Research topic

Our group investigates the cerebral mechanisms of cognition, including perception, emotion, and consciousness. We use neuroimaging techniques such as functional resonance magnetic imaging (fMRI) and event-related potentials (ERPs) in healthy subjects, as well as neuropsychological studies in brain-lesioned patients. The major questions of our research concern how the human visual system can recognize objects and faces, how we identify sounds and voices, and how we perceive and respond to emotions and social signals, such as facial expressions or eye gaze. We also study the neural circuits by which emotions can influence perception and behavior, for example in response to fear, anger, or reward. We are particularly interested by the role of the amygdala in emotion and social processes. Our work also investigates the impact of brain lesions on cognitive functions (after stroke or other brain diseases), such as deficits in attention and space representations in hemineglect syndrome, with the aim to understand how different brain areas interact to produce normal conscious awareness of sensory space, and to develop new therapeutic approaches to improve impaired functions.