Sofia de la Fuente Garcia (DTP Precision Medicine)

Thesis title: Human-Robot Interaction for Dementia Prevention and Research with a Focus on Cognitive Well-being.

Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Medicine

Year of study: 4

  • Usher Institute of Population Health and Informatics
  • Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences
  • Edinburgh Medical School

Contact details



Nine Edinburgh Bioquarter, floor 2, 9 Little France

Post code
EH16 4UX

Old Medical School, Doorway 1
Teviot Place

Post code


I graduated with a BSc degree in Psychology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2015, and with a MSc degree in Methodology for Behavioural and Health Sciences at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in 2017.  Currently in the third year of my Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Medicine, funding awarded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).


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  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Edinburgh Teaching Award; April 2019).
  • MSc (Hons) Methodology for Behavioural and Health Sciences (dissertation: analysis of natural language in older adults). Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, 2015.
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology (dissertation: past, current and future directions of classical conditioning). Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 2017.

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Human-Robot Interaction for Cognitive Training: exploring potential uses of Pepper the robot (Aldebaran - Softbank) for cognitive training and neuropsychological rehabilitation.
  • Usher Institute Public Engagement Group
  • Technology and Communication Translational Research Group: research on clinical communication and its potential applications in collaboration with the Centre for Dementia Prevention
  • President of the University of Edinburgh Capoeira Society (2018-2019)

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor: Critical Analysis (Psychology 3rd year), 2019-2020

Tutor: PPLS Writing Centre, 2018-present.

Tutor and Demonstrator: Psychology 2A & 2B, 2018-2019.

Marker: Medical Informatics, 2017-2018.


Postgraduate teaching

Co-supervision of MSc dissertiation: Master in Public Health 2017-2018, 2018-2019.

Areas of interest for supervision

Early detection of dementia.

Open to topics in psychology, language and the mind.


Current PhD students supervised

Justin Baird-Delhaye, MSc Public Health 2018-2019

Past PhD students supervised

Tyra Tseng, MSc Public Health 2017-2018. Dissertation title: Detection of Cognitive Impairment Through Speech: A Secondary Acoustic Analysis of DementiaBank Corpus

Research summary

Language and dementia, psycholinguistics, consciousess, integrated functions of the mind.

Current research interests

My doctoral research is an exploratory study of those psycholinguistics, linguistics, paralinguistics and acoustic features that may help predict dementia onset later in life. The project has a focus on cognitive well-being and our methodological approach involves a range of computational tools from machine learning, signal processing and natural language processing.

Past research interests

Psychophysiology of language comprehension and neuroscience of memory

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

DTP Precision Medicine. Funded awarded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), grant number MR/N013166/1

Conference details

  • Scottish Dementia Research Consortium: "Prevent-ED: investigating dialogue features to prevent dementia". Glasgow (UK), 2019.
  • International Neuropsychological Society Conference: "Natural Language Processing for Cognitive Status Prediction, a Latent Semantic Analysis approach". Prague (Czech Republic), July 2018.
  • 10th Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science: "Evaluating cognition through linguistic features". Dubrovnik (Croatia), May 2018.
  • 11th Edition of its Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC): "A Method for Analysis of Patient Speech in Dialogue for Dementia Detection". May 2018.
  • 2nd Human Brain Project Student Conference: "Detecting Cognitive Decline through Dialogue Processing". February 2018.


Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (Edinburgh Teaching Award, 2019)

Research collaboration awards (UCM: 2014, UAM: 2015)

Academic excellence awards (Madrid, Spain; 2010, 2012)


  • Haider, F., de la Fuente, S., Luz, S. (early access). An Assessment of Paralinguistic Acoustic Features for Detection of Alzheimer’s Dementia in Spontaneous Speech. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. (DOI: 10.1109/JSTSP.2019.2955022).

  • de Frutos-Lucas, J. et al. (2019). Enhancement of posterior brain functional networks in bilingual older adults. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 1–14. (DOI: 

  • de la Fuente, S., Ritchie, C., Luz, S. (2019). "Protocol for a conversation-based analysis study: PREVENT-ED investigates dialogue features that may help predict dementia onset in later life". BMJ Open (DOI:  
  • Luz S, de la Fuente, S., Albert P. (2018). “A Method for Analysis of Patient Speech in Dialogue for Dementia Detection”. Resources and Processing of linguistic, para-linguistic and extra-linguistic Data from people with various forms of cognitive impairment. European Language Resources Association (ELRA). Paris: France:35–42.

  • de la Fuente, S., Albert, P., Luz, S. (2018). "Detecting cognitive decline through dialogue processing". Frontiers Event Abstracts: 2nd Human Brain Project Student Conference, pp. 13-15.