Clara Sanches

Postdoctoral Fellow

Movements are files of a person’s life, learned, reproduced, and altered as needed. There are external movements, those that make us act on objects and internal movements, and energy that we use in space and time. Clara’s interest in the body as a ‘depository of human expressiveness’ led her to a degree in Psychomotor Therapy with a master’s specialization in old age and mental health (University of Lisbon). An enriching experience with an aging population triggered her interest in old age and how much there is to learn about the biological and physiological mechanisms of aging and the disruptions that lead to age-related diseases.

Her Master’s degree in Integrative Biology and Physiology, with specialization in Cognitive Neurosciences (Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris), provided her with the basis for understanding brain aging mechanisms. Her enthusiasm propelled her to pursue a PhD degree in cognitive neurosciences (Sorbonne University) at the Paris Brain Institute, working in the field of language in neurodegenerative diseases and the use of transcranial stimulation as a possible therapeutic approach. As movements, each word also has a biography that is related to the biography of the person using it. Understanding how one’s language abilities are affected during a disease process is another piece in the complex domain of neurodegeneration and its consequences on one’s identity.

She is interested in understanding how an individual responds to aging in different spheres of life and how the identification of altered mechanisms in pathological aging can help prevent early cognitive and functional decline. By joining the Decision Lab at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, she is exploring how the process of decision-making is affected and which are the neural bases that subtend decision-making alterations.