Dr Maria Herrojo Ruiz

Staff details

Position Reader
Department Psychology
Email M.Herrojo-Ruiz (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7870
Dr Maria Herrojo Ruiz

María is a Reader at the Department of Psychology, where she also co-directs the MSc in Computational Cognitive Neuroscience.
Her research focuses on methodological and computational approaches to study central questions regarding the neural bases of sensorimotor learning and motor control in healthy and clinical populations. More recently, María’s research focuses on understanding the role of subclinical anxiety and anxiety disorders on motor learning and decision making. She received various awards, including the Susanne Klein-Vogelbach award for the research in human movement (2014). She is presenter in a variety of international media including regular radio collaborations with Spanish RTVE.es, BBC Radio 3, and the Conversation.

Academic qualifications

  • Doctorate (Dr. rer. nat, PhD) in Neuroscience, Centre for Systems Neuroscience. Hanover (Germany) 2009
  • Advanced Studies Diploma (MPhil.) in Physics of Complex Systems, Department of Fundamental Physics, Faculty of Science, UNED. Madrid (Spain) 2005
  • MSc. degree in Physics (Theoretical Physics), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Madrid (Spain). 2001

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

María's main themes of research relate to the areas of motor, clinical and computational cognitive neuroscience. She is a member of our Cognition and Neuroscience Group and our Science of the Creative and Performing Arts Group.
Key areas of interest are listed below.
Additional details can be found at http://maria-herrojoruiz.net/

Motor Control
Computational Modelling
Decision Making
Movement Disorders
Music Performance
Perceptual Learning
Sensorimotor Learning

Publications and research outputs


Banca, Paula; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Gonzalez-Zalba, Miguel Fernando; Biria, Marjan; Marzuki, Aleya A.; Piercy, Thomas; Sule, Akeem; Fineberg, Naomi Anne and Robbins, Trevor William. 2023. Action-sequence learning, habits and automaticity in obsessive-compulsive disorder. eLife, 12, RP87346. ISSN 2050-084X

Hein, Thomas P.; Gong, Zheng; Ivanova, Marina; Fedele, Tommaso; Nikulin, Vadim and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2023. Anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex oscillations underlie learning alterations in trait anxiety in humans. Communications Biology, 6, 271. ISSN 2399-3642

Tecilla, Margherita; Michael, Grossbach; Gentile, Giovanni; Holland, Peter; Antonini, Angelo and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2023. Modulation of Motor Vigor by Expectation of Reward Probability Trial-by-Trial Is Preserved in Healthy Ageing and Parkinson's Disease Patients. The Journal of Neuroscience, 43(10), pp. 1757-1777. ISSN 1529-2401

Vidaurre, Carmen; Nikulin, Vadim V. and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2023. Identification of spatial patterns with maximum association between power of resting state neural oscillations and trait anxiety. Neural Computing and Applications, 35(8), pp. 5737-5749. ISSN 0941-0643

Tecilla, Margherita; Guerra, Andrea; Rocchi, Lorenzo; Määttä, Sara; Bologna, Matteo; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Biundo, Roberta; Antonini, Angelo and Ferreri, Florinda. 2022. Action Selection and Motor Decision Making: Insights from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Brain Sciences, 12(5), 639. ISSN 2076-3425

Polychroni, Naya; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria and Terhune, Devin Blair. 2022. Introspection confidence predicts EEG decoding of self-generated thoughts and meta-awareness. Human Brain Mapping, 43(7), pp. 2311-2327. ISSN 1065-9471

Hein, Thomas and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2022. State anxiety alters the neural oscillatory correlates of predictions and prediction errors during reward-based learning. Neuroimage, 249, 118895. ISSN 1053-8119

Golemme, Mara; Tatti, Elisa; Di Bernardi Luft, Caroline; Bhattacharya, Joydeep; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria and Cappelletti, Marinella. 2021. Multivariate patterns and long-range temporal correlations of alpha oscillations are associated with flexible manipulation of visual working memory representations. European Journal of Neuroscience, 54(9), pp. 7260-7273. ISSN 0953-816X

