Pilar Segura Torres

Pilar  Segura Torres


Pilar Segura Torres

Academic Staff

+34 935 813 221



Department of Psychobiology and Methodology of Health Science
Institut de Neurociències
Faculty  of Psychology (room B5-035)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Bellaterra Campus 08193-Cerdanyola del Vallés


Thesis number in address


Degree in Psychology
Master in Neuroscience


Pilar Segura-Torres finished her Psychology Degree in 1985 and defended her PhD thesis, supervised by Dr. Ignacio Morgado, in 1989 at the UAB. Since 1992 she is associate professor in the same University, where teaches psychobiology courses. She has conducted studies and research at the Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf (Germany) and currently she collaborates with the department of molecular biology at the University of Girona. She has been member of the Local Organizing Committee of 35 Annual General Meeting of the European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS, Barcelona, 2003) and she is the current director of the Department of Psychobiology and Methodology of Health Sciences at the UAB.

Currently, she coordinates a group of experimental research on improvement and recovery of learning and memory by intracranial electrical stimulation in normal and brain damaged rats (behavior and neural mechanisms).

Dr. Pilar Segura is a Principal Investigator at the Memory Potentiation and Recovery in Normal and Brain damaged Rats research group and leads her own laboratory:
Group members:
Laura Aldavert Vera
Neus Biosca Simón

Ignacio Morgado Bernal

Department of Molecular Biology , Universitat de Girona (Gemma Huguet, Elisabet Kádár)
Ramón y Cajal Institute (CSIC), Madrid (Javier de Felipe, Miguel Miguéns)
Our currently coordinated project aims to: (1) explore the therapeutic potential of Intracranial Self-Stimulation (ICSS) on memory ptentiation in a model of Alzheimer in rats, and its combination with dietary supplements; (2) study the ICSS-activated substrate as a new therapeutic target to facilitate the extinction of aversive avoidance
conditioning and its ability to prevent spontaneous recovery from it; (3)determine whether or not the relationship between the ICSS and the orexin system depends on the emotional nature of the learning tasks; (4) study the effect of ICSS on microRNAs involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity, also as possible biomarkers of AD progression; and (5) introduce the study of the gender factor in the effect of ICSS on memory and neural plasticity.

Their main project entitled “Potentiation and recovery of memory by intracranial self-stimulation in rats with or without brain damage: behaviour, neural systems and molecular mechanisms” includes different experiments aimed at studying:

1. the ability of ICSS treatment to revert or compensate memory deficits induced by experimental brain damage
2. the possible involvement of brain orexin system on the facilitative effect of ICSS
3. the involvement of changes in dendrites spines as putative substrate of memory facilitation
4. the detection of regions that are differentially activated by ICSS and likely involved on its memory facilitative effect
5. putative genes, and proteins, activated by ICSS in regions such as hippocampus and amygdala that could be related to the ICSS facilitative effects on learning and memory.


The research questions stated above are investigated through intracranial electrical self-stimulation (ICSS), electrolytic lesions, orexin agonists and antagonists, immunohistochemical determination of c-fos and Nurr-1 expression, DNA microarrays, real time PCR and fluorescence protein colocalization. The behavioral tasks are, among others, two-way active avoidance and Morris water maze.


  • Chamorro-López J, Miguens M, Morgado-Bernal I, Kastanauskaite A, Selvas A, Cabané-Cucurella A, Aldavert-Vera L, DeFelipe J, Segura-Torres P. Structural plasticity in hippocampal cells related to the facilitative effect of intracranial self-stimulation on a spatial memory task. Behavioral Neuroscience 2015 (in press).
  • Kádár E, Ramoneda M, Aldavert-Vera L, Huguet G, Morgado-Bernal I, Segura-Torres P. Rewarding brain stimulation reverses the disruptive effect of amygdala damage on emotional learning. Behav Brain Res. 2014, 274:43-52.
  • Kádár E, Huguet G, Aldavert-Vera L, Morgado-Bernal I, Segura-Torres P. Intracranial self-stimulation upregulates the expression of synaptic plasticity related genes and Arc protein expression in rat hippocampus Genes Brain & Behav. 2013, 12: 771-779.
  • Aldavert-Vera L, Huguet G, Costa-Miserachs D, Pena de Ortiz S, Kádár E, Morgado-Bernal I, Segura-Torres P. Intracranial self-stimulation facilitates active-avoidance retention and induces expression of c-Fos and Nurr1 in rat brain memory systems. Behav Brain Res. 2013, 250: 46

See all Pilar Segura-Torres publications at PubMed.

Institut de Neurociències
Tel: 93 581 3861 / Fax: +34 93 581 3327

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