The Synapsy Centre
The Synapsy Centre of Translational Research in Psychiatric Neurosciences (CTPN) aims to put the objectives of the NCCR-Synapsy into a sustainable institutional framework in order to support translational psychiatric neuroscience at the University of Geneva on a long-term basis. The CTPN is directly attached to the Faculty of Medicine.
#NCCRWomen – Marie Schaer
Meet Marie Schaer, a researcher working for the NCCR Synapsy at the University of Geneva. Her studies aims to understand the symptoms of autism, a developmental disorder associated with communication deficit occuring during childhood.
#NCCRWomen – Camilla Bellone
Meet Camilla Bellone, Director of the NCCR Synapsy and neuroscientist working at the University of Geneva. She is studying how the brain controls social behavior.
#NCCRWomen – Farnaz Delavari
Meet Farnaz Delavari, a medical doctor doing a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Geneva. She is studying the brain mechanisms that lead to psychosis and anxiety for the NCCR Synapsy.
Using video for the early detection of autism
Using artificial intelligence, a Synapsy team from the UNIGE has developed a device for the early detection of autism spectrum disorder in children. Individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder often present communication issues and difficulties in social interactions. Although very frequent, this disorder is challenging to diagnose before the age of five. However, early care can compensate for these difficulties by providing specific behavioural intervention focused on the development of skills affected by autism. This is why an interdisciplinary team of the National Centre of Competence in Recearch Synapsy (Synapsy), based at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm based on the automated analysis of videos, making it possible to study children’s non- verbal communication in an anonymous and standardised manner. Easy to use, this technology correctly classified 80% of cases from short videos showing a child with or without autism under 5 playing with an adult. These results, to be discovered in the journal Scientific Reports, pave the way for a tool for the early detection of autistic disorder.
Autism: a spectrum on the path to segmentation
A UNIGE study backed by Synapsy has shown that the basic states of the brain functions of young children with autism spectrum disorder have a signature that is specific to their clinical profile. This discovery marks a step forward in our understanding of the high heterogeneity of this brain development disorder.