Tkalcic M photo web

TKALČIĆ, MLADENKA works at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka since 1988. She teaches one compulsory subject, Biological Psychology, and several elective subjects, Selected Topics in Biological Psychology, Selected Topics in Neuropsychology, Functional organization of Cerebral Cortex, Introduction to Psychology and Neuroscience and Education.

She leads a research project “Cognitive-Affective Determinants of Irritable Bowel Syndrome” (financing by the University of Rijeka: uniri-drustv-18-62).

The goal of this project is to investigate different cognitive-affective (mood, anxiety, illness perception, attention and executive functions) and behavioural (coping, control and avoidance) determinants of health outcomes (quality of life and symptom severity) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some of the specific research problems are related to study of an intraindividual correlation of mood, stress and symptom severity; study of the relationship between different aspects of anxiety (trait anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, anxious thoughts, and visceral anxiety) and mood (depression, negative and positive mood) with the quality of life; study of the relationship between different aspects of anxiety and interoception (the sense of the internal state of the body), patterns of attention and performance on cognitive tasks. Various research designs are used in these studies, from correlational and prospective to experimental.

Mladenka Tkalčić participates in an international collaborative project “Computational Psychosomatic Medicine Based on Predictive Coding: Basic Study on Irritable Bowel Syndrome” as a researcher. The project aims to empirically examine validity of the model of the predictive coding by implementing the behavioural decision-making tasks with the IBS patients and healthy participants. This project is realized in collaboration with Japanese researchers from the University of Nagoya (principal investigator is prof. Hideki Ohira).

Another research interest is related to the comparison of the cognitive and everyday functioning of dementia patients (diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and others) and healthy elderly people.

Academic portfolio (of the University of Rijeka employee) can be found here:

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