8 March 2012

INT: an integrative approach

The objectives of the INT are to carry out world class research in fundamental neurosciences, from cellular to cognitive levels, and to fill the gap between fundamental and clinical approaches. The integrative neurosciences, bridging levels of organization of the nervous system within a functional approach, play an essential role in the understanding of the neural underpinnings of our behaviour and of their dysfunctions in neurological and psychiatric diseases. By combining these various approaches, the INT offers its researchers and clinicians opportunities to:

- Investigate and model normal and pathological brain and spinal cord function with an integrative approach going from neuron to behaviour and from neurophysiology to multi-scale imaging. For a given function (visual perception, corticospinal motor control, motivation, social cognition), the ultimate goal is to understand how neuronal activity is regulated at the cellular level then propagated by small cortical or sub-cortical networks and assembled within large systems

- Elucidate the neuronal code: understand how the dynamics of the large and small neuronal networks may explain integrated behavior such as visual perception, affect and emotion, or hand and eye movements control

- Understand how the dysfunctions or the cellular death of neurons and glial cells provoke neurological or psychiatric disorders such as the pathologies of motoneurons (SLA), lesions of the spinal cord (spasticity), disorders of executive control (including addictions, Parkinson’s disease), pathologies of cognitive and social development (autism, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia), or pathologies associated with stress (post-traumatic stress, depression).To do so, we focus on an integrative approach going from cellular and animal models to patients (exploration of functional magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral analysis)

- Finally, training and courses in integrative neurosciences (Master’s degree, PhD Program) are one of the priorities of the Institute which aims to offer a doctoral training that promotes an open and inter-disciplinary environment to young scientists and clinicians in order to combine technical excellence, curiosity and a taste of research.

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