Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience
The Audition team is investigating the mechanisms of auditory perception, at the interface between low-level processing of acoustic features and high-level cognitive processes. We use a wide range of tools in order to address this research topic, from single unit recordings in behaving animals to advanced psychophysics and EEG in human subjects. Current projects in the lab revolve around three major threads:
Our lab is interested in how a brain develops and how it is protected from disorders, like intellectual disability and neurodegeneration.Although the emphasis in the media and, even the scientific literature tends to be on brain disease, it is worth remembering that vastmajority of people - and indeed animals - are in fact healthy and do not suffer from brain disorders. In fact, brain health is so robustthat often even individuals with mutations that could lead to disease do not develop the symptoms. How does brain developmentresist dysregulation more than 95% of the time?
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a major challenge in Neurosciences. This brain region controls behavior adaptation and highercognitive functions that are needed for complex social interaction, abstract thinking, reasoning, planning or creativity.
The overall objective of the group is to unravel principles of neural computations underlying sensory-motor integration in thevertebrate brain. We use the zebrafish larva as a model since it currently constitutes the only vertebrate system amenable towhole-brain recording with cellular resolution. Using one- or two-photon light-sheet microscopy, we are able to monitor the long-termactivity of the quasi-entirety of the 100,000 neurons that comprise the animal brain, as it performs basic sensory-motor tasks.
Our brain needs to constantly fuse sensory information detected by our multiple senses in order to produce a seamless coherent representation of the world. Rather than being the exception, this binding process is ubiquitous to sensory-motor integration and is implicated in most cognitive functions. Its impairment is a cause of various pathologies, such as schizophrenia or autism. Multisensory processing operates on all brain levels from primary cortices over subcortical structures up to higher associative centers, while the smallest operational units are single multisensory neurons.
The modern abundance of energy-rich foods combined with a shift to more sedentary lifestyles has led to a thermodynamic imbalance, and consequently, excessive caloric intake and reduced energy expenditure are the main causes for the prevalence of obesity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the obesity worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2008, 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight.
The Brain Dynamics group focuses on the chronoarchitecture of the Human brain supporting perception and cognition.Our work is committed to the view that perception and cognition rely on inferential brain processes which are fundamental to contemporary theories of cortical functions. Neural inferences are shaped by both hard and soft constraints e.g. cognitive architecture and plasticity, respectively.
Our team investigates the relationships between spinal motoneurons and the muscle fibers they are targeting, and how thisrelationship is altered in the context of a human degenerative disease of motoneurons (ALS). To do so, we have recently pioneeredtwo new preparations that allow studying the electrophysiological properties of identified spinal motoneurons.
The "Biomarkers of relapse and therapeutic response in addictions and mood disorders" team develops research on mood disordersand addiction both at the clinical and fundamental level (ranked A, AERES 2013, creation 01/01/2014).The objective is to identifyclinical, biological, genetic or imaging-based markers of the response to psychotropic drugs (in the context of drug abuse or during thetreatment for mood disorders or pain management). These markers will allow us to better predict the response (therapeutic and sideeffects) in order to improve the therapeutic monitoring of patients.
We address two questions:
1) Which mechanisms underly the evolution and the diversification of the vertebrate forebrain?
2) What are the evolutionary forces involved?