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Francisco Barcelo

Dr. Francisco Barcelo, PhD

Professor of Neuropsychology
Laboratory of Neuropsychology

University of the Balearic Islands (UIB)
Ed. Beatriu de Pinos #12,
Ctra. Valldemossa, km 7.5,
E-07122 Palma de Mallorca (SPAIN)
(Phone) +34 -971 172750
(Fax) +34 -971 172309
(Mail) f.barcelo(at)

Curriculum Vitae ( English / Spanish / Google Scholar )

 Last updated: 01.08.2017


Human Neuropsychology (code 21325)

Research interests

My interest is in the study of mind-brain relationships (i.e., the age-old problem of 'how brains make up their minds'), as they are typically addressed in disciplines such as Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuropsychology. In particular, I have explored the neural dynamics underlying human attention and memory using fast functional brain imaging techniques such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG/ERPs) in both normal people and neurological and psychiatric patients.

My future research contemplates the use of computational models based on Information Theory and Bayesian statistical inference to describe, explain and predict cognitive control as an emerging property of large-scale neural dynamics. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the “entropy control” hypothesis of prefrontal function that “by linking novel to familiar information at the highest level of neural representation in a context-sensitive way, lateral PFC fulfills a physically and biologically plausible function of reducing stimulus and response entropy in the nervous system” (Barcelo & Knight 2007). From this perspective, cognitive control could be envisaged as the highest cortical exponent of energy minimization and homeostatic regulation in humans (Cannon 1932; Fuster 2002; Friston 2005).

Publications (click on link to download PDF)

paperBarcelo, F., & Cooper, P. S. (2017). An information theory account of late frontoparietal ERP positivities in cognitive control. Psychophysiology, 55, in press. JCR IF2015= 3.07

paperEnriquez-Geppert, S., & Barceló, F. (2016). Multisubject decomposition of event-related positivities in cognitive control: Tackling age-related changes in reactive control. Brain Topography, 1-18. JCR IF2015= 3.727
paperCooper, P. S., Darriba, A., Karayanidis, F., & Barceló, F. (2016). Contextually sensitive power changes across multiple frequency bands underpin cognitive control. Neuroimage, 132, 499-511. . JCR IF2015= 5.463
paperBarceló, F., & Cooper, P. S. (2016). A taxonomy of fronto-parietal P3-like positivities based on information theoretic models of cognitive control. Conference paper at the 18th World Congress of the International Organization for Psychophysiology (La Habana, Cuba, 1-4 September 2016). International Journal of Psychophysiology, 108, 53-54. JCR IF2015= 2.596

paperPrada, L., Barceló, F., Escera, C., & Herrmann, C.S. (2014). EEG delta oscillations index inhibitory control of contextual novelty to both irrelevant distracters and relevant task-switch cues. Psychophysiology, 51: 658-672. JCR IF2012= 3.261.

paperWeeda, W.D., van der Molen, M.W., Barceló, F., & Huizinga, M. (2014). A diffusion model analysis of developmental changes in children’s task switching. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, 178–197. JCR IF2012= 3.12.

paperRodriguez-Pujadas, A., Sanjuan, A., Ventura-Campos, N., Roman, P., Martin, C., Barceló, F., Costa, A., & Avila, C. (2013). Bilinguals use language-control brain areas more than monolinguals to perform non-linguistic switching tasks. PLoS ONE, 8, e73028. JCR IF2012= 3.73.

paperHernández, M., Martin, C.D., Barceló, F. & Costa, A. (2013) Where is the bilingual advantage in task-switching? Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 257–276. JCR IF2012= 2.8:

paperAdrover-Roig, D., Sese, A., Barceló, F., & Palmer, A. (2012). A latent variable approach to executive control in healthy ageing. Brain and Cognition, 78(3), 284-299. JCR IF2011= 3.174.

paperFinke, M., Escera, C., & Barceló, F. (2012). The effects of foreknowledge and task-set shifting as mirrored in cue- and target-locked event-related potentials. PLoS ONE, 7(11), e49486. JCR IF2011= 4.092.

paperFinke, M., Barceló, F., Garolera, M., Cortinas, M., Garrido, G., Pajares, M., & Escera, C. (2011). Impaired preparatory re-mapping of stimulus-response associations and rule-implementation in schizophrenic patients--the role for differences in early processing. Biol Psychol, 87(3), 358-365. JCR IF2010= 3.35.

