Dr Ines Violante

Lecturer in Psychological Neuroscience
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Academic and research departments

School of Psychology.



Ines studied Biochemistry at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Her interest in studying the brain started as a BSc student, when she spent one year doing research at the Biomedical Research Institute “Alberto Sols” in Madrid, Spain, as an Erasmus student. Ines received her doctoral degree from the University of Coimbra in 2012. She was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship in 2013 and moved to London to perform her research project at Imperial College London and University College London. In 2017, she joined Surrey as a Lecturer in Psychological Neuroscience.

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding the role of brain networks on cognitive functions and the use of brain stimulation as a neuromodulator. My research combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to understand how brain stimulation (TMS, tACS, tDCS) can be used to modulate brain dynamics and behavioural performance. I am interested in how brain oscillations mediate long-range connectivity and particularly how neurostimulation can be used to improve network communication following brain injury.

A second strand of research that started during my PhD, has been focused on understanding the neurobiological basis of the cognitive deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). My research in this field is characterized by being interdisciplinary and translational, applying neuroimaging and neurophysiological techniques to translate the inhibitory hypothesis in NF1. I have used spectroscopy, molecular imaging and magnetic resonance imaging to provide a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiological alterations present in NF1.

Research collaborations

Prof. David Sharp, Imperial College London

Prof. Richard Wise, Imperial College London

Dr. Robert Leech, Imperial College London

Dr. Adam Hampshire, Imperial College London

Prof. John Rothwell, University College London

Dr. David Carmichael, University College London

Dr. Miguel Castelo-Branco, University of Coimbra


Biological Psychology with Research Methods (Year 1)

Brain and Behaviour with Research Methods (MSc Conversion)

Psychological Neuroscience: Electrophysiology (MSc)

Departmental duties

Neuro Methods Clinics

Conference Papers

Lorenz R, Monti RP, Hampshire A, Koush Y, Anagnostopoulos C, Faisal A, Sharp D, Montana G, Leech R, Violante IR. Towards tailoring non-invasive brain stimulation using real-time fMRI and Bayesian optimization. (2016) 6th International Workshop on Pattern Recognition in Neuroimaging (PRNI) - Best Paper Award

Lorenz R, Monti RP, Violante IR, Faisal A, Anagnostopoulos C, Leech R, Montana G. Stopping criteria for boosting automatic experimental design using real-time fMRI with Bayesian optimization. (2015) 5th NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning and Interpretation in Neuroimaging: Beyond the Scanner

My publications


Violante IR, Li LM, Carmichael DW, Lorenz R, Leech R, Hampshire A, Rothwell JC, Sharp DJ. Externally induced frontoparietal synchronization modulates network dynamics and enhances working memory performance. eLife (2017), Mar 14;6. pii: e22001. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22001.

Sliwinska M, Violante IR, Wise R, Leech R, Devlin J, Geranmayeh F, Hampshire A. Stimulating domain-general neural networks improves vocabulary learning. Journal of Neuroscience (2017), 3857-16; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3857-16.2017

Gonçalves J, Violante IR, Sereno J, Leitão R, Cai Y, Abrunhosa A, Silva AP, Silva A, Castelo- Branco M. Testing the excitation/inhibition imbalance hypothesis in a mouse model of the autism spectrum disorder: in vivo neurospectroscopy and molecular evidence for regional phenotypes. Mol Autism. (2017) Sep 19;8:47. doi: 10.1186/s13229-017-0166-4. eCollection 2017.

Violante IR, Ribeiro MJ, Patricio M, Bernardino I, Rebola J, Abrunhosa AJ, Ferreira N, Castelo-Branco M. GABA deficiency in NF1: a multimodal [11C]-Flumazenil and spectroscopy study. Neurology (2016) 87(9):897-904

Datta G, Violante IR, Scott G, Zimmerman K, Santos-Ribeiro A, Rabiner EA, Gunn RN, Malik O, Ciccarelli O, Nicholas R, Matthews PM. Translocator positron-emission tomography and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging of brain glial cell activation in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal (2016)

Silva G, Ribeiro MJ, Costa GN, Violante IR, Ramos F, Saraiva J, Castelo-Branco M. Peripheral Attentional Targets under Covert Attention Lead to Paradoxically Enhanced Alpha Desynchronization in Neurofibromatosis Type 1. PLoS One (2016) 11(2):e0148600. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148600.

Lorenz R, Monti RP, Violante IR, Anagnostopoulos C, Faisal AA, Montana G, Leech R. The Automatic Neuroscientist: A framework for optimizing experimental design with closed-loop real-time fMRI. Neuroimage (2016) 129:320-34.

Ribeiro MJ, Violante IR, Bernardino I, Edden RAE, Castelo-Branco M. Abnormal relationship between GABA, neurophysiology and impulsive behavior in neurofibromatosis type 1. Cortex (2015) 64:194-208.

Violante IR, Ribeiro MJ, Edden RAE, Guimarães P, Bernardino I, Rebola J, Cunha G, Silva E, Castelo-Branco M. GABA deficit in the visual cortex of patients with NF1: genotype-phenotype correlations and functional impact. Brain 136:3 (2013) 918-25.

Violante IR, Ribeiro MJ, Silva E, Castelo-Branco M. Gyrification, cortical and subcortical morphometry in Neurofibromatosis type 1: an uneven profile of developmental abnormalities. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 5:3 (2013) doi: 10.1186/1866-1955-5-3.

Violante IR, Ribeiro MJ, Cunha G, Bernardino I, Duarte JV, Ramos F, Saraiva J, Silva E, Castelo-Branco M. Abnormal brain activation in neurofibromatosis type 1: a link between visual processing and the default mode network. PLoS One. 7:6 (2012) e38785.

Duarte JV, Ribeiro MJ, Violante IR, Cunha G, Silva E, Castelo-Branco M. Multivariate Pattern Analysis Reveals Subtle Brain Anomalies Relevant to the Cognitive Phenotype in Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Human Brain Mapping (2012) doi: 10.1002/hbm.22161

Ribeiro MJ, Violante IR, Bernardino I, Ramos F, Saraiva J, Reviriego P, Upadhyaya M, Silva ED, Castelo-Branco M. Abnormal achromatic and chromatic contrast sensitivity in neurofibromatosis type 1. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 53:1 (2012) 287-293.

Delgado TC, Violante IR, Nieto-Charques L, Cerdan S. Neuroglial metabolic compartmentation underlying leptin deficiency in the obese ob/ob mice as detected by magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy methods. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 31:12 (2011) 2257-2266.

Rodrigues TB, Violante IR, Cerdan S. Unambiguous assignment of the H3S and H3R deuterations of cerebral (2-13C) glutamate by 13C NMR at 18.8 Tesla. Magn Reson Med. 63:4 (2010) 1088-1091.

Violante IR, Anastasovska J, Sanchez-Canon GJ, Rodrigues TB, Righi V, Nieto-Charques L, Parkinson JR, Bloom SR, Bell JD, Cerdan S. Cerebral activation by fasting induces lactate accumulation in the hypothalamus. Magn Reson Med. 62:2 (2009) 279-283.

Ramirez BG, Rodrigues TB, Violante IR, Cruz F, Fonseca LL, Ballesteros P, Castro MM, Garcia-Martin ML, Cerdan S. Kinetic properties of the redox switch/redox coupling mechanism as determined in primary cultures of cortical neurons and astrocytes from rat brain. J Neurosci Res. 85:15 (2007) 3244-3253.