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Esmeralda Matute Villaseñor, Ph.D.

e-mail: ematute@cencar.udg.mx
Director, Neuroscience Institute
Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics Laboratory
Neuroscience Institute
University of Guadalajara

Dr. Matute completed her studies in Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics under the supervision of Professor Henry Hécaen at the la École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France, where she earned the School Diploma, the Diploma for Higher Studies (DEA) and, finally, her Doctorate in Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics. While in France, she conducted research on infant aphasia and the effects of learning to read on functional brain organization.

Upon returning to Mexico, she worked for six years as the Director of the Special Education Program for the DIF (Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) in Jalisco, where she founded the Center for Special Studies and Therapies. In 1989, she joined the staff of the University of Guadalajara as a Professor/Researcher, first in the Center for Educational Research; then, in 1994, as a participant in the creation of the Neuroscience Institute. Today, Dr. Matute is the Director of the Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics Laboratory and, since 2003, has served as the Institute’s General Director.
Her teaching career began in 1991, and since then she has given courses without interruption at the Master’s and Doctoral levels in programs related to educational research and neuroscience. Another focus of her work involves directing the graduate theses of students at the Institute. She has also contributed to research on infant neuropsychology in Colombia, Ecuador and several states in Mexico.

Her principal research interests cover three main areas. The first is related to studies of oral and written language. More specifically, Dr. Matute analyzes the effect of learning to read on brain organization and cognitive development, working primarily with illiterate subjects and Spanish-speaking children who experience problems in learning to read and write. She has also studied the effect of the characteristics of the Spanish language on learning to read and manifestations of dyslexia. Dr. Matute’s studies in this area are considered pioneering research. Her second line of investigation, infant neuropsychology, occupies a central place in her work on the effects of age on cerebral plasticity, the neuropsychological characterization of specific neurological syndromes, and neuropsychological evaluation in different populations. Her third line of research focuses on analyses of the neuropsychology of adults, including neuropsychological evaluations of hospitalized patients and older adults, as well as the effects of cognitive intervention programs on patients with dementia.

The results of her research have been presented at academic forums of recognized prestige and earned three international awards. Dr. Matute’s publications circulate internationally, and her work has appeared in scientific journals, book chapters, and books, both as author and editor. The impact of her scientific production is clearly visible in the number of citations to her publications. Dr. Matute’s contributions to research networks have also allowed her to publish in conjunction with authors in the United States, Colombia, Mexico and Canada.

Dr. Matute’s research trajectory has earned her membership in Mexico’s National System of Researchers (SNI), the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and several international scientific associations.