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Maudrich, Thomas; Kalloch, Benjamin; Sammler, Daniela; Kenville, Rouven; Villringer, Arno; Sehm, Bernhard and Nikulin, Vadim V.. 2021. Modulation of neural activity in frontopolar cortex drives reward-based motor learning. Scientific Reports, 11, 20303. ISSN 2045-2322

Azanova, Maria; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Belianin, Alexis V.; Klucharev, Vasily and Nikulin, Vadim V.. 2021. Resting-State Theta Oscillations and Reward Sensitivity in Risk Taking. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 15, 608699. ISSN 1662-4548

Gula, Justyna; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria and Cappelletti, Marinella. 2021. Characterizing the middle-age neurophysiology using EEG/MEG. Neurobiology of Aging, ISSN 0197-4580

Hein, Thomas; De Fockert, J. W. and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2021. State anxiety biases estimates of uncertainty and impairs reward learning in volatile environments. NeuroImage, 224, 117424. ISSN 1053-8119

Sporn, Sebastian; Hein, Thomas and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2020. Alterations in the amplitude and burst rate of beta oscillations impair reward-dependent motor learning in anxiety. eLife, 9, e50654. ISSN 2050-084X

Schmidt, Robert; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Kilavik, Bjorg; Lundqvist, Mikael; Starr, Philip and Aron, Adam R. 2019. Beta Oscillations in Working Memory, Executive Control of Movement and Thought, and Sensorimotor Function. Journal of Neuroscience, 39(42), pp. 8231-8238. ISSN 0270-6474

Bury, Gabriela; García Huesca, Marta; Bhattacharya, Joydeep and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2019. Cardiac afferent activity modulates early neural signature of error detection during skilled performance. NeuroImage, 199, pp. 704-717. ISSN 1053-8119

Michail, Georgios; Nikulin, Vadim; Curio, Gabriel; Maess, Burkhard and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2018. Disruption of Boundary Encoding During Sensorimotor Sequence Learning: An MEG Study study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12(240), ISSN 1662-5161

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Maess, Burkhard; Altenmüller, Eckart; Curio, Gabriel and Nikulin, Vadim. 2017. Cingulate and cerebellar beta oscillations are engaged in the acquisition of auditory‐motor sequences. Human Brain Mapping, 38(10), pp. 5161-5179. ISSN 1065-9471

Accolla, Ettore A; Horn, Andreas; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Neumann, Wolf-Julian and Kühn, Andrea A.. 2017. Reply: Oscillatory coupling of the subthalamic nucleus in obsessive compulsive disorder. Brain: A Journal of Neurology, 140(9), e57. ISSN 0006-8950

Accolla, Ettore A; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Horn, Andreas; Schneider, Gerd-Helge; Schmitz-Hübsch, Tanja; Draganski, Bogdan and Kühn, Andrea A. 2016. Brain networks modulated by subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation. Brain: A Journal of Neurology, 139(9), pp. 2503-2515. ISSN 0006-8950

Cheng, F.P.-H.; Eddy, M.-L.; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Großbach, M. and Altenmüller, E.O.. 2015. Sensory feedback – Dependent neural de-orchestration: The effect of altered sensory feedback on Musician’s Dystonia. Cerebral Cortex, 34(1), pp. 55-65. ISSN 1047-3211

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Hong, Sang Bin; Hennig, Holger; Altenmüller, Eckart and Kühn, Andrea A.. 2014. Long-range correlation properties in timing of skilled piano performance: the influence of auditory feedback and deep brain stimulation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1030.

Siegert, Sandy; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Brücke, Christof; Huebl, Julius; Schneider, Gerd-Helge; Ullsperger, Markus and Kühn, Andrea A.. 2014. Error signals in the subthalamic nucleus are related to post-error slowing in patients with Parkinson's disease. Cortex, 60, pp. 103-120. ISSN 0010-9452

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Rusconi, M.; Brucke, C.; Haynes, J.-D.; Schonecker, T. and Kuhn, A. A.. 2014. Encoding of sequence boundaries in the subthalamic nucleus of patients with Parkinson's disease. Brain, 137(10), pp. 2715-2730. ISSN 0006-8950

