Ana Lúcia Faria

Assistant Professor

Multimodal Systems

Country: Portugal

Affiliation: Universidade da Madeira and NOVA LINCS




I am a Health and Clinical Psychologist (Neuropsychology sub-specialty) by Ordem dos Psicólogos with a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Coimbra in 2020. The main outcomes of my thesis were the development of a new cognitive rehabilitation personalization framework with objective guidelines that were used to create three innovative tools - Task Generator, Reh@Task, and Reh@City - and its clinical validation with stroke patients from Madeira Health Service. In 2015, I was awarded a doctoral scholarship from ARDITI, with host institution M-ITI/LARSyS. During my doctoral studies, I have been involved in an EU project called RehabNet(303891 FP7-PEOPLE-2011). From 2020 to 2022, I was a post-doctoral researcher in an interdisciplinary project called BRaNT(PTDC/CCI-COM/31046/2017), which addressed the scientific limitations of traditional cognitive rehabilitation practices through virtual reality games that allowed automatic personalization through Artificial Intelligence approaches. I have been actively involved in the field of virtual reality-based tests for complex cognitive functions mapping in tumor resection through awake craniotomy. In 2021, I made a scientific expedition to the CHU Angers Neurosurgery Service (France) to attend two Awake Brain Surgeries procedures and learn the most about their virtual reality-based methodologies. I envisioned a project named CogMap, which I am pursuing through the supervision of three informatics engineering and clinical psychology master's thesis. CogMap's first steps already involve two universities (Madeira and Coimbra Universities) and three hospitals (Funchal, Lisbon and CHU Angers). In 2021, a project in which I was the co-PI was approved for funding by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia: Adaptive Virtual Reality for coping with involuntary early pregnancy loss (EXPL/CCI-INF/0298/2021). I published, mostly as first author, 19 articles in peer-reviewed and indexed journals such as the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (IF: 5.8), Frontiers in Psychology (IF: 3.8), Frontiers in Neurology (IF: 3.4), Journal of Medical Internet Research RAT (IF: 7), Virtual Reality (IF: 4.2) and Games for Health (IF: 3.5). Additionally, I published five book chapters and several conference articles, some ACM and IEEE. I was awarded a Best Student Paper Commendation in 2014 and 2016 ICDVRAT and Best Student Paper in the 2018 Conference on Applied Psychology and Human Behavior. In 2022, I was the runner-up for the early-career award of the International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation, delivered at the Rehabweek conference in the Netherlands. I was invited to be a reviewer in several international journals and conferences. I am a Guest Editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering (Special Collection on Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Interventions for Older Adults), the Frontiers journal (Research Topic in Human-Centered Solutions and Synergies across Robotic and Digital Systems for Rehabilitation) and the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology. I have been an active participant, with posters and oral presentations, in relevant clinical meetings, such as the International Congress of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in ABI (Best Communication prize), the International Neuropsychological Society Meetings, and the European Stroke Organisation Conference. I have been an invited assistant professor at Madeira University since 2010. I supervise Master's students from different areas, such as Clinical and Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, Informatics Engineering and Interactive Media Design.

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