Credentials & Research

April 14, 2016

Francesca Eleuteri – Credentials, Research and Publications – Functioning Psychology

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Research - Functioning Psychology

Francesca Eleuteri is a registered Health Care Psychologist and PhD Candidate in cognitive neuropsychology at Radboud University, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior. She holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Promotion of Well-Being and is going to earn a master in cognitive neuropsychology. She acquired experience in the medical context working at the Ward for Addictive Disorders at the Day Hospital of Clinical Psychiatry of the “A. Gemelli” University General Hospital in Rome and Lumsa University, Department of Cognitive Psychology and Child Neuropsychology, and at the Santa Lucia Foundation, Neurorehabilitation centre in Rome. She also holds a certificate in “Understanding drugs and addiction” from the King’s College London. She is currently member of the Dutch Association for Psychologists, the Dutch Association for Neuropsychology and the American Psychological Association. She is currently involved in several research projects led by international universities. The research she is currently involved are:

  • “Motor perseveration behaviors in the hemineglect syndrome: a visuo-attentional or an executive function disorder?”
    • Abstract: Patients with unilateral spatial neglect show a set of positive symptoms namely the manifestation of behaviors not relevant to the task, such as perseveration in cancellation tasks. Authors have classified different types of perseveration depending on the site of lesion. The most frequent form of motor perseveration behavior seems to be associated to frontal lesions and subcortical damage. It is unclear whether these perseveration behaviors may be considered as visuo-spatial symtoms of hemi-neglect and/or whether they are related to executive functions disorder. Moreover, since similar perseveration patterns namely re-fixating have been performed during eye movements analysis of patients with neglect we will investigate whether these behaviors could be equivalent. In previous studies patients with neglect showing perseverations did not show impairments in executive functioning, inhibitory control, however, has not been specifically investigated. Moreover, the relation between omissions and motor perseveration is controversial and only few studies have investigated such relation by using eye movements. We hypothesize that neglect, in addition to spatial working memory and other cognitive functions impairments may also involve deficits in executive functioning, specifically in response inhibition. The aim of the present study is to investigate the extent to which impaired executive functioning can explain the motor perseveration in unilateral neglect, by separately assessing both skills. Specifically, we will investigate further whether executive dysfunction, in particular response inhibition, might predict the degree of neglect, the subtype of perseveration and/or the number of re-cancellations in patients with neglect, in relation to the different location of lesions in the brain.
    • Supervisor: Prof. Luciano Fasotti
    • University Partners: Radboud University (Nijmegen), Lumsa University (Rome), Goldsmiths University (London)
  • “Sex differences in tobacco withdrawal: effects on executive functioning”
    • Abstract: Tobacco abstinence is associated with impaired cognitive functioning, particularly in the area of sustained attention and working memory. Recently studies focused on individual differences, such as gender, to explain some nicotine addiction features. It seems that tobacco abstinence significantly reduces memory performance under full attention conditions for males but not for females. Smokers were tested twice after 2 hours abstinence in a counterbalanced order on the Italian version of JEF® task. Smoking status was manipulated within subjects in a repeated measures design. The results from this study are not consistent with our first hypothesis, that acute smoking abstinence would be associated with a decrease in executive functioning, whereas is consistent with our second hypothesis, that there are sex differences in performance in response to abstinence. In abstinence condition, males performed better than on ad libitum condition and compared to females, whereas, females performance remained steady across the two conditions.
    • University Partners: Lumsa University in Rome, Goldsmiths University in London
  • “Sex differences in executive functioning: neuronal correlates in young adults”Research - SDEF
    •  Abstract: The research aims to investigate along which components of cognitive executive functions (EFs) males and females may differ, both behaviorally and anatomically. Behavioral assessments were used (JEF©, Jansari et al., 2012; BADS, Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome – Wilson et al., 1996) and sMRI scans.
    • University Partners: Lumsa University
  • “The role of executive functions in exploratory guidance”
    • Abstract: The research involve several experiments with both neurologically unimpaired and impaired participants (right brain damaged patients with and without neglect and patients with posterior cortical atrophy, PCA) on exploratory guidance.
    • University Partners: Lumsa University, Goldsmiths University
  • “Effects of current and future relevance on perceptual selection”
    • Abstract: In daily life we need to explore the world in order to select what is relevant for our current task and to discard what is not. The visual system facilitates us through the ‘search template’, a picture in our head connected to visual working memory that guides our attention. Recently, it has been proposed that different templates compete for the deployment of attention according to their priority, current or future relevance and irrelevance. The exact influence of them remain to be established, as a number of studies observed working memory effects on selection, whereas other did not find such interference. Moreover, there is a great interest regarding the visual features able to activate the different visual working memory representations, either in relation to their spatial focus or to their ability to match object categories in real-world scenes. In this research, we investigated the relation between working memory and attention, defining the degree of interference of each template.
    • University Partner: Vrije University Amsterdam

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ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS

  • Eleuteri, F. and Arduino, S.L. (2014). Individual, Community and Societal Effects of the Global Financial Crisis: a Bioecological Model, Journal of Risk Analysis and Crisis Response, 4, 4, 203-213. Download the full text here.
  • Eleuteri, F., Jansari, A., Falcone, C. and Arduino, S.L. (2015). Sex differences in tobacco withdrawal: effects on executive functioning, Psychopharmacology, (in preparation).

