LNSC - UMR 7260

Sensory and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory

Directrice : Béatrice Alescio-Lautier

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

The Sensory and Cognitive Rehabilitation team investigates the relationship between cognitive and sensory functions, where we analyze the interactions and synergies of cognitive and of sensory processes. This leads to the design of improved types of rehabilitation.

The scientific objectives of our team are

  • To study sensory interactions and balance, and specify how, after sensory loss, the remaining sensory modalities modulate body-space relationships and spatial representations.
  • To determine the cognitive interactions and cerebral underpinnings of a wide range of mental functions.
  • To clarify the relationship between Balance and Cognition, their interaction and contribution to rehabilitation.
  • To evaluate different rehabilitation processes, and to study their mechanisms of actions.

We carry out research on humans (healthy adults, elderly, and in pathologies such as Alzheimer disease, traumatic brain injury (TBI), subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder, and vestibular defective patients). These methods provide us a powerful approach to gain insightful knowledge from the neural networks involved in sensory perception and cognition, their impairment and restoration.

 

Pictures from the LNSC laboratory

Research teams

The LNSC is composed of 4 teams:

  • Neuronal Dynamics and Audition team
  • Pathophysiology and Therapy of Vestibular Disorders team
  • Multisense and Body team
  • Sensory and Cognitive Rehabilitation team

Each team carries out research in both humans and animals to better apprehend the neural bases (peripheral and central) of the phenomena under study and their cognitive and behavioral correlates.

All LNSC 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.

Sensory and coginitve rehabilitation (Béatrice Alescio-Lautier & Liliane Borel)

The Sensory and Cognitive Rehabilitation team investigates the relationship between cognitive and sensory functions, where we analyze the interactions and synergies of cognitive and of sensory processes. This leads to the design of improved types of rehabilitation.

The scientific objectives of our team are

  • To study sensory interactions and balance, and specify how, after sensory loss, the remaining sensory modalities modulate body-space relationships and spatial representations.
  • To determine the cognitive interactions and cerebral underpinnings of a wide range of mental functions.
  • To clarify the relationship between Balance and Cognition, their interaction and contribution to rehabilitation.
  • To evaluate different rehabilitation processes, and to study their mechanisms of actions.

We carry out research on humans (healthy adults, elderly, and in pathologies such as Alzheimer disease, traumatic brain injury (TBI), subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder, and vestibular defective patients). These methods provide us a powerful approach to gain insightful knowledge from the neural networks involved in sensory perception and cognition, their impairment and restoration.

Members 

ALESCIO-LAUTIER Béatrice, BOREL Liliane, CHAMBON Caroline, EL AHMADI Abdessadek, GAUTHIER Patrick, KHALFA Stéphanie, PABAN Véronique, TOUZET Claude, DUMITRESCU Michel, BERNARD Michel, DESHAYES Claire, MINET Anaïs, ROUSSEAU Pierre-François. Total : 7 HDR.

Research axes

  • Sensory interactions and balance
  • Cognitive interactions and cerebral underpinnings
  • Balance and cognition : interactions and contributions to rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

Techniques

  • Psychophysical tests
  • Movement or posture analysis, electromyography (EMG)
  • Brain imaging and stimulation – Man
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

Keywords

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

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

Neuronal and dynamic audition (Arnaud Norena)

The team « Neuronal dynamics and audition (DNA) » gathers researchers whose expertise spans from integrative and computational neurosciences to cognitive sciences, psycho-acoustics and applied mathematics. We work towards characterizing and understanding the neuronal dynamics underlying several cerebral functions such as resting state, perception, and emotions. This project settled on experimental and theoretical approaches related to the manifold scales of nervous system’s functioning.

The team projects will be developed on the common hypothesis that the brain has to be considered as a complex system, composed of a large number of elements organized in hierarchical structures interacting at several levels of spatial and temporal scales to produce in fine a distributed and dynamical functional neuronal activity. The main part of the scientific projects of the DNA team will take into account this multiscale organization of neuronal dynamics and will be organized according to the main two scientific interests : understanding and analyzing neuronal dynamics at several scales and understanding and analyzing cognitve functions as auditory perception and its troubles.

Members

Arnaud Norena, Jean-Luc Blanc, Laurent Pezard, Stéphane Gallego, Philippe Fournier, Marina Siponen , Vinay Parameshwarappa, Falco Enzler, Mathieu Ferschneider, Morgan Potier, Alexandre Veyrié. Total : 2 HDRs.

