Rafael Torrubia Beltri

Rafael  Torrubia Beltri



Rafael Torrubia Beltri

+34 935 811 438



Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology
Institut de Neurociències
Faculty of Medicine (room M5-137)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Bellaterra Campus 08193-Cerdanyola del Vallés

Dr. Rafael Torrubia’s laboratory is part of the research group Animal and Human Models in Mental Disorders. Specifically, this lab is focussed on the study of vulnerability to a number of mental disorders (personality disorders, anxiety disorders and affective disorders) related to the functioning of the aversive and the appetitive neural systems.

Group members:

Óscar Andión Pérez

Xavier Caseras Vives

Miquel A. Fullana Rivas

Esther Martinez Membrives

Beatriz Molinuevo Alonso

Yolanda Pardo Cladellas

David Torrents Rodas





This aim implies research on the basic psychological processes involved in the onset and maintenance of the disorders, individual differences in these processes and the relating neurobiological structures. Research methodology includes: a) development and adaptation of assessment scales for the selection of samples; neuropsychological laboratory tasks; psychophysiological measures; and d) structural and functional neuroimage techniques. 




1) Psychophysiology of vulnerability to anxiety disorders

Research of the basic psychological mechanisms involved in the processes of fear and anxiety acquisition in subclinical populations using startle reflex and electrodermal activity as indexes of affective processing.


2) Neurobiological correlates of mental disorders using neuroimage techniques

Research, using fMRI techniques, of the brain functioning associated with a number of mental disorders (mainly anxiety) and of possible vulnerability factors for suffering these disorders. 


3) The aversive and appetitive neural systems as vulnerability dimensions to psychopathology

Study of the role of aversive and appetitive systems as vulnerability factors to  several disorders (obsessive-compulsive, major depression, bipolar disorder and psychopathic personality). A psychometric methodological approach is used in clinical and subclinical populations and, in some cases, neuropsychological and learning laboratory tasks.


4) Adaptation and standardization of instruments for psychological  diagnosis and assessment

This line of research has the aim of providing the scientific community with a number of assessment instruments which are relevant for research and clinical purposes. It encompasses the adaptation of published questionnaires to our cultural context and the development of new ones.

•   Torrents-Rodas, D., Fullana, M.A., Bonillo, A., Andión, O., Molinuevo, B., Caseras, X., Torrubia, R.
Testing the temporal stability of individual differences in the acquisition and generalization of fear.
Psychophysiology, 51,  697 – 705.(2014)

•   Vega, D.,  Soto, A.,  Amengual, J.L., Ribas, J., Torrubia, R., Rodríguez-Fornells, A., Marco-Pallarés, J.
Negative reward expectations in Borderline Personality Disorder patients: Neurophysiological evidence.
Biological Psychology, 94, 388-396.(2013).

•   Caseras, X., Murphy, K., Mataix-Cols, D., López-Solà, M., Soriano-Mas, C., Ortriz, H., Pujol, J., Torrubia, R.
Anatomical and functional overlap within the insula and anterior cingulated cortex during interocepcion and phobic symptom provocation. Human Brain Mapping, 34, 1220-1229.(2013).

•   Torrents-Rodas, D., Fullana, M.A., Bonillo, A., Caseras, X., Andión, O., Torrubia, R.
No effect of trait anxiety on differential fear conditioning or fear generalization.
Biological Psychology, 92, 185-190.(2013).

•   Torrents-Rodas, D., Fullana, M.A., Arias, B., Bonillo, A., Caseras, X., Andión, O., Mitjans, M., Fañanás, L., Torrubia, R.
Acquisition and generalization of fear conditioning are not modulated by the BDNF-val66met polymorphism in humans.
Psychophysiology, 49, 713-719.(2012).

See all publications

Institut de Neurociències


Tel: 93 581 3861
Fax: +34 93 581 3327


Tel: 93 581 33 27

Facultat de Medicina. Edifici M-1
Carrer de la Vinya - Campus de la UAB · 08193
Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès) · Barcelona