clinical, psychological and wellbeing network. In addition, we measure the frontal brain activity as well as the cardiac dynamics to be correlated during an attentional blinking task.

Involved institutions: Instituto Nirakara, Facultad de Psicología de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Pain mechanisms regulation after a mindfulness based intervention in back patients

We study the role of attention and breath in stress regulation in back patients by measuring the reorganization of clinical, psychological and wellbeing network considering the blood cortisol as a reference.

Involved institutions: Instituto Nirakara, Instituto de Biomedicina de Vitoria BTI

Development and implementation of mathematical methods

We consider that simultaneously to a scientific revolution there has been a mathematical evolution. We, therefore, develop a multimodal perspective of biomedical data analysis based in big data (multiple regression), graph theory, machine learning (support vector machine and neuronal networks), regression chaotic dynamics, individual and multivariable statistics, and prediction and classification models.

Involved institutions: Instituto Nirakara

Selfcare program based on mindfulness for brain tumor and cancer patients

VIVE AHORA (LIFE NOW) project is based on the idea that the mindfulness practice and selfcare can help to get better the quality of life in brain tumor and cancer patients, helping them to manage the anxiety and sadness. Our aim is to propose the integration of these practices in the clinical protocols, rigorously evaluating our mindfulness based program Involved institutions: Instituto Nirakara, Hospital universitario Clínico San Carlos de Madrid, Asociación de Afectados por Tumores Cerebrales en España ASATE, Asociación española contra el cáncer.


  • Cortical Excitability and Interhemispheric Connectivity in Early Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Studied With TMS-EEG.

    Zipser CM, Premoli I, Belardinelli P, Castellanos N, Rivolta D, Heidegger T, Müller-Dahlhaus F, Ziemann U.

    Front Neurosci. 2018 Jun 8;12:393. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00393. eCollection 2018.

  • A critical mutualism - competition interplay underlies the loss of microbiota diversity in sedentary lifestyle.

    Nazareth Castellanos, Gustavo G. Diex, Carmen Antúnez-Almagro, María Bailén, Carlo Bressa, Rocío González Soltero, Margarita Pérez, Mar Larrosa.

    The ISME journal, multidisciplinary journal of microbial ecology (submitted)

  • Heart evoked brain oscillatory networks and its interruption in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Nazareth Castellanos, Gustavo G. Diez, Ernesto Pereda, María Eugenia López, Ricardo Bruña, Myriam G. Bartolomé, Fernando Maestú.

    Neuroimage (submitted)

  • Alterations in cortical thickness development in preterm-born individuals: Implications for high-order cognitive functions.

    Nam KW, Castellanos N, Simmons A, Froudist-Walsh S, Allin MP, Walshe M, Murray RM, Evans A, Muehlboeck JS, Nosarti C.

    Neuroimage. 2015 Jul 15;115:64-75. doi: 1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.015. Epub2015 Apr 12.

  • Influence of the APOE ε4 allele and mild cognitive impairment diagnosis in the disruption of the MEG resting state functional connectivity in sources space.

    Cuesta P, Garcés P, Castellanos NP, López ME, Aurtenetxe S, Bajo R, Pineda-Pardo JA, Bruña R, Marín AG, Delgado M, Barabash A, Ancín I, Cabranes JA, Fernandez A, Del Pozo F, Sancho M, Marcos A, Nakamura A, Maestú F.

    J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;44(2):493-505. doi: 10.3233/JAD-141872.

  • Characterization of GABAB-receptor mediated neurotransmission in the human cortex by paired-pulse TMS-EEG.

    Premoli I, Rivolta D, Espenhahn S, Castellanos N, Belardinelli P, Ziemann U, Müller-Dahlhaus F.

    Neuroimage. 2014 Dec;103:152-162. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.09.028. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

  • Cognitive reserve is associated with the functional organization of the brain in healthy aging: a MEG study.

    López ME, Aurtenetxe S, Pereda E, Cuesta P, Castellanos NP, Bruña R, Niso G, Maestú F, Bajo R.

    Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Jun 13;6:125. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00125. eCollection 2014.

  • Hyperconnectivity is a fundamental response to neurological disruption.

    Hillary FG, Roman CA, Venkatesan U, Rajtmajer SM, Bajo R, Castellanos ND.

    Neuropsychology. 2015 Jan;29(1):59-75. doi: 10.1037/neu0000110. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

  • Source-reconstruction of event-related fields reveals hyperfunction and hypofunction of cortical circuits in antipsychotic-naive, first-episode schizophrenia patients during Mooney face processing.

    Rivolta D, Castellanos NP, Stawowsky C, Helbling S, Wibral M, Grützner C, Koethe D, Birkner K, Kranaster L, Enning F, Singer W, Leweke FM, Uhlhaas PJ.

    J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 23;34(17):5909-17. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3752-13.2014.

  • TMS-EEG signatures of GABAergic neurotransmission in the human cortex.

    Premoli I, Castellanos N, Rivolta D, Belardinelli P, Bajo R, Zipser C, Espenhahn S, Heidegger T, Müller-Dahlhaus F, Ziemann U.

    J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 16;34(16):5603-12. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5089-13.2014.

  • Synchronization during an internally directed cognitive state in healthy aging and mild cognitive impairment: a MEG study.

    López ME, Garcés P, Cuesta P, Castellanos NP, Aurtenetxe S, Bajo R, Marcos A, Montenegro M, Yubero R, del Pozo F, Sancho M, Maestú F.

    Age (Dordr). 2014 Jun;36(3):9643.

  • Dysconnectivity of neurocognitive networks at rest in very-preterm born adults.

    White TP, Symington I, Castellanos NP, Brittain PJ, Froudist Walsh S, Nam KW, Sato JR, Allin MP, Shergill SS, Murray RM, Williams SC, Nosarti C.

    Neuroimage Clin. 2014 Jan 18;4:352-65. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2014.01.005. eCollection 2014.

  • Evidence for dysregulated high-frequency oscillations during sensory processing in medication-naïve, first episode schizophrenia.

    Sun L, Castellanos N, Grützner C, Koethe D, Rivolta D, Wibral M, Kranaster L, Singer W, Leweke MF, Uhlhaas PJ.

    Schizophr Res. 2013 Nov;150(2-3):519-25. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

  • Differential contribution of hippocampal circuits to appetitive and consummatory behaviors during operant conditioning of behaving mice.

    Jurado-Parras MT, Sánchez-Campusano R, Castellanos NP, del-Pozo F, Gruart A, Delgado-García JM.

    J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 6;33(6):2293-304. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1013-12.2013.

  • Dysfunctional and compensatory duality in mild cognitive impairment during a continuous recognition memory task.

    Aurtenetxe S, Castellanos NP, Moratti S, Bajo R, Gil P, Beitia G, del-Pozo F, Maestú F.

    Int J Psychophysiol. 2013 Jan; 87(1):95-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.11.008. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

  • Differential patterns of connectivity in progressive mild cognitive impairment.

    Bajo R, Castellanos NP, Cuesta P, Aurtenetxe S, Garcia-Prieto J, Gil-Gregorio P, del-Pozo F, Maestu F.

    Brain Connect. 2012;2(1):21-4. doi: 10.1089/brain.2011.0069.

  • Aesthetic appreciation: event-related field and time-frequency analyses.

    Munar E, Nadal M, Castellanos NP, Flexas A, Maestú F, Mirasso C, Cela-Conde CJ.

    Front Hum Neurosci. 2012 Jan 5;5:185. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00185. eCollection 2011.

  • Alteration and reorganization of functional networks: a new perspective in brain injury study.

    Castellanos NP, Bajo R, Cuesta P, Villacorta-Atienza JA, Paúl N, Garcia-Prieto J, Del-Pozo F, Maestú F.

    Front Hum Neurosci. 2011 Sep 21;5:90. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00090. eCollection 2011.

