Mario A. Parra Rodríguez MD, PhD

                                                                                                                                                     UL-BCRN Google+            View Mario Parra's profile on LinkedIn

General details

Assistant Professor
Heriot-Watt University, Psychology 
School of Life Sciences
David Brewster Building
Room 2.67

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Research Interests

Cognitive mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal ageing. Cognitive and behavioural changes in neurodegenerative diseases, with emphasis on Alzheimer’s Disease. The investigation of functional brain changes (fMRI and ERPs) in the course of dementing illnesses and other brain disorders. Development of cognitive tests for the early detection of dementia with emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease.

From 2003 I have also been interested in the cognitive mechanisms underlying violent behaviours. The UL-Latin America Brain Connectivity Research Network is aimed at promoting research on the functional architecture of the human brain and its vulnerability to social, biological and environmental aggressors.




Some Recent Collaborations

  • Health-Informatics Framework to develop ICT solutions to support frail older adults with mental health problems. Prof. Francisco Feito. Centre for Advanced Studies of Information and Commuinication Technologies (CEATIC, Jaen, Spain,
  • Diane M. Jacobs, PhD, Department of Neurosciences, Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of California, San Diego, US,
  • Working memory binding and neuroimaging biomarkers in the early detection AD-related changes. Integrating oculomotor behaviour and memory binding performance towards novel biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Gerardo Fernandez, Universidad Nacional del Sur – CONICET, Bahía Blanca, Argentina,
  • Development and Psychometric Analysis of TANVI: A new non-verbal binding test. Dr Bernandino Fernandez Clavo and Felipe Ricardo Aruda, Universidade Federale de Parabia, Brazil.
  • Cognitive performance in medical students with family history of Alzheimer’s Disease. Prof. Patricio Fuentes Gulielmetti, Department of Neurology, University of Chile, Chile.
  • Short-term memory binding: validity as a cognitive biomarker for Alzheimer's disease across cultures and nations. Cognitive markers for dementia in illiterates Peruvian Elderly. Dr Nilton President of the Peruvian Association of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Short-term memory binding: validity as a cognitive biomarker for Alzheimer's disease across cultures and nations. Following Trajectories of Pathological Ageing. Dr Juan Felipe Cardona Londoño, . University from Valle, Cali, Colombia.
Before 2015

  • Department of Basic Psychology Faculty Complutense University of Madrid. Memory and learning in Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Professor Sara F Guinea.
  • Neuroscience Group, University of Antioquia, Colombia. Memory and learning in familial (genetic) Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Francisco Lopera.
  • Emotional processing in ex-combatants from the Colombian army conflict. University of Antioquia. Dr Natalia Trujillo and Dr Jose David Lopez.
  • Cognitive markers to detect decline in preclinical AD. Dr Martin Vyhnalek and Hana Markova. Memory Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Motol University Hospital, Prague
  • Exploring novel cognitive tests that are associated with cognitive changes in preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Prof. Dorene Rentz and Dr Yakeel Quiroz
  • Tackling cultural barriers in cognitive assessment and early detection of dementias. University of São Paulo and the University of Edinburgh. Prof. Mônica Yassuda
  • A default mode network approach to brain disconnection as the underlying mechanism of working memory binding deficits in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease. Details of a Collaborator: Dr. Agustin Ibañez, Instutue for Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Working memory binding and neuroimaging biomarkers in the early detection AD-related changes. Professor Yaakov Stern, Department of Neurology and Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Columbia University.

Public Engagement


To further current understanding of the brain's networks framework

My Collaboration Network

He who has a why to live,                                            
can bear almost any how. Friedrich Nietzsche

Research Projects

  1. Cognitive biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease
    Working memory changes in healthy ageing
  2. Overcoming cultural barriers in the early detection of AD: towards global cognitive tests for preclinical detection
  3. Neuroimaging and cognition (fMRI, DTI and ERPs)
  4. Brain network models for the preclinical detection of neurodegenerative pathology
  5. Biological underpinnings of violent behaviors in populations chronically exposed to political conflicts
  6. Integral models to predict successful social reintegration post war conflict