- Associate Professor and Founding Scientific and Academic Director of The Sense Innovation and Research Center
- Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Switzerland
For more information about The Sense Innovation and Research Center, see their website
Our research has helped establish a new schema of the functional organization of the human brain. Information from the different senses interacts almost immediately and within primary cortices. These interactions directly shape perception and behavior, affecting stimulus detection as well as memory formation and retrieval. his new model bears tremendous impact on both our understanding of the healthy brain, including its development and mechanisms of learning, as well as on the understanding of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders and their diagnosis/rehabilitation. This extends not only to the neurobiological mechanisms and behavioral relevance of multisensory interactions, but also to their utility in clinical and engineering settings, including in the rehabilitation of neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders as well as in the implementation of sensory-substitution and neuroprosthetic devices.
Development of Electrical Neuroimaging Methods
As Head of the EEG Section CHUV-UNIL of the CIBM Centre for Biomedical Imaging, we have developed analysis methods permitting EEG to be used as a cost-effective and accessible non-invasive brain imaging technique (EEG is reliably recorded from newborns and the elderly and from patients at their bedside or while individuals perform tasks in virtual and real-world environments). Most recently, we devised single-trial classification methods to account for the trial-to-trial variability in perception, decisions, and treatment/training efficacy in individual subjects/patients. Such developments are necessary for neuroscientific and medical communities to effectuate a shift from studies of groups of subjects to studies of individuals that can furthermore establish generative models accounting for inter-individual heterogeneity. These tools have been made available to the wider scientific community via our freeware, CarTool, and additional graphical user interfaces. There are currently more than 3000 registered users worldwide. Ongoing efforts are focusing on connectivity and tracking of oscillatory features within electrophysiological signals as well as computational modeling of dynamical systems.
Brain dynamics from sensation to perception and decision-making
One longstanding debate concerns the manner in which sensory information is processed to engender perceptions and actions upon them. One conception is that the brain is a largely passive receptor/collector of sensory information. Another contends that the brain actively senses the environment in a directed fashion. Non-invasive brain mapping, imaging, and stimulation has allowed us to disambiguate effects that are largely sequential/hierarchical from those reflecting iterative and parallel processes including mixtures of both feedforward and feedback volleys of neural activity. In the visual modality we have detailed the constructionist nature of perception, relying on the dynamic interplay across brain regions. n the auditory modality we have detailed the functional organization of parallel, but interacting pathways for processing the semantic, spatial, and temporal features of environmental sounds. We have likewise delineated spatio-temporal dynamics of specific processes (e.g. object recognition) and their susceptibility to learning and plasticity. Finally, our work is showing these processes are impacted in clinical populations, such as individuals with learning disorders, psychosis or brain lesions and can be rehabilitated through training protocols and neuropharmacological interventions