Functional exploration

The core facilities of the ICM provide scientific support for researchers at all stages of their projects: from the molecule to the person. These facilities are organized in six thematic groups called silos.
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The functional exploration platforms permit investigations in living organisms (in vivo) that respect the integrity of the subject. They are thus particularly adapted to human subjects – patients or healthy volunteers, and also the study of experimental models. The main research axes of these platforms are:

  • Clinical research: the study of physiopathological mechanisms and the evolution of diseases, evaluation of the effect of treatments and development of innovative treatments for the major pathologies of the nervous system;
  • Research in the cognitive sciences: understand the functioning of the brain and the neural bases of thought, behaviour, ageing;
  • Research on signal and image analysis: develop new methods of treating brain imaging data.

There are five functional exploration platforms:

Two platforms propose techniques for recording brain activity and high resolution imagery: the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) platform and the electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) platform. These two platforms are located in the Centre for Neuroimaging Research (CENIR). The CENIR is thus the major facility for imaging in vivo in humans and experimental models, and is run by experts in neurodegenerative diseases, cognitive neurosciences and image analysis. The CENIR also houses the PANAM and STIM platforms.

The PANAM platform participates in two research axes:

1 – Clinical and therapeutic research using non-invasive brain stimulation to study neurological and psychiatric diseases (transcranial magnetic and electric stimulation, deep brain stimulation);

2- The study of movement, gait and balance in patients with neurological diseases.

The STIM platform develops and mutualizes tools (models and programs), provides analyses of data and participates in research projects involving questions related to stereotaxis. The clinical applications are mainly deep brain stimulation and epilepsy. The platform also concerns the IHU-A-ICM, and collaborates with other ICM platforms (CENIR human MRI, CENIR MEEG) and teams (Aramis, Experimental Neurosurgery) and clinical departments using stereotaxis (Neuroradiology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Neurophysiology).

Finally, the functional exploration silo includes the PRISME platform, which is dedicated to the functional exploration of human behaviour. It is composed of two entities:

1 – PRISME-Virtual Reality is focused on the development and adaption of new paradigms of virtual reality for the behavioural and cognitive neurosciences. The platform will also introduce new therapeutic protocols for neuropsychiatric diseases.

2- PRISME-Real Life is dedicated to the study of human cognitive functions, motor functions and social interactions in an ecological environment.

Scientific director: S. Lehéricy.
Director of operations: D. Schwartz.