Research axes

  • Neuronal dynamics
  • Neuronal representation of sound
  • Central plasticity and perceptual consequences

Techniques

  • Electrophysiology (on slices or cell culture)
  • Electrophysiology (in vivo)
  • Psychophysical tests

Keywords

Neural dynamics, information theory, multi-scale systems, hearing, auditory illusion, hearing loss, plasticity, tinnitus, hyperacusis.

Computational neuroscience - Sensory systems

Multisense and body (Anne Kavounoudias)

The Multisense and Body team aims to elucidate the relative contributions and interactions of the somatosensory, vestibular, and visual sensory systems to own-body awareness, own-body movement perception, and the perception of external stimuli applied on the body. Modulation of these bodily experiences and brain plasticity after impairment of such sensory systems is also investigated (stroke, amputation, vestibular deficits, aging).

We combine transdisciplinary approaches, including electrophysiology (microneurography, cortical multiunit recordings), brain imaging (fMRI; EEG, optical imaging), and behavioral methods (psychophysics, EMG, multisensory stimulation, postural testing), in both humans and rodents.

Members

Rochelle Ackerley, Jean-Marc Aimonetti, Nicolas Catz, Anne Kavounoudias, Christophe Lopez, Edith Ribot-Ciscar, Christian Xerri, Yvette Zennou-Azogui, Jeanne Caron-Guyon, Julien Corbo, Justine Facchini, Caroline Landelle, Estelle Nakul, Anastasia Pavlidou. Total : 7 HDRs

Research axes

  • Multisensory contributions to bodily perceptions
  • Neural coding at the peripheral level
  • Neural coding at the central level
  • Adaptive plasticity in sensory systems

Techniques

  • Electrophysiology (in vivo, on animals)
  • Animal behavior
  • Psychophysical tests
  • Movement or posture analysis, electromyography (EMG)
  • Brain imaging and stimulation – Man (fMRI, TMS…)
  • Brain imaging – Animal
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

Key words

Touch, Proprioception, Vestibular system, Perception, Corps, Plasticity

Aging, Stroke, Amputation, Vestibular-deficiency, Human, Rodent

Microneurography , EEG, fMRI, Optical imaging, cortical multiunit recordings

Animal cognition and behavior - Excitability, synaptic transmission, network functions - Human cognition and behavior - Sensory systems

Pathophysiology and therapy of vestibular disorder (Christian Chabbert)

In France and the USA, vestibular pathologies represent the third most numerous reason for consulting a physician and 5% of hospital emergencies. Our multidisciplinary research team including scientists, faculty teachers, engineers, and clinicians and constitutes a unique and leading structure for the study of the basic mechanisms of vestibular function, thereby meeting a pressing medical need in the field of otoneurology, notably by means of a bench-to-bedside approach.

The team aims to:

  • Establish a technology platform unique in Europe combining studies on animal models and patients.
  • Decipher the basic mechanisms underlying vestibular disorders and functional restoration.
  • Promote outstanding research resulting in high-level scientific production.
  • Develop better-targeted and more efficient therapeutic tools against vestibular disorders.
  • Become a key player in clinical transfer in order to have a greater impact on the management of balance disorders.
  • Promote education on the balance function and vestibular disorders.
  • Promote the visibility of research in otoneurology and foster the appeal of this scientific area in order to encourage the recruitment of the best researchers and students, and to obtain academic and private sector funding.

Members

Christian Chabbert, Brahim Tighilet, David Pericat, Jean-Pierre Lavieille, Marion Montava, Audrey Bourdet, Pierrick Bordiga, Guillaume Rastoldo, Emna Marouane, Frédéric Xavier. Total : 3 HDRs.

Research axes

  • Generation, encoding and transmission of vestibular information: function and dysfunctions.
  • Adaptive mechanisms involved in functional restoration.
  • Optimization of investigation methods to improve diagnosis of vestibular syndromes.

Techniques

  • Cell culture
  • Immunostaining, histology, flow cytometry
  • Microscopy
  • Calcium imaging
  • Electrophysiology (on slices or cells)
  • Animal surgery, stereotaxy
  • Pharmacology
  • Animal behavior
  • Movement or posture analysis, electromyography (EMG)
  • Optogenetics
  • Medical data analysis

Key words

Vestibular disorders, otoneurology, generation, encoding and transmission of vestibular information, diagnostic methods, balance.

Animal cognition and behavior - Disorders of the nervous system - Novel methods and technology development
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