Neurophysiology of Repetitive Behaviors

NERB LAB

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Neurophysiology of Repetitive Behaviors

NERB LAB

Welcome!

Our research focus is on the Acquisition and Regulation of Repetitive Behaviors. More specifically, our team study the behavioral and neurophysiological dynamics underlying the automatization of motivated behaviors and its contextual adaptation. We are especially interested in studying how cortico-basal ganglia loops underlie these processes. We aim to probe these neural circuits by using electrophysiological recording and/or modulating their activity with electrical, optical or chemical (DREADD) stimulations. Importantly, we have the skills, technical knowledge, and access to both patients and animal models suffering from pathological repetitive behaviors to implement our research program. Indeed, repetitive behaviors are the hallmark of some related neuropsychiatric disorders, which offer a unique opportunity to explore the neurobiological mechanism underlying their regulation. In these pathologies, the inability to regulate the expression of learned behaviors often has deleterious behavioral consequences. We propose to use these pathological conditions in human and rodents as models to better understand the neurophysiology of adaptive behavior. Thus, our studies include the use of animal models (e.g. SAPAP3-KO mice to model repetitive behaviors, PV-Cre mice with optogenetic to model a decrease of striatal interneurons activity, etc.) and patients suffering from both compulsions and tics (OCD/Tourette’s syndrome, cocaine addiction).

 

Our aims are to investigate in a translational way and at multiple scales:

  • The phenomenological characterization of repetitive behaviors and their underlying functional dimension (PIs: E Burguière/ L Mallet / P Domenech)
  • The neural circuits that participate to the acquisition and regulation of repetitive behaviors (PIs: E Burguière/ L Mallet / P Domenech)
  • The microcircuitry that modulate the neural activity within these circuits (PI: E Burguière)
 

NERB LAB members

MEET OUR AWESOME TEAM

principal investigators

I have been trained as a neurophysiologist specialized in behavior, neuronal recording and optogenetic approaches with rodent models.  I studied mouse models of disorders of motor and cognitive functions. Importantly, I became an expert in pathophysiology of repetitive behaviors, notably with some recent work on compulsive behaviors of a mouse model of OCD-spectrum disorder (Burguière et al., Science 2013). Recently, I developed with my research group some innovative approaches that we can modulate specific brain activities in a closed-loop design, either at rest or within a task. We developed innovative operant chambers where mice are performing complex cognitive tasks while their social, circadian and cognitive behaviours are monitored automatically and continuously using multiple sensors. (CLICK HERE to continue reading)

Eric Burguière

Group leader, Tenured scientist, PhD.

Luc Mallet

MD, PHD

Luc Mallet is a psychiatrist and researcher in neuroscience, Professor of Psychiatry at Paris Est Créteil University. the main focus of research is the identification of processes involved in the treatment of information by the basal ganglia and its links to psychopathology as well as the development of innovative treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders that are resistant to medical therapy. In particular, he coordinates a series of translational research projects aimed at characterizing the pathophysiology of repeated pathological behaviors in humans, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. His research program also addresses the use of new technologies to optimize treatments, personalize care, and avoid the isolation of people with a mental disorder. (CLICK HERE to continue reading).

I’m interested in how the brain supports flexible and adaptive behavior in changing and uncertain environments. To tackle this issue, I use tools from computational neurosciences and neurophysiological/imaging recordings (MRI, EEG/MEG, intracranial EEG) of human brain activity while it’s engaged in dynamically controlling decision-making processes. As a psychiatrist specializing in treatment-resistant OCD/depression and neuromodulation, I’m also interested in using the same approach to study the computational underpinning of psychiatric diseases.

(CLICK HERE to continue reading)

Laboratory Staff

Lizbeth Mondragon

REsearch engineer, pHD.

I am a multidisciplinary research engineer, who was initially trained as an engineer in mechatronics and robotics (double degree) with a background in artificial intelligence (AI), and who later turned to neuroscience. I completed my master’s in AI at Sorbonne University and my Ph.D. at the Brain Institute in Paris in Eric Bruguière’s Lab. In my graduate research, I was using optogenetics, electrophysiology and, real-time signal analysis in awake behaving mice to understand the role of striatal parvalbumin interneurons in regulating compulsive behaviors within a closed-loop approach. Along the way, I have had some fun developing some hardware and software tools for scientific experimentation (see the Resources section).

(CLICK HERE to continue reading).

I am currently working as an engineer for the team to finish a project on the PV interneurons in the striatum and finish the development of the BEATBOX project. In paralel, I’m developing a PhD project on behavioural automatisation with Eric Burguière.

(CLICK HERE to continue reading).

Jérôme Yelnik

research director

I am an « Emeritus Research Director » who has been working as a neuroanatomist in the field of basal ganglia structure and its role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and OCD.
I am the president of an ethics committee for animal experiment and a “chargé de mission” in the ministry of research for the enforcement of the European Directive which oversees the use of animals for scientific purposes.

(CLICK HERE to continue reading).

Postdoctoral fellows

Margot Morgiève

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

I am a researcher in social sciences of mental health at ICM, Cermes3, Montpellier University Hospital and WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health (Lille). I have a triple experiences, clinical, neuroscientific and sociological. For several tears now, I have been developing innovative programs to prevent mental disability and suicidal behaviour through method using participatory design which includes patients-experts-partners as co-designers of technological solutions.