  • Reorganization of functional networks in mild cognitive impairment.

    Buldú JM, Bajo R, Maestú F, Castellanos N, Leyva I, Gil P, Sendiña-Nadal I, Almendral JA, Nevado A, del-Pozo F, Boccaletti S.

    PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19584. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019584. Epub 2011 May 23.

  • Magnetoencephalography as a putative biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.

    Zamrini E, Maestu F, Pekkonen E, Funke M, Makela J, Riley M, Bajo R, Sudre G, Fernandez A, Castellanos N, Del Pozo F, Stam CJ, van Dijk BW, Bagic A, Becker JT.

    Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2011 Apr 10;2011:280289. doi: 10.4061/2011/280289.

  • Early dysfunction of functional connectivity in healthy elderly with subjective memory complaints.

    Bajo R, Castellanos NP, López ME, Ruiz JM, Montejo P, Montenegro M, Llanero M, Gil P, Yubero R, Baykova E, Paul N, Aurtenetxe S, Del Pozo F, Maestu F.

    Age (Dordr). 2012 Apr; 34(2):497-506. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9241-5. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

  • Principles of recovery from traumatic brain injury: reorganization of functional networks.

    Castellanos NP, Leyva I, Buldú JM, Bajo R, Paúl N, Cuesta P, Ordóñez VE, Pascua CL, Boccaletti S, Maestú F, del-Pozo F.

    Neuroimage. 2011 Apr 1;55(3):1189-99. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.12.046. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

  • Explicit processing of verbal and spatial features during letter-location binding modulates oscillatory activity of a fronto-parietal network.

    Poch C, Campo P, Parmentier FB, Ruiz-Vargas JM, Elsley JV, Castellanos NP, Maestú F, del Pozo F.

    Neuropsychologia. 2010 Nov;48(13):3846-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.09.015. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

  • Functional connectivity in mild cognitive impairment during a memory task: implications for the disconnection hypothesis.

    Bajo R, Maestú F, Nevado A, Sancho M, Gutiérrez R, Campo P, Castellanos NP, Gil P, Moratti S, Pereda E, Del-Pozo F.

    J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22(1):183-93. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-100177.

  • Reorganization of functional connectivity as a correlate of cognitive recovery in acquired brain injury.

    Castellanos NP, Paúl N, Ordóñez VE, Demuynck O, Bajo R, Campo P, Bilbao A, Ortiz T, del-Pozo F, Maestú F.

    Brain. 2010 Aug;133(Pt 8):2365-81. doi: 10.1093/brain/awq174.

  • Oscillatory activity in prefrontal and posterior regions during implicit letter-location binding.

    Campo P, Poch C, Parmentier FB, Moratti S, Elsley JV, Castellanos NP, Ruiz-Vargas JM, del Pozo F, Maestú F.

    Neuroimage. 2010 Feb 1;49(3):2807-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.10.024. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

  • Neuron synchronization in the rat gracilis nucleus facilitates sensory transmission in the somatosensory pathway.

    Malmierca E, Castellanos NP, Nuñez-Medina A, Makarov VA, Nuñez A.

    Eur J Neurosci. 2009 Aug;30(4):593-601. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06855.x. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

  • Stimulus-dependent interaction between the visual areas 17 and 18 of the 2 hemispheres of the ferret (Mustela putorius).

    Makarov VA, Schmidt KE, Castellanos NP, Lopez-Aguado L, Innocenti GM.

    Cereb Cortex. 2008 Aug;18(8):1951-60. Epub 2007 Dec 7.

  • Corticofugal modulation of the tactile response coherence of projecting neurons in the gracilis nucleus.

    Castellanos NP, Malmierca E, Nuñez A, Makarov VA.

    J Neurophysiol. 2007 Nov;98(5):2537-49. Epub 2007 Aug 29.

  • Recovering EEG brain signals: artifact suppression with wavelet enhanced independent component analysis.

    Castellanos NP, Makarov VA.

