How can we study the evolution of behaviours and their neural bases?

Research on behaviour and neural bases at NeuroMarseille

“Mechanistic” cognitive neuroscience aims at identifying the generic dynamics of neuronal circuits that underlie complex behaviours and at understanding how organisms interact adaptively with their environment. These empirical and theoretical approaches are used by 47 teams in Marseille to understand how the activity of neurons, whether taken in isolation or within small networks or larger systems, generates adaptive behaviour. By encouraging collaborations between teams using different models, with comparable behavioural and computational paradigms, NeuroMarseille will contribute to a better identification of generic neural circuits and mechanisms and a better understanding of how evolution has shaped brain processes and behavioural functions.

To link it to research, NeuroSchool’s training courses include many course units related to this theme. Below you will find the list of the teams working on this theme as well as the related course units.

The research teams

The Marseille teams are internationally recognised for their research on the neural bases of vegetative (breathing), sensory and motor (vision, hearing, proprioception, locomotion), cognitive (control of action, perception, memory) and higher-order cognitive functions (decision-making, language, social skills). As Marseille is a major European site for comparative psychology and neurobiology of primates, the teams have a wide range of animal models at their disposal, from invertebrates (e.g. drosophila) to vertebrates (rodents, human and non-human primates).

Teams working on behaviour

List of the teamsTeam leader(s)
Cognition and Pathophysiology of basal gangliaOuagazzal Abdel-MouttalibLNCSaint-Charles
Sensory and Cognitive RehabilitationBéatrice Alescio-Lautier, Liliane BorelLNSCSaint-Charles
Neurodevelopment of motor and social cognitionChristine AssaianteLNCSaint-Charles
Basal Ganglia, Motivation and RewardChristelle BaunezINTTimone
Neural basis of communicationPascal BelinINTTimone
Development and cognitive agingAgnès BlayeLPCSaint-Charles
Neural bases of sensori-motor behaviorJean BlouinLNCSaint-Charles
ICS: Sensorimotor Cognition InteractionsLionel BringouxISMLuminy
Plasticity and Physio-pathology of rhythmics Motor networksFrédéric BrocardINTTimone
Cognitive Motor ControlThomas BrochierINTTimone
Attention, cerebral dynamics and chronometryBoris Burle LNCSaint-Charles
Perception and attentionEric Castet, Françoise VituLPCSaint-Charles
Pathophysiology and Therapy of Vestibular DisorderChristian ChabbertLNSCSaint-Charles
NEuronal OPerations in visual TOpographic mapsFrédéric ChavaneINTTimone
LanguagePascale ColeLPCSaint-Charles
Methods and Computational AnatomyOlivier CoulonINTTimone
Neuronal coding and plasticity in epilepsyValérie CrépelINMEDLuminy
Live imaging of cell interactions in the normal and diseased brain (IMAPATH)Franck DebardieuxINTTimone
AdapJust: Adaptations and adjustments to external and internal constraints
Jozina Dee GraafISMLuminy
Neural basis of somatosensory functionsPatrick DelmasLNCSaint-Charles
Social Cognition across Lifespan and PathologiesChristine DeruelleINTTimone
Stem cells and brain repairPascale DurbecIBDMLuminy
Neuronal coding of space and memoryJérôme EpszteinINMEDLuminy
Comparative cognitionJoël FagotLPCSaint-Charles
List of the teamsTeam leader(s)
Molecular control of mesenchymal cell differentiationLaurent FasanoIBDMLuminy
NOSE. Nasal Olfactory Stemness and EpigenesisFrançois FéronINPTimone
Genes, Rhythm and NeurophysiopathologyAnne-Marie François-Bellan INPTimone
Micro-RNA & Social CognitionEduardo Gascon GonzaloINTTimone
Multisense and BodyAnne KavounoudiasLNSCSaint-Charles
Cellular interactions, neurodegeneration and neuroplasticityLydia Kerkerian-Le GoffIBDMLuminy
Early activity in the developing brainRoustem KhazipovINMEDLuminy
BBB and NeuroinflammationMichel KhrestchatiskyINPTimone
Music, language and writingMarieke Longcamp LNCSaint-Charles
Axon plasticity in development and canceFanny MannIBDMLuminy
Adolescence and developemental vulnerability to neuropsychiatric diseasesOlivier Manzoni, Pascale ChavisINMEDLuminy
Inference in Visual BehavioursGuillaume MassonINTTimone
Functional specialisation of distinct sub-populations of nociceptive neuronsAziz MoqrichIBDMLuminy
Perinatal Imprintings and Neurodevelopmental DisordersFrançoise Muscatelli-BossyINMEDLuminy
Cognition and social neuroscienceIsabelle RegnerLPCSaint-Charles
Neural Plasticity and DegenerationSantiago RiveraINPLa Timone
La TimoneDavid Robbe, Ingrid BureauINMEDLuminy
Neurobiology of Mnesic ProcessesFrançois Roman INPTimone
Study of the effects of the microbiota on host behaviourJulien RoyetIBDMLuminy
Neural bases of spatial cognitionFrancesca SargoliniLNCSaint-Charles
NICE2: Neonatal, Infantile and Childhood Epilepsies and EncephalopathiesPierre SzepetowskiINMEDLuminy
Brain, Obesity and diet imbalanceJean-Denis Troadec LNCSaint-Charles
Spinal Cord and Cerebro-Spinal Fluid Interface (SpiCCI)Nicolas WanaverebecqINTTimone

Education through research

In addition to traditional training related to the theme of research on behaviour, the teaching team has implemented numerous pedagogical innovations that link research and training.

Find out more

Courses related to cognition and their neural bases (all levels and specialities)

Course unitLevel
From perception to action3rd year of Bachelor
Behavioural genetics and epigenetics3rd year of Bachelor
Physiology of major functions3rd year of Bachelor
Environment, lifestyle and nervous system3rd year of Bachelor
Behaviour and cognition3rd year of Bachelor
Representation of time and space3rd year of Bachelor
The origins of human language3rd year of Bachelor
Memory and forgetfulness3rd year of Bachelor
States of consciousness and their implications3rd year of Bachelor
Brain and emotions3rd year of Bachelor
Cognitive neuroscience3rd year of Bachelor
From genes to behaviourMaster
Peripheral and central sensorimotricityMaster
Emotion, motivation and their dysfunctionsMaster
Functional neuroanatomyMaster
Learning and memoryMaster
Mental functionsMaster
Natural Cognition, Artificial Cognition and Neuroscience computationnellesMaster
Attention and preparationMaster
Cognitive control and decision makingMaster
Specialised Integrative NeurosciencesMaster
Problem-based learning modules: Alzheimer's disease, autism, space, brain-machine interfaces, touch, mood disordersMaster
Tutored seminars:
Artificial touch in humans: sensations evoked and cortical responses (R. Ackerley)
Ticklishness, Ambivalence and Play (M. Brecht)
Visceral inputs, brain dynamics and first-person perspective (C. Tallon-Baudry)
Cognitive reserve and brain resilience in older adults: related concepts, neural substrates and the role of late-life cognitive stimulation (S. Belleville)
NeuroDays :
"How the brain feels the body"
"When the brain plays the game" ;
Meetings with experts : "What to do with a PhD in "cognition"?"
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