Conférences Centre de Recherche Cerveau & Cognition - UMR5549


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25 September 2017

[Le Monde-Blog] When the patient plays saxophone during his brain surgery

Pr Franck Emmanuel ROUX was interviewed to comment on a surgery performed in the United States on an awake patient, a saxophonist, presenting a nearby immediate placed brain tumour of the top-right temporal gyrus, the region of the brain specialized in the treatment of the musical information.

29 June 2017

From the natural intelligence to the artificial intelligence

A CerCO technology transfered to an international society

Toulouse Tech Transfer (TTT) has just signed of a licensing agreement to transfer technology “JAST”, resulting from the Research centre Brain & Cognition (CerCo – CNRS/Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier), near the BrainChip company. After 30 years of research, this new generation of artificial intelligence (IA), which takes as a starting point the human intelligence, opens the door with new inaccessible applications until now. A promising Toulouse innovation Able to identify events repeating itself within a mass of data, without any preliminary training and with the possibility of implementing it on electronic circuit, technology JAST is the result many years of researches undertaken by Simon Thorpe, enquiring CNRS and director of CerCo. This Toulouse innovation allured the BrainChip company which develops software solutions and material dedicated to the IA for markets such as the civil monitoring or the video games. Thanks to this technological rupture, BrainChip will be able to optimize its microprocessor SNAP (Spiking Neuron Adaptive Processor) which analyzes in real time of the video stream. 30 years of searchs and always of the prospects for evolution to arrive at these results, all started in 1988 when Simon Thorpe, begins his research tasks on the networks from digital neurons. Convinced that an implementation hardware of the neurons is possible, it manufactures in 1994, with the assistance of a student, a chip including 256 neurons which never left the laboratory. “I had difficulty convincing the engineers who biology could be a source of inspiration. I said myself that I was going to do it myself! ” the scientist remembers. The things accelerate in 1998 thanks to the theses of Rufin VanRullen and Arnaud Delorme, today both research directors at CNRS in CerCo. “Their work made me understand the commercial potential of the digital networks of neurons. Thanks to the law on the innovation and research, we were among the first to invest the market by creating the company SpikeNet Technology supported by CNRS” tells Simon Thorpe. Since, the doctorant.e.s and étudiant.e.s working around Simon Thorpe contributed to this new generation of networks of digital neurons able to learn like a human brain and which allowed the development of technology. “Thanks to the ideas developed by our team, we could aim at the system development able soon to simulate million, to see billion neurons… ”, the scientist imagines. The signature of an exclusive licence near the BrainChip company, operated by the teams of Toulouse Tech Transfer, illustrates the quality of the researches undertaken in the field of the artificial intelligence in particular within the Toulouse laboratories. A press release is online on the site of CNRS in Midi-Pyrenees.

31 May 2017

« What do cochlear implants really do ? »

For nearly 40 years, deaf patients can benefit from a cochlear implantation in order to restore their oral communication skills. These cochlear implants are electronic hearing aids consisting mainly of a bundle of electrodes placed in the inner ear which will restore the external sound signal to the auditory nerve in the form of electrical pulses. Work on the improvement of sound coding strategies is at the heart of research in the field in order to provide patients with the most accurate and suitable electrical signal possible. In the case of deep bilateral deafness, the literature attests to an optimal recovery of speech understanding performance in quiet environments and a significant improvement in the quality of life of these patients. However, the quality of the sound transmitted and its perception by the patient via the implant remains largely unknown. What do these "deaf-hearing" people hear through this neuroprosthesis? Acoustic simulations were developed by O.Macherey (Laboratory of Mechanics and Acoustics, CNRS, Marseille) and t Chadlia Karoui (PhD Student, CerCo, Cifre contract, Cochlear) as part of a study on the rehabilitation of unilateral deafness by cochlear implantation under the direction of Pr. Mathieu Marx (équipe C3P et CHU Purpan). The results being validated in unilateral deaf patients with cochlear implants in the ORL-CHU service of Toulouse-Purpan have defined the simulations which are closed to the sound transmitted via the implant than the usual simulations. These results represent another step in the understanding of the world of deaf patients with cochlear implants who, thanks to the neuroprosthesis, find oral communication and the accompanying social life.

A documentary on FranceCulture presents testimonies of young patients implanted as well as sounds synthesized from these new acoustic simulations.


12 May 2017

Nouvelle traduction : When memories come back through electrical brain stimulation……

«When memories come back through electrical brain stimulation…» … they become an amazing tool of long term memory. Electrical brain stimulations (EBS) sometimes induce reminiscences, but it is largely unknown what type of memories they can trigger. We reviewed 80 years of literature on reminiscences induced by EBS and added our own database. We classified them according to modern conceptions of memory. We observed a surprisingly large variety of reminiscences covering all aspects of declarative memory. However, most were poorly detailed and only a few were episodic. This result does not support theories of a highly stable and detailed memory, as initially postulated, and still widely believed as true by the general public. Moreover, memory networks could only be activated by some of their nodes: 94.1% of EBS were temporal, although the parietal and frontal lobes, also involved in memory networks, were stimulated. The qualitative nature of memories largely depended on the site of stimulation: EBS to rhinal cortex mostly induced personal semantic reminiscences, while only hippocampal EBS induced episodic memories. This result supports the view that EBS can activate memory in predictable ways in humans. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews; 2017

23 January 2017

What are the brain regions that process visual information when we walk within our environment?

What are the brain regions that process visual information when we walk within our environment? Are they identical in human and non-human primates, species that are very close by on the evolutionary tree? In order to answer these questions, researchers from the ECO-3D team used a neuroimaging technique based on fMRI recordings at high field (3T) in awake behaving macaque. This state-of-art approach was developed in parallel in human and monkey over the last 5 years within the MRI platform of the ‘Institut des Sciences du Cerveau de Toulouse’ on the site of the Purpan hospital. This platform is one of the first in France that was specifically designed for studies in both human and macaque. Numerous tests were necessary for the establishment of fMRI sequences, the development of specific coils but also for the processing of the data and the conditioning of the animals. The results, published in Cerebral Cortex, revealed that despite some differences, the cortical networks activated during locomotion in macaques are very close to those obtained in humans using the same experimental approach. They allow a better understanding of the homologies between the two species and open new perspectives on our current knowledge of brain function evolution in primate.

To be noted

Semaine du Cerveau 2017

La semaine du Cerveau 2017 se déroulera du 13 au 18 mars. Programme

Conférences et séminaires

Edmund Lalor
University of Rochester Medical Center
vendredi 27 octobre 2017 11:00
Salle de conférence (Pavillon Baudot), Hôpital Purpan
The effects of attention and visual input on noninvasive electrophysiological indices of natural speech processing at different hierarchical levels


L’association InCOGnu organise régulièrement des soirées débats et ateliers autour des Sciences Cognitives. More...