Research topic

Our goal is to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying experience-dependent changes in the adult human brain. We propose that models of learning and neural plasticity should account for important variations in behavioral and brain-states, such as those occurring during sleep. Another main goal of our research is to study the relationship between sleep, emotion regulation, and psychiatric diseases. Thus, we recently published a series of articles on emotional processing in narcoleptic patients and depressed patients. Our research focuses on distinct facets of neural plasticity: perceptual and emotional learning, offline replay of neural activity, as well as the effects of attention on perception and learning. We also investigate dream reports because dreams provide important information about brain and mind functions during sleep. We study brain functions at the macroscopic systems level in healthy adult volunteers, in neurological patients, and in psychiatric patients. Our experimental approach includes the development of novel behavioral tasks, as well as measures of brain activity using functional MRI (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). We also record polysomnography in our sleep studies.  Our lab proudly contributes to several events for non-expert audiences such as the Brain Awareness Week, Scientific Cafés for adults, and Scientific Goûters for children, among others. Our current projects are funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (NSF), the NCCR Affective Sciences, the Foundation Pierre Mercier, the Foundation Boninchi, UCB, the Foundation BIAL.