Dr Maria Herrojo Ruiz

Staff details

Dr Maria Herrojo Ruiz






M.Herrojo-Ruiz (@gold.ac.uk)

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

María is interested in computational approaches to motor learning and decision making.

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

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


Kopytin, Grigory; Ivanova, Marina; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria and Shestakova, Anna. 2024. Evaluating the Influence of Musical and Monetary Rewards on Decision Making through Computational Modelling. Behavioral Sciences, 14(2), 124. ISSN 2076-328X

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

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.

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".

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