The brain is not only receiving and processing inputs from the external environment through the senses, it is also bombarded with internal information from the body, in particular from visceral organs that are constantly active, such as the heart and the gastro-intestinal tract.
Do visceral inputs impact brain dynamics and behavior in humans? More specifically, we develop and test the hypothesis that the neural monitoring of visceral inputs generates an egocentric reference frame for sensory and cognitive information processing, from which the fist-person perspective inherent to conscious mental life can develop.
We use brain imaging (MEG, EEG, fMRI in healthy participants, intracranial EEG in epileptic patients) and various physiological measures of the heart and the stomach, in behavioral paradigms or during resting state.
The group hosts international students and post-doctoral fellows with various backgrounds, from engineering to cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology or philosophy, with an active policy to maintain gender balance. The group is supported by the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant), the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Inserm and Ecole Normale Supérieure.