Sensorimotor Adaptations and Vestibular Pathologies

Sen­so­ri­mo­tor adap­ta­tion team May 2016

The main goal of our research is to under­stand how coor­di­nat­ed motor func­tions emerge from the inte­gra­tion of var­i­ous sen­so­ry inputs (visu­al, pro­pri­o­cep­tive, vestibu­lar), and how the neur­al ele­ments respon­si­ble for this mul­ti­modal inte­gra­tion adapt to per­tur­ba­tions such as lesions, muta­tions, or envi­ron­men­tal changes. In par­tic­u­lar, our research is focused on the vestibu­lar sys­tem respon­si­ble not only for the sense of bal­ance, e.g. gaze and pos­ture sta­bi­liza­tion, but as we have shown in humans, also con­sti­tute a pri­ma­ry input into oth­er sen­so­ri­mo­tor behav­iors includ­ing visu­al per­cep­tion and eye-hand coor­di­na­tion.

Our exper­tise on the basic sci­ence of sen­so­ri­mo­tor inte­gra­tion is trans­fer­able into more applied fields as well. First, the team is active­ly work­ing with the CNES, ESA and NASA to under­stand how sen­so­ri­mo­tor inte­gra­tion adapts to weight­less­ness. Sec­ond, our under­stand­ing of the phys­i­ol­o­gy of the vestibu­lar sys­tem leads to the devel­op­ment of exper­i­men­tal mod­els of human motion sick­ness or vestibu­lar-relat­ed patholo­gies.

The team is devel­op­ing an inte­gra­tive approach based on cel­lu­lar and net­work mod­els, in vit­ro elec­tro­phys­i­ol­o­gy on slices, and behav­ioral and elec­tro­phys­i­o­log­i­cal stud­ies in ani­mals and humans. We wel­come stu­dents or col­lab­o­ra­tors who share our goals and enthu­si­asm for the fol­low­ing themes of research:

Research Themes

  1. Con­text-spe­cif­ic behav­ioral strate­gies and adap­ta­tion to envi­ron­men­tal changes:beraneck
    • Mod­u­la­tion of vestibu­lo-ocu­lar and opto­ki­net­ic reflex­es.
    • Gravity’s influ­ence on sen­so­ri­mo­tor trans­for­ma­tions.
    • Adap­ta­tion to hyper­grav­i­ty and weight­less­ness.
  2. Visuo-vestibu­lar inter­ac­tions and adap­ta­tion to sen­so­ry con­flicts:
    • Dynam­ic of synap­tic and intrin­sic changes in vestibu­lar adap­ta­tion.
    • Inte­gra­tion of vestibu­lar and visu­al inputs for ori­en­ta­tion: head direc­tion cells.
    • Eye-hand coor­di­na­tion.
  3. Inner ear and cen­tral vestibu­lar patholo­gies:
    • Devel­op­men­tal patholo­gies (con­gen­i­tal nys­tag­mus; sco­l­io­sis; foetal cytomegalovirus syn­drome; benign parox­ys mal posi­tion­al ver­ti­go).
    • Acquired patholo­gies (Aged-relat­ed acu­ity loss; vestibu­lar lesions).
    • Motion sick­ness and neu­ro­mod­u­la­tion.


  • INRIA Rhônes-Alpes (Greno­ble; France).
  • Mouse Clin­i­cal insti­tute and IGBMC (Stras­bourg; France).
  • French and Euro­pean space agen­cies.
  • Isti­tu­to Ital­iano di Tec­nolo­gia (Gen­o­va; Italy).
  • Politec­ni­co di Milano (Milan; Italy).
  • Tec­na­lia Health Tech­nolo­gies (San Sebas­t­ian; Spain).
  • Delft Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy (Delft; Hol­land).
  • Uni­ver­si­ty at Buf­fa­lo (Buf­fa­lo; US).

Team leaders


Former members

See the list of for­mer mem­bers

Recent Publications

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2016 :

2015 :

2014 :

2013 :

2012 :

2011 :

Books, chapters and patents