Zaira Ortega Llorente

University of La Rioja

The neuropsychology as a tool in the classroom 

Participants: Laiane Olabarrieta-Landa1; Ricardo Scott Barrio2; María José Álvarez Alonso3; Iban Onandia H.4; Bárbara Oliván Blázquez5

1Public University of Navarra; 2University of Alicante; 3University Nebrija; 4University of Basque Country; 5University of Zaragoza

Symposium Summary

Introduction: Neuropsychology has become an essential resource for improving student achievement in the classroom. Knowing which brain structures and functions are involved in the teaching-learning process is key to being able to optimise teaching methodologies. But for all this information to be applied in the classroom, there are many professionals from different disciplines who have to work together and complement each other. The first step is to establish normative data which allow professionals to interpret the results of neuropsychological tests with higher precision. These neuropsychological tests are used, on the one hand, by researchers to investigate in depth the functioning of the different neuropsychological variables and thus understand their relationship with the different learning processes and, on the other hand, by clinical professionals for the evaluation of students and subsequent planning, together with educators, of intervention programmes that allow the different processes to be improved. Finally, it is very important to consider the emotional aspect of both students and teachers in this process, as adequate mental health and emotional state promote the performance of the functions of both. Methods: The different papers in this symposium use different neuropsychological tests to evaluate the variables of attention, reading comprehension, short-term memory and stress in different student populations. Discussion: It is very important to have a global vision of how neuropsychology can be useful to improve students' learning processes. Both the most basic research, focused on the functioning of the different neuropsychological variables, and the most applied research, focused on educational and emotional intervention, can be decisive in achieving better cognitive development in our students.

Short CV

PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and specialist in neurobiology. She earned her PhD from the Autonomous University of Madrid with her study on Huntington's neurodegenerative disease. She subsequently completed a postdoctoral degree at the Complutense University of Madrid, focusing her research on the involvement of the Cannabinoid system in adult neurogenesis. During this period, she made research stays at the UCL Institute of Neurology in London and the University of Amsterdam. During both periods she gained recognition through several publications in international and national journals indexed in JCR. Also, she has participated in various national and international conferences, with requested and invited papers, and she has participated in international competitive research projects.

Subsequently, she worked at the University of Valladolid as Lecturer of Human Anatomy in the Physiotherapy degree of the Faculty of Physiotherapy of Soria.

Currently, she is a lecturer and researcher at the International University of La Rioja within the master’s degree in Neuropsychology and Education, and she leads different master's theses in the field. Her main research interest focuses on neuropsychology, using the neuroanatomic knowledge to study the neurophysiological basis of reading comprehension.
Go back to guest symposium