paperGarcia-Garcia, M., Barceló, F., Clemente, I. C., & Escera, C. (2011). COMT and ANKK1 gene–gene interaction modulates contextual updating of mental representations. Neuroimage, 56(3), 1641-1647. JCR IF2010= 5.93.

paperMartin, C.D., Barceló, F., Hernandez, M., Costa, A. (2011). The time course of the asymmetrical “local” switch cost: Evidence from event-related potentials. Biological Psychology, 86(3), 210-218. JCR IF2010= 3.35.

paperParmentier, F. B., Elsley, J. V., Andres, P., & Barcelo, F. (2011). Why are auditory novels distracting? Contrasting the roles of novelty, violation of expectation and stimulus change. Cognition, 119(3), 374-380. JCR IF2010= 3.71.

paperVoytek, B., Davis, M., Yago, E., Barceló, F., Vogel, E. K., & Knight, R. T. (2010). Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage. Neuron, 68(3), 401-408. JCR IF2009= 13.26.

paperGarcia-Garcia, M., Barceló, F., Clemente, I.C., Escera, C. (2010). The role of the dopamine transporter DAT1 genotype on the neural mechanisms of cognitive flexibility. European Journal of Neuroscience, 31(4): 754-60. JCR IF2009= 3.418.

paperGarcia-Garcia, M., Barceló, F., Clemente, I.C., Escera, C. (2010). The role of DAT1 gene on the rapid detection of task novelty. Neuropsychologia. JCR IF2009= 4.345.

paperAdrover-Roig, D., Barceló, F. (2010) Individual differences in aging and cognitive control modulate the neural indexes of context updating and maintenance during task switching. Cortex, 46, 434-450. JCR IF2009= 4.058.

paperBarceló F (2009) The emotional consequences of being distracted. Frontiers in Neuroscience 3:6-7. doi: 10.3389/neuro.01.010.2009.

paperPerez Velazquez JL, Barceló F, Hunga Y, Leshchenkoa Y, Nenadovica V, Belkas J, Raghavana V, Briand J, Garcia Dominguez L (2009) Decreased brain coordinated activity in autism spectrum disorders during executive tasks: Reduced long-range synchronization in the fronto-parietal networks. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 73, 341–349. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.05.009.

paperSanchez-Cubillo I, Perianez JA, Adrover-Roig D, Rodriguez-Sanchez JM, Rios-Lago M, et al. (2009). Construct validity of the Trail Making Test: role of task-switching, working memory, inhibition/interference control and visuo-motor abilities. J.Int. Neuropsychol. Soc,15:438-50. doi: 10.1017/S1355617709090626.

paperNyhus E., Barceló F. (2009) The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the cognitive assessment of prefrontal executive functions: A critical update. Brain and Cognition, 71, 437-451.doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2009.03.005.

paperPeriañez J.A., Barceló F. (2009). Updating sensory versus task representations during task-switching: Insights from cognitive brain potentials in humans. Neuropsychologia: 47: 1160-1172. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.01.014.

paperBarceló F., Periañez, J.A., & Nyhus, E. (2008). An information theoretical approach to task-switching: evidence from cognitive brain potentials in humans. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: 1, 13. doi: 10.3389/neuro.09.013.2007.

paperBarceló F., Knight R.T. (2007) An information theoretical approach to contextual processing in the human brain: evidence from prefrontal lesions. Cereb Cortex: 17, i51-i60.

paperBarceló F., Knight R.T. (2007) Theoretical sequelae of a chronic neglect and unawareness of prefrontotectal pathways in the human brain. Behav Brain Sci 30: 83-85.

paperPeriañez, J.A., Rios-Lago, M., Rodriguez-Sanchez, J.M., Adrover-Roig, D., Sanchez-Cubillo, I., Crespo-Facorro, B., Quemada, J.I., Barceló, F. (2007) Trail Making Test in traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, and normal ageing: Sample comparisons and normative data. Arch Clin Neuropsychol, 22: 433–447.

Barceló F., Escera C., Corral M. J., & Periañez J. A. (2006). Task switching and novelty processing activate a common neural network for cognitive control. J. Cog. Neurosci. 18, 1734-1748.

