Charlotte Muscarella

Keywords

Cognitive control – Sleep – Insomnia – Rumination

The recruitment dynamics of cognitive control in insomnia

Insomnia patients report severe deficits in cognitive functioning. However, both behavioral and neurological research on these complaints remains remarkable scarce and inconclusive. The Dual Mechanisms of Control theory proposes that reduced cognitive efficiency might be caused by changes in the temporal dynamics of the neural recruitment of cognitive control mechanisms. Cognitive control reflects our ability to plan a new strategy, evaluate it, control its execution and correct possible errors. More specifically, it is hypothesized that insomnia patients have difficulty maintaining task goals to anticipate and prevent interference before it occurs. Based on this theory, we use a more dynamic approach in the current project in order to shed light on how insomniacs recruit cognitive control and under which circumstances its efficiency fails. Furthermore, our project aims to explore whether these biased patterns of neural activation are reversible and can be trained. By incorporating a cognitive strategy training, we will examine whether a shift towards a more efficient cognitive control recruitment can be established in insomniacs. With this project we aim to increase our understanding of the recruitment dynamics of cognitive control in insomniacs and its flexibility. Consequently, these insights can provide promising indications with regards to cognitive interventions in clinical practice.

“sponsored by FWO “Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen”

Promotor: Prof. Dr. Eva Van den Bussche (VUB)
Promotor: Prof. Dr. Olivier Mairesse (VUB)
Co-promotor: Gethin Hughes (University of Essex)

Education

Master of Science in Psychology (specialisation: Clinical Psychology, Option: Biological Psychology), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, July 2013.

Master’s Thesis

‘Short- and long-term effects of conscious, minimally conscious and unconscious brand logos’

Promotor: Prof. Dr. Eva Van den Bussche, VUB

Academic career

10/2014- current: PhD Researcher (FWO fellowship), Department of Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

02/2014-09/2014: Scientific Fellow (wetenschappelijk medewerker), Department of Psychology, KU Leuven

10/2013-09/2014: Research Assistant/Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Internships and research visists
Six Month clinical internship at the Center for Sleep and Biological Rhythms, Brugmann Hospital.

University of Essex, Colchester (Great-Britain). One week research visit to Dr. Gethin Hughes (10/12/2013-17/12/2013).

Multivariate data analyse, Structural equation modeling, WPO’s (3th Bachelor in Psychology)

Methoden in de klinische gedragsneurowetenschappen, WPO’s (1st Master in Clinical (Biological) Psychology)

Scientific Publications

Conferences

2016

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2016) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control: an ERP study. Poster presented at The Annual Meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences (BAPS), May 24 2016, Antwerp (Belgium).

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2016) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control: an ERP study. Poster presented at the VUB PhD Day, May 27 2016, Brussels (Belgium).

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2016) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control: an ERP study. Oral presentation presented at the ULB-VUB Joint PhD Day in Psychology and Educational Sciences, November 8 2016, Brussels (Belgium).

2015

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2015) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control. Poster presented at The Annual Meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences (BAPS), May 28 2015, Brussels (Belgium).

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2015) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control. Poster presented at the 19th ESCoP Conference 2015, 17-20 September 2015, Paphos (Cyprus).

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Neu, D., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2015) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control and perceived sleep quality. Poster presented at 7th World Congress of the Sleep Federation, 31 October- 3 November 2015, Istanbul (Turkey).

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Neu, D., Hughes, G. & Van Den Bussche, E. (2015) Rumination is associated with a reduced efficiency in cognitive control and perceived sleep quality. Poster presented at the ULB-VUB Joint PhD Day in Psychology and Educational Sciences, November 5, Brussels (Belgium).
(Winner of the Best Poster Award ULB-VUB Joint PhD Day in Psychology and Educational Sciences 2015)

2014

Muscarella, C., Smets, K., Sasanguie, D., Van den Bussche, E., & Reynvoet, B. (2014). The Respective Influence of Visual and Numerical Information in Numerosity Estimation. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, November 20-23, Long Beach, California (USA).

Muscarella, C., Aben, B., Smets, K., Hughes, G., & Van den Bussche, E. (2014). How time and semantic relatedness modulate whether and how unconscious information is represented in the brain. Poster presented at the Belgian Brain Council (BBC), October 4, Gent (Belgium).

Muscarella, C., Smets, K., Defever, E., & Reynvoet, B. (2014). The role of visual information in numerosity estimation in adults and children. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences (BAPS), May 27, Leuven (Belgium).

Muscarella, C., Smets, K., Hughes, G., Soetens, E., & Van den Bussche, E. (2014). Short- and long-term effects of conscious, minimally conscious and unconscious brand logos. Oral presentation presented at the annual meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences (BAPS). May 27, Leuven (Belgium).

2012

Brintazzoli, G., Muscarella, C., Soetens, E., & Van den Bussche, E. (2012). Short- and Long-term unconscious logo priming of brands and related words. Poster presented at Neuroscience & Cognitive Control 2012 (NEUROCOG ’12). December 3-4, Brussels (Belgium).

Charlotte

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Psychology
Pleinlaan 2
B – 1050 Brussel
Belgium
Phone : 32-2-629 25 26
Office: 3C232
E-mail : Charlotte.Muscarella@vub.ac.be