NIA - UMR 7260

Integrative and Adaptive Neuroscience

Director : Christian XERRI

Fédération de Recherches 3C “Comportement – Cerveau – Cognition”
Campus St Charles - Case B
3, place Victor Hugo
CS 80249
13331 Marseille CEDEX 3
France

Our research focuses on the encoding process by sensory receptors and on signal processing in cortical neuronal networks (somatosensory and auditory), on cognitive and perceptual integration, particularly in relation to perceptual illusions (kinesthetic, tactile or auditory), on adaptation and post-lesional recovery (vestibular, cortical or spinal lesion) and on remediation of cognitive functions during aging.

Experiments conducted on animals (rat, guinea pig and cat) and humans include a wide range of techniques to explore phenomena in a complexity of gradient from neurons to cognition (immunohistochemistry, confocal imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electrophysiology, in vivo optical imaging, anatomical and functional MRI, behavior and psychophysics).

Pictures from the NIA laboratory

Research teams

All NIA teams are affiliated to the neuroscience master’s program and can thus train neuroscience master’s students and offer them projects to apply for a Ph.D. scholarship.

Body & cognition (Béatrice Alescio-Lautier)

The Body and cognition team studies interactions between cognitive and sensori-motor functions at different organization levels, by combining cross-disciplinary approaches (behavior, neuro-imaging, neurophysiology, neurology, oto-neurology).

Members 

ALESCIO-LAUTIER Béatrice, ACKERLEY Rochelle, AIMONETTI Jean-Marc, BACHELARD-SERRA Mathilde, BEAULIEU Louis-David, BOREL Liliane, CHAMBON Caroline, CHANCEL Marie, DEMANZE Laurence, DEROUALLE Diane, KAVOUNOUDIAS Anne, LOPEZ Christophe, MICHEL Bernard, PABAN Véronique, PANN Alizée, RIBOT-CISCAR Edith, ROMAIGUERE Patricia, TOUZET Claude. Total : 9 HDRs.

Research axes

  • Multisensory bases of the cognitive representations of the body and space
  • Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms linkd to brain dysfunction and cognitive restoration
  • Cognitive influence on sensory and motor processes

Techniques

  • Immunostaining, histology, or flow cytometry
  • Animal surgery, stereotaxy
  • Animal behavior
  • Psychophysical tests
  • Movement or posture analysis, electromyography (EMG)
  • Brain imaging and stimulation – Man
  • Brain imaging – Animal
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Medical data analysis
  • Microneurography

Keywords

Perception, kinesthetic, sensorimotor integration, muscle proprioception, tactile, vestibular compensation, postural strategy, body representation, cognitive remediation, holistic rehabilitation

Animal cognition and behavior - Disorders of the nervous system - Human cognition and behavior - Motor systems - Novel methods and technology development - Sensory systems

Sensory processing and neuroplasticity (Arnaud Norena)

The “sensory processing and neuroplasticity” team investigates the sensory processing in the normal and pathological cases, i.e. after peripheral and/or central lesions. The sensory modalities we study are audition, the vestibular system and somesthesia.

In the “normal” (non-lesioned) system, we explore neural coding and central representation of sensory information. We also study experience-dependent plasticity.

In the “pathological” (lesioned system), we investigate the peripheral and/or central consequences of sensory epithelia (inner ear, for instance) and/or central lesions. The sensory deficits studied in the team are very prevalent and bothersome for patients (5% of the general population is affected by disabling hearing loss, 35% by vestibular disorders). Other aberrant perceptions are also associated to peripheral and/or central lesions, namely tinnitus (auditory perception not induced by a sound in the environment), hyperacusis (auditory hypersensitivity and/or ear pain), vertigo and chronic pain. Auditory aberrant perceptions are also investigated from psychoacoustic approaches.

Finally, we investigate functional rehabilitation strategies after peripheral and/or central lesions. Diverse approaches are used in different systems: pharmacology for the inner ear and the vestibular centers, prosthesis (cochlear implants) are used to restore audition, and stem cells are studied to restore hearing.

Members

NORENA Arnaud, BREZUN Jean-Michel, CATZ Nicolas, CAZALS Yves, CHABBERT Christian, CORBO Julien, EL HAMADI Abdessadek, FONTBONNE Arnaud, GAUTHIER Patrick, LAHLOU Hanae, LOPEZ Alejandra, MACHEREY Olivier, PEZARD Laurent, THOMATY Sandie, TIGHILET Brahim, WRZOSEK Malgorzata, XERRI Christian, ZENNOU-AZOGUI Yoh’i, ZINE Azel. Total : 8 HDRs.

Research axes

Dynamics of cortical processing of sensory information:

  • Somatosensory cortex
  • Auditory Cortex

Neuroplasticity and functional postlesional recovery:

  • Hearing disorders
  • Somatosensory cortex lesions
  • Spinal cord lesions
  • Vestibular plasticity
  • Stem cell biology and cell therapy for neurosensory deafness
  • Vestibular pathophysiology: mechanisms and markers

Techniques

  • Biochemistry
  • cell culture
  • Immunostaining, histology, or flow cytometry
  • Microscopy
  • Electrophysiology (on slices or cell culture)
  • Electrophysiology (in vivo)
  • Animal surgery, stereotaxy
  • Pharmacology
  • Animal behavior
  • Psychophysical tests
  • Movement or posture analysis, electromyography (EMG)
  • Brain imaging – Animal
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

Keywords

Hearing ; vestibular system ; somatosensory system; neuroplasticity; neural coding; sensory lesions; inner ear; spinal cord; cortex

Animal cognition and behavior - Development of the nervous system - Disorders of the nervous system - Novel methods and technology development - Sensory systems
Share the article on :