    J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Dec 15;158(2):300-12. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

  • Managing death in the burning groups of Varanasi, India: A terror management investigation.

    Fernández, S., Castano, E., & Singh, I. (2010).

    Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 41 (2), 182-194.

  • Die the Good Death (documentary film)

    Férnandez-Campos, S., & Calleja, B. (2013).

    Documentary film trailer:

  • The helpful and hurtful empathy and emotions in the context of interpersonal violence.

    Fernández-Campos, S., Kidd, D., & Castano, E. (2014).

    Unpublished Manuscrip.

  • Exploring the role of culture in sexual objectification: A Seven Nation Study.

    Loughan, S., Férnandez-Campos, S., et all. (2015).

    Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale, 28(1):125-152.

  • Midnfulness in brain tumor patients may improve anxiety, depression, cognitive performance.

    Nombela, C, Fernández, S., Castellanos, N., Rozas, S., Perez, M., Diex, G., Moñivas, A, Barcia, J. A. (2017).

    Mindfulness, 10.1007/s12671-017-0737-7

  • Más Allá. Madrid: Pastel de Luna.

    Fernández-Campos, S. & Fernández-Campos, D. (2017).

  • Stepping Into Perpetrators’ Shoes: How Ingroup Transgressions and Victimization Shape Support for Justice Through Perspective Taking of Perpetrators.

    Li, M., Leidner, B., & Fernández-Campos. (2018).

    Manuscrip under review Submitted to Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

  • Indian ascetics’ formulas to accept death.

    Fernández-Campos, S. & Singh, I. (2018).

    Manuscript in Preparation.

  • Implicit or Explicit Compassion? Effects of Compassion Cultivation Training and Comparison with Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. Mindfulness.

    Brito-Pons, G., Campos, D., Cebolla, A. (2018).

  • Adaptation and validation of the Self-Compassion Scale in a Chilean context.

    Araya, C., Moncada, L., Fauré, J., Mera, L., Musa, G., Cerda, J., Brito, G. (2017).

    Revista Latinoamericana de psicologia positiva, 3.

  • Breve historia y estado actual de la práctica de mindfulness y compasión en Chile.

    Brito, G., Araya, C. (2016).

    Mindfulness & Compassion 1, 45-50.

  • Validation of a Spanish translation of the Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6) with a Chilean sample of adults and high schoolers.

    Langer, Á. I., Ulloa, V. G., Aguilar-Parra, J. M., Araya-Véliz, C., Brito, G. (2016).

    Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 14(1): 53.

  • Cultivating healthy minds and open hearts: A mixed-method controlled study on the psychological and relational effects of Compassion Cultivation Training in Chile. Tesis Doctoral.

    Brito, G. (2014).

    UMI: 3631418.

  • Secular Compassion Training: En Empirical Review.

    Brito, G. (2014).

    Journal of Transpersonal Research, 6 (2) 1–9.Secular Compassion Training: An Empirical Review, 61-71.

  • Rethinking Mindfulness in the Therapeutic Relationship.

    Brito, G. (2013).

    Mindfulness, 1–9.

  • Programa de Reducción del Estrés Basado en la Atención Plena: Un estudio exploratorio de su aplicación en un Hospital Público semi-rural del Sur de Chile. [Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program: An exploratory study of its implementation in a semi-rural public hospital in southern Chile].

    Brito, G. (2010).

    Psicoperspectivas, 10(1), 221-242.

  • Yoga en el Tratamiento de Adicciones. La experiencia de dos años de práctica de yoga con pacientes del Centro de Rehabilitación Takiwasi. [Yoga in Addiction Treatment. The experience of two years of yoga practice with in-patients of Takiwasi Rehabilitation Center].

    Brito, G. (2010).

    Psicoperspectivas, 9(2), 253-278. Descarga

  • Plant Teachers as a source of healing in the Peruvian Amazon.

    Brito, G. & Sieber C. (2009).

    Taylor, D., Drengson, A. (Eds.) Wild Foresting: Practicing Nature’s Wisdom. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers. Descarga