 

CONFERENCES

  • “Executive functions and gender differences: behavioral and anatomical data”, poster presentation to 6th Scientific Conference of the Federation of the European Societies of Neuropsychology (FESN), Maastricht, the Netherlands,  Accepted poster , 13-15 September 2017. Read the programme here.
  • “Executive Functions and Gender Differences: Behavioral and Anatomical Data”, poster presentation to International Conference Cognitive Neuroscience of Executive Functions (CNEF), Padova, Italy, 28-30 September 2017.
  • “Gender differences in Tobacco Withdrawal: Effects on Executive Functions”, poster presentation to International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), Vienna, Austria, 23-25 March, 2017. Program.
  • “Gender Differences in Tobacco Withdrawal: Effects on Executive Functions”, poster and oral presentation to XXII° National AIP Congress, Experimental Psychology Division, Rome, Italy, September 20-22, 2016. Read the programme here.
  • “Sex Differences in Tobacco Withdrawal: Effects on Executive Functioning”, poster and oral presentation to thirty-fourth European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology: an interdisciplinary approach, Bressanone, Italy, January 24-29, 2016. Read the abstract here.
  • Lecturer at the conference “Project Punto&Capo: results and prospects of the work did in the district F2 on addictions ” at the Council Chamber of the City of Ladispoli (RM), 14/11/2013.

TRAINING AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS

    • Trained for Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET), developed by Professor Gerard E. Hogarty and Samuel Flesher, PhD (2006), as instructor and therapist. CET is an Evidence-Based Practice designed to help people with schizophrenia and related cognitive disorders improve brain and cognitive development and social cognition. Read more about CET here.
    • Trained and authorized to administer JEF© (Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) and JEF-C© (Jansari Assessment of Executive Function for Children), developed by Dr. Ashok Jansari (2014). JEF is based on virtual reality technology and is planned to assess a number of constructs involved in executive functions, i.e.:
      • Planning (PL)
      • Prioritisation (PR)
      • Selective Thinking (SE)
      • Creative Thinking (CT)
      • Adaptive Thinking (AT)
      • Action-Based Prospective Memory (ABPM) • Event-Based Prospective Memory (EBPM) • Time-Based Prospective Memory (TBPM)
    • Trained for the following neuropsychological assessments:
      • the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS), Stroop test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WXST), Verbal Fluency, Category Fluency, Screening for neglect (cancellation task, barrage, Wundt-Jastrow, reading, line bisection), Street Completion Test, Trail Making Test, Rey auditory-verbal learning test (RAVLT), Digit Span Forward, Digit Span Backward, MMPI, SCID I, MCMI-III, IAT, TEC, VINELAND II, WAIS-IV.

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ACCREDITATION

  • 2015 – 2017 Research MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology, VU University, Amsterdam.
  • 2015 – 2016 Single courses:
    • Aging and dementia, Prof. Dott. Erik J.A. Scherder, VU University
    • Medical Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy, Prof. Dott. Erik J.A. Scherder, VU University
    • Brain, Cognition, and Mental Health, dr. A.J. Fett MSc
  • March 2014 Certificate Understanding drugs and addiction, King’s College London.
  • 2011 – 2013 MSc Clinical Psychology and Promotion of Well-Being, Lumsa University, Rome.
  • 2012 Erasmus Exchange Program at College and Graduate School of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam.
  • 2008 – 2011 BSc Psychological Sciences and Techniques, E-Campus University of Novedrate, Como.
  • 1999 – 2004 BA Fine Arts (Hons), Fine Arts Academy, Rome.

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MEMBERSHIP

  • APA International Affiliate (American Psychological Association) ID Nr. 2796-5920.
  • NIP – Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen (Dutch Psychological Association), NIP-nummer: 223481.
  • NVN – Nederlandse Vereniging voor Neuropsychologie (Dutch Neuropsychological Association).

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MEMBER OF SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEES

  • Member of Local Scientific Committee of XXII° National AIP Congress, Experimental Psychology Division, Rome, Italy, September 20-22, 2016.

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OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Books

  • Eleuteri, F. and Gigli, D. (2012). La dopamina nel nucleo accumbens: la cocaina, la motivazione e la sensazione di piacere, Behavioral Neurochemistry, Volume Edizioni, Roma, ISBN 9788897747048.
  • Eleuteri, F. (2012). Cocaina: psicopatologia della dipendenza e strategie terapeutiche, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Volume Edizioni, ISBN 9788897747093.
  • Eleuteri, F.(2013). Studies on bioecological dynamics, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Volume Edizioni, ISBN 9788897747130.
  • Eleuteri, F. (2013). Dealing with the financial crisis, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Volume Edizioni, ISBN 9788897747123.
  • Eleuteri, F. (2013). Suppression of stereotypes, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Volume Edizioni, ISBN 9788897747147.

Translations

Arduino, L.S. and Eleuteri, F. JEF-C© The Jansari assessment of Executive Functions in Children (Italian language).

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