Projects

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY OF HABIT

Our research programme aims to investigate the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying automatization, a gradual process involving voluntary effort, sensory input, and the creation and operation of a sequence of motor programmes, thoughts or emotional repertoires.

At the physiological level, these mechanisms may arise from the tendency of distributed ‑ but related ‑ networks to synchronize and coherently bind neuronal populations, thus creating a single gestalt in the motor, cognitive and/or emotional domains, and generating macroproduction when these bound representations recur in a given environment.

Corticostriatal connectivity appears to play a major role in facilitating this aspect, and loss of this function contributes to the inappropriate release of behaviours observed in various pathologies such as obsessive‑compulsive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and abulia. Cerebro‑cerebellar connectivity is thought to be involved in internal model representation and monitoring. Loss of this function therefore leads to the inappropriate refinement or amplification of behaviours, as in dysmetria, schizophrenia or apathy.

GRANTS

  • Cerebellar contribution to human emotion: insights from stroke and neuroimaging (Swiss National Foundation – 2019 to 2023 – Grant N°: 105314_182221)
  • Functional specialization and integration of the basal ganglia in human emotion (Swiss National Foundation – 2016 to 2019 – Grant N°: 105314_140622)

SIDE PROJECTS

  • Yogatherapy in Addiction and Bipolar Disorder (with Isabelle Biseul, F. Vidal Hospital, Paris)
  • Personality, Cognition & Emotion in Multiple Sclerosis (with Patrice Lalive d’Epinay, HUG, Geneva)