Yago, E., Duarte, A., Wong, T., Barceló, F. & Knight, R.T. (2004) Temporal kinetics of prefrontal modulation of extrastriate cortex during visual attention. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience 4, 609-617.

Barceló F. (2004) Detection of change: Event related potential and fMRI findings. Clinical Neurophysiology 115, 1711-1713.

Perianez, J.A., & Barceló F. (2004) [Electrophysiology of executive functions]. Revista de Neurología, 38, 359-365.

Periañez, J.A., Mestú, F., Barceló, F., Fernández, A., Amo, C., Ortíz T. (2004) Spatiotemporal brain dynamics during preparatory set shifting: MEG evidence. Neuroimage 21, 687-695.

Barceló F., et al. (2003) Tidying up sensory stores with supraordinate representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26, 730-731.

Barceló F., et al. (2003) A new ERP paradigm for studying individual differences in the executive control of attention. In The Cognitive Neuroscience of Individual Differences (Reinvang, I., et al., eds), 47-62, bis-Publishers.

Barceló F. (2003) The Madrid card sorting test (MCST): a task switching paradigm to study executive attention with event-related potentials. Brain Research: Brain Research Protocols 11, 27-37.

Barceló F., Periañez, J.A. & Knight, R.T. (2002) Think differently: a brain orienting response to task novelty. NeuroReport 13, 1887-1892.

Barceló F., & Knight, R.T. (2002) Both random and perseverative errors underlie WCST deficits in prefrontal patients. Neuropsychologia 40, 349-356.

Periañez, J.A., & Barceló F. (2001) [Madrid adaptation of the wisconsin card sorting test: a comparative study of internal consistency]. Revista de Neurología, 33, 611-618.

Barceló F. (2001) Does the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test measure prefrontal function? Spanish Journal of Psychology 4, 79-100.

Barceló F., et al. (2000) Attentional set shifting modulates the target P3b response in the Wisconsin card sorting test. Neuropsychologia 38, 1342-1355.

Barceló F., & Santomé, A. (2000) Revisión crítica del test de clasificación de cartas de Wisconsin como indicador de disfunción prefrontal. Revista de Neurología 30, 855-864.

Barceló F., Suwazono, S., & Knight, R.T. (2000) Prefrontal modulation of visual processing in humans. Nature Neuroscience 3, 399-403.

Darlington, M.P., Barceló, F., et al. (1999) Neurofisiología de la memoria operativa viso-espacial. Psicothema 11, 163-174.

Barceló F. (1999) Electrophysiological evidence of two different types of error in the Wisconsin card sorting test. NeuroReport 10, 1299-1303.

Barceló F., Muñoz-Céspedes, J.M. et al. (1999) Evaluación de los déficit atencionales secundarios a TCE: aplicación de la cartografía cerebral al diagnóstico neuropsicológico. Mapfre Medicina 10, 124-133.

Barceló F., and Rubia, F.J. (1998) Non-frontal P3b-like activity evoked by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. NeuroReport 9, 747-751.

Barceló F., et al. (1997) Event-related potentials during memorization of spatial locations in the auditory and visual modalities. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 103, 257-267.

Barceló F., et al. (1997) The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the assessment of frontal function: A validation study with event-related potentials. Neuropsychologia 35, 399-408.

Barceló F., Gale A., Hall M. (1995) Multichannel EEG power reflects information processing and attention during visual orienting, and predicts performance in a subsequent recognition task. Journal of Psychophysiology 9, 32-44.

Barceló F., Hall M., Gale A. (1995) A psychophysiological inquiry into the nature of the Sokolovian orienting response comparator model: skin conductance and EEG data. Biological Psychology 41, 147-166.


See publication list.

Related links

University of Illes Balears (UIB)
Department of Psychology
Societies and Meetings
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
          Organization for Human Brain Mapping
Society for Psychophysiological Research
Society for Neuroscience
Neuropsychological assessment tools
MCST - Online

Favourite readings and other links
“Analyzing Neural Time Series Data: Theory and Practice” by Mike X Cohen
"An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique" (2nd Edition) by Steve Luck
"How Intelligence Happens" by John Duncan
          "Principles of Frontal Lobe Function", (2nd Edition) by Donald T. Stuss & Robert T. Knight

International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Brisbane, Australia, 2014
International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2017

Job opportunities

There are currently no vacancies.