(CLICK HERE to continue reading).

 

Christiane Schreiweis

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

I am a behavioral neurophysiologist, trained in a variety of behavioral paradigms, pharmacology, quantitative neuroanatomy, in vivo neuronal recording and neuromodulation (optogenetics, chemogenetics) in mouse models. I came to Paris on a fellowship by the “Fondation pour la Recherche Medical”, where I joined the “Neurophysiology of Repetitive Behaviour” team in 2016. I am also a founding and active member of a neuroscientific initiative that engages for gender equity / equality.

(CLICK HERE to continue reading).

PhD students

Sami Beaumont

Computational modeling - Psychiatry

I am a psychiatry resident and PhD student after a MA in cognitive sciences. My project
is about the computational modelling of learning and meta-learning under uncertainty.

Neuronal basis of adaptive behaviours

My thesis work aims at understanding how animals adapt to brutal changes in their
environment.

Neurophysiology - Behaviour

 I try to understand how one’s regulate his behaviour in a context of perceptual decision. I use mice to record their neural activity while they are performing a perceptual decision-making task. 

Neurophysiology - Behaviour

My PhD project focuses on understanding how, on a biological level, habits are formed.

Neurophysiology - Genetics- Clinic

PhD student and child and adolescent psychiatrist. Concerning the clinical, I’m interested in OCD but also in ADHD. Concerning the scientific field, I’m interested in neurophysiology, genetic and clinical investigations of OCD, ADHD and brain development.

Masters & Research Interns

master

Eliott Owczarek

Currently in M2 at the Cogmaster and in last year at ENS, I’m working with Karim N’Diaye and Luc Mallet on sub-thalamic nucleus (STN) and Striatums Local Field Potential (LFP) during a metacognitive task recorded on implanted (Deep Brain Stimulation, DBS) OCD’s patients.
 
master

Ana Pamela Osuna

I am a second-year MSc student in AI, enrolled in Sorbonne’s Androide master porgram. I am currently collaborating under the supervision of Lizbeth Mondragon in two projects within the Nerb team, both projects concern the automatic detection of repetitive behaviours using salient features. The first one involves mice and the second on is aimed at OCD patients.
 

Lab Alumni

PAST team members
  • Pauline SMITH – PhD student:  OCD and addiction
  • Nabil BENZINA – PhD student: Translational psychiatry research in rodents and humans
  • Lindsay Rondot – PhD (2020): Computational modeling
  • Sarah MORENO RODRIGUEZ – Master student
 

Souvenirs

NERB POSTCARDS

Key publications

 

  • Neural mechanisms resolving exploitation-exploration dilemmas in the medial prefrontal cortex. Domenech P., Rheims S., Koechlin E.  Science, 2020 Aug 28;369(6507)
  • Optogenetic stimulation of lateral orbitofrontostriatal pathway suppresses compulsive behaviors. Burguière E., Monteiro P., Feng G., Graybiel A.M. Science, 2013 Jun 7;340(6137):1243-6.
  • Subthalamic nucleus stimulation in severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mallet L, Polosan M, Jaafari N, Baup N, Welter ML, …, Pelissolo A; STOC Study Group. N Engl J Med. 2008 Nov 3;359(20):2121-34.

Other Major publications

  • Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic, Accumbens, or Caudate Nuclei for Patients With Severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Randomized Crossover Controlled Study. Welter ML, Alves Dos Santos JF, Clair AH, …, Domenech P, Karachi C, Mallet L. Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 2:S0006-3223(20)31775-3.
  • Anterior pallidal deep brain stimulation for Tourette’s syndrome: a double-blind randomised parallel controlled trial. Welter M.L., Houeto J.L., Thobois S., …, Jalenques I., Karachi C., Mallet L. Lancet Neurology 2017, S1474-4422(17)30160-6.
  • Mondragon, L., & Burguiere, E. Bio-inspired benchmark generator for extracellular multi-unit recordings. Scientific Reports, 2017 Jan; 7, 43253.


Publications

To find our Key references, complete articles list and pre-prints::

Tools and techniques

These are some of the tools and techniques we use in our lab

Brain activity monitoring

Rodent electrophysiology

Single unit and local field potentials.

Human electrophysiology

Local field potentials, electroencephalography, Magnetoencephalography

Fiber Photometry

Neuromodulation

Deep Brain Stimulation

In neuropsychiatric diseases (OCD, Tourette syndrome)

DREADD

Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs

Optogenetics

During behavioral tasks and on-demand.

Immunohistochemestry

i-Disco

Immunolabeling-enabled imaging of solvent-cleared organs

Electron-microscopy

Immunostaining

Behavior

Human behavioral tasks

Mouse behavioral tasks

Computational Modelling

Resources

Take a peek at some of our creations (coming soon)

BeatBox

Automated behavioral box

Electrophy-fiber Implant

our modified version from the open ephys drive

Benchmark Simulator

electrophy database generator

3D printed Tools

basics for lab life

NEWS

Don’t forget to check the lastest news from the lab!

Contact
Get in touch

We are located at the
Paris Brain Institute

INSERM U975 – CNRS UMR7225 – UPMC ICM ­ Brain & Spine Institute – Room 3029 Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital 47, Bd de l’Hôpital 75013 Paris

nerbteam@gmail.com
eric.burguière@icm-institute.org