Our group focuses on how the brain represents space and uses these representations for action. Understanding the neural bases of attention and perception, two major cognitive functions is at the root of our work. In particular, we are interested in undertanding how these representations dynamically adjust to ongoing changes in the environment and in our behavior, how they plastically adjust through learning, how they are affect by pharmacological neuromodulation, and how they are affected by closed-loop neurofeedback procedures. To perform this research, we use a classical controlled psychophysical approach, associated with functional magnetic resonance imaging, multi-electrode, multi-site, single cell and local field potential recordings as well as targeted pharmacological neuromodulation. While increasing our fundamental understanding of the neural bases of space cognition and action, this research also opens new directions for the rehabilitation of cognitive spatial deficits following acute brain damage as well as following neurodegeberative or neurodevelpmental spatial cognition deficits.
**** MASTER DEGREE INTERNSHIP **** Though adult neuronal plasticity has been considered as extremely restricted as compared to that observed during early brain development, growing evidence indicates that it can be drastically enhanced by specific manipulations. Our aim is to compare the cortical effects of visual plasticity in the adult brain in the non-human primate model, when this plasticity is induced by sensory influences, cognitive influences or/and local pharmacological influences. We will characterize the short and long term effects of plasticity on the cortical visual system (visual cortex V1 and higher parietal and prefrontal visual areas LIP and FEF), as assessed by a combination of high spatial resolution (3T fMRI) and high temporal resolution (EEG) methods. Though the present project is a fundamental research project, aiming at providing a long-missing integrative view of plasticity in the adult visual cortex, we believe that its outcome will provide new directions of investigation to manage abnormal visual experience due to eye misalignment in early childhood (amblyopia, congenital cataract) or visual deficits following acute cortical lesions (following head traumas or cerebral vascular accident) leading to such conditions as anopsia or neglect, thus addressing major issues in the physiopathology of the visual cortex. You will specifically be responsible for the daily training of one of the monkeys involved in the study as well as for the analysis of the collected behavioral data. In addition, you will participate in the functional imaging recordings and in the subsequent analysis of these data.