Departamentul de Psihologie Clinica si Psihoterapie

Universitatea Babes-Bolyai

Platforma de Imagistică Avansată – MRI/EEG – Ştiinţele Cognitive Clinice

The Platform for Advanced Imaging – MRI/EEG – in Clinical Cognitive Sciences (the SkyRa Platform)

The Platform for Advanced Imaging – MRI/EEG – in Clinical Cognitive Sciences is part of the International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health supporting the Program of Biological Models (cognitive neurosciences/ethology/evolutionary/) of Psychopathology in the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the Babes-Bolyai University (UBB). The Program has the following structure:

  • A Center for Clinical Neurosciences (Dr. Octavian Popescu & Dr. Daniel David, co-supervisors). The Center is also part of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in Bio-Nano-Sciences of the Babes-Bolyai University, where it is located some of our research faculty and where we have educational and research seminars for master, doctoral, and postdoctoral students. It has two laboratories:
      • Clinical Cognitive Neurosciences Laboratory (Dr. Ioana Cristea, director)
      • Genetic Counseling Laboratory (Dr. Madlina Sucala, director)

Proceduri de lucru pe Platforma SkyRa

Plan preliminar de activitate pe Platforma SkyRa in anul 2012

I. Brief History

In 2007 we founded the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Babes-Bolyai University (BBU). In its research and development strategy, approved in 2007, we planed to develop two word-class research platforms, as part of our clinical cognitive sciences paradigm: (1) one for clinical cognitive neurosciences and (2) one for virtual reality interventions (including robotics in psychotherapy), in the International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health – an excellence research unit of the BBU.

In 2008 we applied for various national and international grants in order to develop our research infrastructure. The university was also very supportive in developing our research infrastructure, as the department is one of the excellence academic units of the university.

The Platform for Robotherapy and Virtual Reality Psychotherapy was set in 2009, based on research and research infrastructure grants of Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David (see at

The Platform for Advanced Imaging – MRI/EEG – in Clinical Cognitive Sciences (SkyRa Platform) is our newest Platform (operational starting with December 2011), based on research and researchinfrastructure grants of Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David. Once we obtained the infrastructure an intense program of personnel organization and training began.

In order to organize the Platform according to the highest international standards, we (Dr. David) visited similar laboratories at Harvard University, Yale University, Oxford University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and New-York University.

We then focused on the training of our academic and non-academic staff. The main contribution in the training programs was due to some of our international collaborators:

  • University of Pisa, Italy
    • Dr. Mario Guazzelli, Dr. Pietro Pietrini and their team had a key contribution (e.g., academic courses/workshops) in training our colleagues (some of our colleagues practically worked for several years in the Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnologies at the University of Pisa; common research projects and proposals are underway)
  • Harvard University, USA
    • Dr. Charles Nelson; one of our faculties had an internship in his program
    • Dr. Ovidiu Andronesiwas involved in our training and also put us in contact with top Harvard researchers in the field, who delivered several key training/workshops:
      • Dr. Ovidiu Andronesi – Advanced MR based methods for neuroimaging (common research projects and proposals are underway)
      • Dr. Giorgio Bonmassar – Fundamentals and advances of EEG
      • Dr. Gaab Nadine – fMRI and children

II. Organization of the SkyRa Platform

Director of the SkyRa Platform:

  • Dr. Daniel David, Professor, Ph.D. (UBB)

Executive Committee/Scientific Council of the SkyRa Platform:

  • Dr. Ioana Cristea (UBB/Pisa University), Ph.D.
  • Dr. Claudio Gentilli (Pisa University), Ph.D.
  • Dr. Bogdan Voinescu (UBB), MD, Ph.D.

International Advisory Board of the SkyRa Platform:

  • Dr. Ovidiu Andronesi, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Dr. Pietro Pietrini, M.D., Ph.D., Pisa University, Italy

Scientific secretarial of the SlyRa Platform:

  • Cristina Mogoase, MA (UBB)

III. Research Infrastructure

The SkyRa Platform (by its main component – Clinical Cognitive Neurosciences Laboratory) is localized at the “Raluca Ripan” Institute for Research in Chemistry, No. 30 Fantanele Street, Cluj-Napoca. It is directed by an Executive Committee, helped by an International Advisory Board

MRI (Siemens Skyra)

The MRI equipment consists of a 3 Tesla Siemens Skyra MRI with large bore (70 cm) and 32 channel head coil. Spinal coil, body coils and flexible coils are also available for other clinical applications. Available imagistic applications include angiography, cardiology, abdominal, perfusion, diffusion tensor imaging, nervous tract visualization, functional imaging, spectroscopy and dynamic breast imaging. Parallel acquisition techniques and movement corrections are included (all coils are compatible for parallel acquisition).


EEG System (EMS Pegasus/Phoenix)

The system is a 32-channels digital one that includes a photo stimulator. It permits FFT analysis, brain mapping and it is also equipped for event potential registration and analysis.

IV. Working Procedure

Professionals interested to use our facilities should address their request to Daniel David (, describing (1) their planned activities and (2) the resources they need (including time and personnel). The fee of using the research infrastructure is subject of approval by the Administration Council of BBU (depending also if BBU and/or our Departament/Institute are also involved in the research project).

The Platform will also offer services to the community, working with trained physicians (the procedures will be published soon, after their approval by the Administration Council of BBU).

Legal (specifically related to the Platform), ethical, and research procedures of the Babes-Bolyai University should be followed in any type of activity of the Platform.

V. Research projects (finished and/or ongoing):

  • David (UBB), Cristea, Gentili – 2012 (general topic: MRI – resting state and cognitive and emotional functioning)
  • David (UBB), Cristea, Riccardi – 2012 (general topic: MRI and the haptic perception)
  • Marincaş (UTCN), Ciupa – 2012 (general topic: MRI – magnetic field and stem cells)
  • Gaviţa (UBB) and colab. – 2012 (general topic: EEG and social anxiety)
  • Voinescu (UBB) – 2012 (general topic: MRI and insomnia)
  • David (UBB), Cristea, Gentili – 2013 (general topic: MRI and emotional learning)

VI. Sample publications

  • Cristea, I., Gentili, G., Ricciardi, E., Rota, G., Bonino, D., David, D., Pietrini, P., & Guazzelli, M. (2011). Brain correlates of rational and irrational beliefs: an fMRI study of cognitive reappraisal. Poster presented at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping (June 2011).
  • David, D., Szentagotai, A., Lupu, V., & Cosman, D. (2008). Rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and medication in the treatment of major depressive disorder: a randomized clinical trial, posttreatment outcomes, and six-month follow-up. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64(6), 728-746.
  • Gavita, O. A., Capris, D., David, D., & Bolno, J. (2012). Anterior cingulate cortex findings in child disruptive behavior disorders: A meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 6, 507-513.
  • Gentili, C., Vanello, N., Cristeaa, I. et al. (2012). Emotional dysregulation in social anxiety insights from an fMRI resting-state study. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 3,  339-339 (meeting abstract).

VII. International representations

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