Line of research: Basic processes in psychology

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This line of research brings together researchers who are investigating the basic processes of learning and cognition as well as the assessment and regulation of emotions. The research is organized around the following descriptors:

  • Reasoning and associative processes in learning
  • Acquisition and expression of habits: individual differences
  • Extinction of acquired fears
  • Numerical cognition
  • Assessment and regulation of emotions
  • Brain basis of language in healthy and brain damaged individuals
  • Combined therapies for language rehabilitation in post-stroke aphasia
  • Implicit memory and learning

This line of research is headed by nine faculty members. Their experience is evidenced by their contributions to numerous scientific publications, the development of doctoral theses, and their participation in competitive publicly-funded research projects.




Marina Calleja Reina

University of Malaga

Pedro Luis Cobos Cano

University of Málaga, Málaga Institute of Biomedical Research

Javier García Orza

University of Malaga

Francisco José López Gutiérrez

University of Málaga, Málaga Institute of Biomedical Research

David Luque Ruiz

University of Málaga, Autonomous University of Madrid

Miguel Ángel Vadillo Nistal

Autonomous University of Madrid, University College London

Pablo Fernández Berrocal

University of Malaga

Natalio Extremera Pacheco

University of Malaga

Guadalupe Dávila Arias

University of Malaga


Labs associated with this line of research

>The Causal cognition group

>The Numeric cognition group

>Emotions Lab

>Applied positive lab

>Cognitive neuroscience: aphasia and related disorders

Ongoing projects and recent publications

Title: Intolerancia a la incertidumbre como factor de vulnerabilidad frente a la adquisición de conductas de evitación desadaptativas. [Intolerance to uncertainty as a factor of vulnerability to the acquisition of maladaptive avoidance behaviors].

Reference: PGC2018-096863-B-I00. 

Funded by: Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

Duration: Start date: 2019; End date: 2022

Head researchers: Pedro Luis Cobos Cano

Participating entities: University of Malaga


Title: Factores protectores del bienestar personal y escolar en la adolescencia [Protective factors of personal and school well-being in adolescence]

Reference: UMA18-FEDERJA-114.

Funded by: Junta de Andalucía + FEDER [Andalusia Regional Govermment and ERDF].

Duration: Start date: 2019; End date: 2022

Head researchers: Pablo Fernández-Berrocal y Rosario Cabello.

Participating entities: University of Malaga


Title: Telerrehabilitación en afasia: evaluación de no inferioridad frente a terapia presencial e identificación de biomarcadores predictores de eficacia. [E-rehabilitation in aphasia: assessment of non-inferiority versus face-to-face therapy and identification of predictor biomarkers of efficacy].

Reference: P20_0050.

Funded by:  Junta de Andalucia [Andalusian Regional Government]

Duration: Start date: 2021; End date: 2023

Head researchers: Guadalupe Dávila Arias

Participating entities: University of Malaga


Title: Análisis de factores personales y contextuales y su impacto en la salud y bienestar docente: implicaciones de la inteligencia emocional para los docentes en activo y el profesorado novel. [Analysis of personal and contextual factors and their impact on teachers’ health and well-being: implications of emotional intelligence on in-service teachers and new teachers.]

Reference: UMA18-FEDERJA-147

Funded by: Junta de Andalucía + FEDER [Andalusia Regional Govermment and ERDF].

Duration: Start date: 2019; End date: 2022

Head researchers: Natalio Extremera Pacheco.

Participating entities: University of Malaga


>Vadillo, M. A., Linssen, D., Orgaz, C., Parsons, S., & Shanks, D. R. (2020). Unconscious or underpowered? Probabilistic cuing of visual attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149, 160-181.

>Luque D, Beesley T, Morris RW, Jack BN, Griffiths O, Whitford TJ, Le Pelley ME. (2017). Goal-Directed and Habit-Like Modulations of Stimulus Processing during Reinforcement Learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 3009-3017

>Flores, A., López, F. J., Vervliet, B., & Cobos, P. L. (2018). Intolerance of uncertainty as a vulnerability factor for excessive and inflexible avoidance behavior. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 104, 34-43

>Quintero, M.J., Flores, A., Gutiérrez-Huerta, M.T., Molina-Guerrero, P., López, F.J., & Morís, J. (2021). Limitations of occasional reinforced extinction to alleviate spontaneous recovery and reinstatement effects: Evidence for a trial signalling mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Pre-printing online version

>Cabello, R., Gómez-Leal, R., Gutiérrez-Cobo. M.J., Megías-Robles, A., Salovey, P., & Fernández-Berrocal, P. (2021). Ability Emotional Intelligence in Parents and their Offspring. Current Psychol. Pre-printing online version

>Dávila, G., Moyano, M. P., Edelkraut, L., Moreno-Campos, L., Berthier, M. L., Torres-Prioris, M. J., & López-Barroso, D. (2020). Pharmacotherapy of Traumatic Childhood Aphasia: Beneficial Effects of Donepezil Alone and Combined with Intensive Naming Therapy. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11, 1144

>Arrivillaga, C., Rey, L., & Extremera, N. (2022). Psychological distress, rumination and problematic use of smartphones among Spanish adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence of psychotic disorders: Journal of Affective Disorders, 296, 1-8

>García-Orza, J., Gutiérrez-Cordero, I., & Guandalini, M. (2020). Saying thirteen instead of forty-two but saying lale instead of tale: is number production special? Cortex, 128, 281–296.


(Latest update: February, 2022)

If you would like further information on this line of research, please get in touch with Francisco José López Gutiérrez: (; member of the Academic Committee for the PhD Program, and PhD Program Coordinator).

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