Lines of research

Memory supports many complex cognitive skills and very especially those related to language. Recently it has been proposed that the control of interference in memory is resolved by means of inhibitory control processes that are in charge of suppressing competing memories during memory retrieval. We are interested in understanding the nature of this mechanism in a variety of populations and situations by using a wide range of neuroscience techniques.

LINE 1 Individual differences in inhibitory control of memory.

The general aim of this line is to study the properties of inhibition as a mechanism that helps in selecting memory traces of different nature. We focus on studying the nature of this process by using retrieval practice, directed forgetting and updating tasks. We study the role of cognitive control in memory retrieval by exploring individual differences in memory suppression (e.g. inhibitory deficits in the aging or across mental disorders). Finally, we also aim to observe whether this mechanism can be enhanced through training of memory control.

LINE 2 Language selection and cognitive control in bilinguals and translators.

Numerous studies evidence that bilinguals activate the two languages simultaneously. The question concerns how the system handles such unintended activation. According to a inhibitory perspective, free-domain executive control would be in charge of suppressing the non-target representations. We explore the organization of the bilingual lexical system and the importance of executive control mechanisms for controlling language processing in bilinguals. Additionally, we study how the recurrent engagement of these processes may transfer to non-verbal skills in different populations (e.g. children, adults, or interpreters).