DS0407 - Exploration du système nerveux dans son fonctionnement normal et pathologique

Non-invasive manipulation of brain synchrony to boost brain function and rehabilitate faulty visuo-spatial cognition in humans – OSCILLOSCOPUS

Submission summary

Abnormal oscillatory activity has been found to underlie cognitive impairments resulting from brain damage. Yet to date, no consistent attempt has aimed to better understand the causal basis of brain oscillatory activity and inter-regional synchrony to then address the rehabilitation of faulty visual cognition by manipulating pathological brain rhythms. We hereby aim to tackle this issue by employing patterns of rhythmic non-invasive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and induce brief episodes of synchronous patterns modulating task-evoked oscillatory activity in healthy and focally brain damage human patients. To facilitate the success of our interventions, we first propose the use of Magnetoencephalography (MEG) to characterize the sources, time windows, frequency bands and power spectrum of oscillatory activity underlying normal or pathological visuo-spatial orienting and visual performance in healthy populations and brain damage patients suffering visuo-spatial neglect, a neurological disability following focal damage to right fronto-parietal systems which challenges motor, sensory and cognitive rehabilitation after stroke. This casual evidence will then be employed to test the potential of a novel therapeutic approach based on the manipulation of neural synchrony in these same populations of patients.

Our plans are supported by prior MEG evidence suggesting a correlation between episodes of visual unawareness and frontal beta synchrony (Rastelli et al. Cortex 2013), and the ability of our consortium to induce and record with electroencephalography (EEG) online and offline TMS frequency-specific effects on visual cognition (Chanes et al. J Neurosci 2013, Cortex 2015, Vernet et al. SFN 2014&OHBM Abstr. 2015, Wozniak et al. Neuroimage 2013& JAffctDis 2015), effects which are strongly influenced by interregional patterns of white matter connectivity (Quentin et al. Neuroimage 2013, Cerebral Cortex 2014&2015). To reach the above-mentioned goals, we propose the following 3 specific aims:

SPECIFIC AIM 1: We will use MEG recordings to define the electrophysiological characteristics of oscillation and inter-regional synchrony activity engaged during visuo-spatial attentional orienting resulting in a facilitation of visual performance in a cohort of intact individuals and right hemisphere stroke patients with or without signs of visuo-spatial neglect.

SPECIFIC AIM 2: We will evaluate the impact of oscillation-tailored brief rhythmic TMS bursts aimed to induce trial-by-trial online visual performance enhancement in cohorts of healthy participants and also right hemisphere stroke patients suffering visuo-spatial neglect; in parallel we will employ interleaved TMS-EEG recordings to study the electrophysiological signature of such effects and model their impact on brain oscillatory activity and interregional synchrony.

SPECIFIC AIM 3: We will study the impact of protocols consisting in long trains of repetitive TMS and explore their ability to induce offline effects on synchrony and improvements of visual performance in similar cohorts of healthy participants and stroke patients; TMS-EEG recordings will be used to study the dynamics of rapid plastic effects and to model their lasting impact on brain oscillatory activity and interregional synchrony.

The results of this project, which will be coordinated from the Institute du Cerveau (ICM, CNRS UMR 7225 & Hôpital Pitié-Salpetrière) and developed in partnership with the Institute of Neurosciences (GIN&CHU) in Grenoble, will generate causal knowledge on the oscillatory mechanisms involved in attentional orienting and perception processes and their disruptions after right hemisphere damage. They will also develop our ability to use non-invasive neurostimulation to manipulate local and inter-regional synchrony in view of potential therapeutic applications in visuo-spatial neglect or other neuropsychiatric conditions showing dysfunctional local or interregional synchrony.

Project coordination

Antoni Valero-Cabré (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


UGA Université Grenoble alpes
INSERM UMR ICM - U1127 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale

Help of the ANR 434,328 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2016 - 48 Months

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