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:

1) The phenomenological characterization of repetitive behaviors and their underlying functional dimension (PIs: E Burguière/ L Mallet / P Domenech)

2) The neural circuits that participate to the acquisition and regulation of repetitive behaviors (PIs: E Burguière/ L Mallet / P Domenech)

3) The microcircuitry that modulate the neural activity within these circuits (PI: E Burguière)