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The team researches links between the gut microbiome and human cognitive and emotional functions.

Team Activity

Food and Cognitive Abilities

Animal studies have proven that the quality and the amount of gut microbiome impact cognitive functions. Animals, whose microbiome was wiped out or diminished showed impairment in learning processes and in spatial and working memory. A correlation between the gut microbiome and emotional process as well as mood has also been observed in people. Studies have indicated that people suffering from depression and anxiety have different type of bacteria and the quality of microbiome than healthy individuals. Furthermore, there are indications that gut microbiome may play a role in diseases related to neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration, such as autism disorders, ADHD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

The goal of the GutTeam is to better understand the impact of the gut microbiome on behavior, especially in relation to mood changes and cognitive functions in healthy individuals and patients undergoing fecal microbiota transplant (FMT).

In September 2019, doctoral students from the GutTeam participated in The Gut-Brain Axis – Neuroscience School of Advanced Studies, which included lectures and discussions on the links between the gut and the brain, conducted by the leading experts in the field from all over the world.

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Head of the GutTeam

  • Assistant Professor Katarzyna Kuć

Doctoral students

  • mgr Aleksandra Bramorska
  • mgr Wanda Zarzycka
  • mgr Jagna Żakowicz


  • mgr Anna Kovbasiuk


  • Wiktoria Podolecka


Research Projects

Current projects

Through the stomach (and intestines) to the brain? The influence of microbiota on human functioning: an experimental and correlational study

  • Grant funded by the Regional Initiative of Excellence (RID)
  • Grant amount: PLN 172,000
  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Katarzyna Kuć

Effects of sugar consumption on cognitive function - a pilot study

  • Funded by SWPS University
  • Grant amount: PLN 7,500
  • Principal Investigator: mgr Wanda Zarzycka


Foundation for the Infection Prevention Institute, Paweł Grzesiowski, M.D., Ph.D.



SWPS University
Institute of Psychology
Chodakowska 19/31
03-815 Warsaw

Neurocognitive Research Center
Institute of Psychology
e-mail: ncrc@swps.edu.pl