Dr. María Herrojo Ruiz


Goldsmiths University of London
Department of Psychology


Lecturer in Psychology

Research interests

My research programme focuses on the neural mechanisms mediating music performance and sensorimotor learning, both in healthy human subjects and in patients with movement disorders.

What organisational principles at the cortical and subcortical levels are at work during the performance and monitoring of behavioural sequences? What principles guide the acquisition of novel movement sequences? Specifically, my work focuses on sensorimotor sequences – that is, sequences of movements with associated auditory feedback. Thus, an important aim is to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms that may contribute to the integration of sound and movement, as well as predictive processes during motor control.

Another line of research focuses on understanding the effect of anxiety on motor and perceptual learning. With the support of the British Academy and Leverhulme trust, we are using neuroscientific methods and computational modelling to investigate the effect of anxiety on motor variability to assess motor skill learning. In addition, in a new PhD project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), we are combining computational modelling with brain imaging methods to investigate the impact of everyday experiences such as anxiety, motivation, and prior expectations upon learning.

In my research, I use electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, intracraneal recordings and deep brain stimulation in combination with computational modelling and machine learning methods.

General research interests:

  • Sensorimotor learning and motor control
  • Music cognition and performance
  • Action monitoring
  • Expectation and prediction
  • Anxiety and cognitive biases
  • Bayesian inference
  • Statistics
  • Neurological disorders
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Dynamical systems
  • Stochastic processes