Formación Contínua

Stephan Moratti

My team and me are investigating basic neuronal mechanism of emotional processing in the brain. We are interested in how emotional relevance influences perceptual processes in the brain. We are also interested in basic fear learning mechanism. One major question within this research line is how emotional processing is affected in affective disorders such as depression. However, to understand better how emotion influences perception we also study basic perceptual processes in the visual system.

We work in close collaboration with the Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory.
We use techniques like Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroencephalography (EEG), and intracranial EEG recordings.

Our team applies advanced cortical source localization techniques to MEG/ EEG data in the time and time-frequency domain. We also use functional and effective connectivity measures to estimate neuronal coupling derived from MEG/ EEG data.



  • Karolina Swider (Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow)

Doctoral students:

  • Cristina Saugar, PhD (finished)
  • Constantino Méndez Bértolo, PhD (finished)
  • Ana Galarza, PhD (finished)
  • Javier Echegaray (in course)
  • Alejandro Santos Mayo (in course)
  • Inés Abalo Rodríguez (in course)

Master students:

  • Tamara Giménez Fernández (finished)
  • Javier de Echegaray y Díaz de Otazu (finished)
  • Alejandro Santos Mayo (finished)
  • Myriam Joana Laremont Bumedien (finished)
  • Iciar Celaya Morón

Collaborating students (UCM):

  • Morika Georgieva
  • Maria Modelska
  • Belén Benito
  • Raluca Andreea Stan

Visiting Students:

  • Melissa Yuan (Boston, USA)
  • Luianta Verra (Berlin, Germany)
  • Katharina Teutenberg (Germany)



Recent Projects:

  • TEMPACOR (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad; PSI2014-52205-R). IP: Stephan Moratti. Investigates oscillatory neuronal responses to emotional pictures in depressed and healthy participants.
  • EYEBAM (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad ; PSI2017-91700-EXP). IP: Stephan Moratti. This explorer project tries to show that amplitude modulated steady state responses can affect startle responses to affective pictures.
  • EICor (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades; PGC2018-097940-B-I00). IP: Stephabn Moratti. In this project we investigate neuronal oscillatory response modulations by fear conditioning. Specifically, we are interested in the acquisition of conditioned inhibitory responses.
  • Neurocon (European Union). Ips: Karolina Swider and Stephan Moratti. This European funded project investigates how placebo effects can be induced to reduce pain perception by fear conditioning.


Selected publications


  • Gundlach C, Moratti S, Forschack N, Müller MM. Spatial Attentional Selection Modulates Early Visual Stimulus Processing Independently of Visual Alpha Modulations. Cereb Cortex. 2020 May 18;30(6):3686-3703. doi: 1093/cercor/bhz335. PubMedID: 31907512.


  • Yuan M, Giménez-Fernández T, Méndez-Bértolo C, Moratti S. Ultrafast Cortical Gain Adaptation in the Human Brain by Trial-To-Trial Changes of Associative Strength in Fear Learning.  Neurosci..2018 Sep; 38(38):8262-8276. PubMed ID: 30104342.


  • Moratti S, Giménez-Fernández T, Méndez-Bértolo C, de Vicente-Pérez F. Conditioned inhibitory and excitatory gain modulations of visual cortex in fear conditioning: Effects of analysis strategies of magnetocortical responses. 2017 06; 54(6):882-893. PubMed ID: 28169431.


  • Méndez-Bértolo C, Moratti S, Toledano R, Lopez-Sosa F, Martínez-Alvarez R, Mah YH, Vuilleumier P, Gil-Nagel A, Strange BA. A fast pathway for fear in human amygdala.  Neurosci..2016 08; 19(8):1041-9. PubMed ID: 27294508.


  • Moratti S, Strange B, Rubio G. Emotional arousal modulation of right temporoparietal cortex in depression depends on parental depression status in women: first evidence. J Affect Disord.2015 Jun; 178:79-87. PubMed ID: 25801520.