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Huebl, J.; Schonecker, T.; Kupsch, A.; Yarrow, K.; Krauss, J. K.; Schneider, G.-H. and Kuhn, A. A.. 2014. Involvement of Human Internal Globus Pallidus in the Early Modulation of Cortical Error-Related Activity. Cerebral Cortex, 24(6), pp. 1502-1517. ISSN 1047-3211

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Brücke, Christof; Nikulin, Vadim V.; Schneider, Gerd-Helge and Kühn, Andrea A.. 2014. Beta-band amplitude oscillations in the human internal globus pallidus support the encoding of sequence boundaries during initial sensorimotor sequence learning. NeuroImage, 85, pp. 779-793. ISSN 1053-8119

Neumann, Wolf-Julian; Huebl, Julius; Brücke, Christof; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Kupsch, Andreas; Schneider, Gerd-Helge and Kühn, Andrea A.. 2012. Enhanced low-frequency oscillatory activity of the subthalamic nucleus in a patient with dystonia. Movement Disorders, 27(8), pp. 1063-1066. ISSN 0885-3185

Strübing, Felix; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Jabusch, Hans Christian and Altenmüller, Eckart. 2012. Error monitoring is altered in musician's dystonia: evidence from ERP-based studies. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1252(1), pp. 192-199.

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Strübing, Felix; Jabusch, Hans-Christian and Altenmüller, Eckart. 2010. EEG oscillatory patterns are associated with error prediction during music performance and are altered in musician's dystonia. NeuroImage, 55(4), pp. 1791-1803.

Pearce, Marcus T.; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Kapasi, Selina; Wiggins, Geraint and Bhattacharya, Joydeep. 2010. Unsupervised statistical learning underpins computational, behavioural, and neural manifestations of musical expectation. NeuroImage, 50(1), pp. 302-313. ISSN 1053-8119

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Koelsch, Stefan and Bhattacharya, Joydeep. 2009. Decrease in early right alpha band phase synchronization and late gamma band oscillations in processing syntax in music. Human Brain Mapping, 30(4), pp. 1207-1225. ISSN 1097-0193

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Jabusch, H.-C. and Altenmuller, E.. 2009. Detecting Wrong Notes in Advance: Neuronal Correlates of Error Monitoring in Pianists. Cerebral Cortex, 19(11), pp. 2625-2639. ISSN 1047-3211

Herrojo Ruiz, Maria; Senghaas, Patricia; Grossbach, Michael; Jabusch, Hans-Christian; Bangert, Marc; Hummel, Friedhelm; Gerloff, Christian and Altenmüller, Eckart. 2009. Defective inhibition and inter-regional phase synchronization in pianists with musician's dystonia: An EEG study. Human Brain Mapping, 30(8), pp. 2689-2700. ISSN 1065-9471

Conference or Workshop Item

Vidaurre, Carmen; Nikulin, Vadim and Herrojo Ruiz, Maria. 2021. 'Optimized alpha band patterns correlated with trait anxiety'. In: 2021 IEEE 34th International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS). Aveiro, Portugal 7-9 June 2021.

Further profile content

Professional projects

María received funding from the Ernst Schering Stiftung and the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience in Tübingen, Germany, to co-organise with Prof. Boris Kleber the “International Symposium on Music performance: Art and Neuroscience in Dialogue” in April 2016 in Tübingen, which involved international musicians, academics and members of the general public. Together with Dr. Anna Sadnicka and Dr. Katja Kornisheva, María received funding from Guarantors of Brain to host a symposium for the general public in 2023 on "Public Understanding of Neurology".

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Media engagements

2019: BBC Radio 3 - David Baddiel is on a quest to like classical music
Interview with David Baddiel on neuroscience and music

2019: What happens to our brains when we hear music we hate?
Join David Baddiel and friends on a journey though history, music and emotion by searching BBC Sounds for "My Trouble with Classical Music"

2018: Spanish Radio and Television Corporation (RTVE) - Longitud de Onda
Monthly collaboration 2016-2019 to talk about music and neuroscience

2017: The Anthill - The Conversation
Podcast on music and Parkinson's Disease

Articles related to Dr Maria Herrojo Ruiz