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Esmeralda Matute Villaseñor, Ph.D.

Yaira Chamorro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Lourdes Bolaños, técnico académico, Ph.D.

Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics

Laboratory director: Dra. Esmeralda Matute Villaseñor
e-mail: ematute@cencar.udg.mx

Mtra. Ana Luisa González Reyes. Associate professor.
Dr. Yaira Chamorro. Assistant professor.
Dr. Lourdes Bolaños Muñoz. Academic technician.

The Institute’s Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics Laboratory carries out research that can be grouped into three main axes, which can then be sub-divided into a series of specific lines of research:

The first area focuses on the study of oral and written language, and consists of four principle lines of research. The topic area with the longest trajectory is the neuropsychology of illiteracy. On the basis of studies of the illiterate adult population, with and without cerebral lesions, researchers have analyzed the influence of learning to read and of schooling on functional cerebral organization, the development of cognitive abilities and the executive function. In the case of illiterate children, we have inquired into the neuropsychological effects associated with learning to read at an early age. A second line of research deals with the study of oral language in pre-school and school-age children, some normally developed and others with some specific language-related disorder. The line of inquiry known as “Reading and Writing” includes the analysis of the reading and neuropsychological characteristics of children with dyslexia, the effect that certain specific orthographic characteristics of the Spanish language may have on the manifestations of this disorder, and the study of the ocular movements made while reading. Metalinguistic abilities, especially in the infant population, have been examined by looking into such notions as word and phonological and morphosyntactic awareness in two groups of children: those with no reading problems and those who show a low reading ability.  

The second principal area of research pertains to the category of Infant Neuropsychology and can be separated into three important lines of study. The first of these focuses on disorders associated with neurodevelopment, such as attention deficit syndrome with hyperactivity, learning disorders and discalculia, as well as others that lead us to analyze the effects of several pathologies, such as iron deficiency in lactating females, maternal gestational diabetes and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, on neuropsychological profiles. The second area concerns the study of normal neuropsychological development and includes the analysis of auditory-temporal processing and the development of the executive function. Due to the lack of evaluation material adequately designed to take into account the characteristics of [the Mexican] population, we have also taken up the task of elaborating tests developed specifically for the Hispanic infant population. Up to now, two such evaluation instruments have been published, one known as ECOFÓN, an evaluation of phonological awareness for school-age children, and a second, called the Infant Neuropsychological Evaluation (or ENI), which includes a wide battery of tests designed to assess 12 cognitive areas, executive functions and bland neurological signs in children from 5 to 16 years of age. This latter instrument has been standardized on the basis of a sample group taken from Mexico and Colombia.

Finally, the third main research area refers to the Adult Neuropsychology, which is devoted to studying the neuropsychological consequences of the abuse of such drugs as cocaine and marihuana in addicts during periods of abstinence.