CE37 - Neurosciences intégratives et cognitives

The vestibular system: a hidden sense for a core sense of self – VESTISELF

The vestibular system: a hidden sense for a core sense of self

Hidden and pre-conscious, the vestibular sense does not pertain to the five traditional Aristotelian senses. Yet, it impacts human development, perception, action, and cognition.

Establishing connections between vestibular and self neurosciences

The VESTISELF Project aims at advancing the rather recently initiated development of the interdisciplinary research field of cognitive vestibular neuroscience, by systematically linking basic human vestibular physiology to the cognitive psychology of the self.

We will conduct the first recordings of human vestibular responses during natural whole-body rotations using implanted depth electrodes in epileptic patients. Second, we will test whether the sense of self-location, crucial for self-consciousness, involves the vestibular system. We will investigate this in epileptic patients and healthy volunteers during experimentally induced experiences of disembodied self-location. Third, we will evaluate the sense of self after peripheral and central vestibular dysfunctions. This project should contribute to the development of more comprehensive models of self-consciousness.

- Identification of factors favoring depersonalization-derealization in otoneurological populations
- Identification by intracranial electrical stimulation of the key region involved in bodily awareness of self: the inferior parietal lobule
- Validation of the French translation of the CDS, the questionnaire will be published in open access.

The aims is to record brain responses to natural vestibular stimuli such as whole-body rotations in epileptic patients with electrodes implanted in the brain.

NAKUL E., BARTOLOMEI F. & LOPEZ C. (2021) Vestibular-evoked cerebral potentials. Frontiers in Neurology. 12: 674100. doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.674100 [IF2020 = 4.003]

Manuscripts in preparation:

DARY Z., LENGGENHAGER B., LAGARDE S., MEDINA S., BARTOLOMEI F. & LOPEZ C. Neural bases of the bodily self as revealed by electrical brain stimulation: a systematic review of the literature. En preparation pour: Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
MENSSOR S., LOPEZ C., BENAR C.G, & BARTOLOMEI F. Neural network involved in out-of-body experience as revealed by electrical stimulation of the anterior insula. En preparation pour: Current Biology.
LOPEZ C., BRESSAN M. & ELZIÈRE M. The sense of self in a cohort of patients with otoneurological disorders. En preparation pour: Neurology.
LOPEZ C. & ELZIÈRE M. The French adaptation of the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (CDS): psychometric characteristics in a non-clinical population. En preparation pour: Journal of Affective Disorders.

Hidden and pre-conscious, the vestibular sense does not pertain to the five traditional Aristotelian senses. Yet, it impacts human development, perception, action, and cognition. The VESTISELF Project aims at advancing the rather recently initiated development of the interdisciplinary research field of cognitive vestibular neuroscience, by systematically linking basic human vestibular physiology to the cognitive psychology of the self. We will conduct the first recordings of human vestibular responses during natural whole-body rotations using implanted depth electrodes in epileptic patients. Second, we will test whether the sense of self-location, crucial for self-consciousness, involves the vestibular system. We will investigate this in epileptic patients and healthy volunteers during experimentally induced experiences of disembodied self-location. Third, we will evaluate the sense of self after peripheral and central vestibular dysfunctions. This project should contribute to the development of more comprehensive models of self-consciousness.

Project coordination

Christophe Lopez (Laboratoire de Neurosciences Sensorielles et Cognitives)

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.

Partner

INS Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes
HE HOPITAL AMBROISE PARE HOPITAL EUROP
University of Zurich / Cognitive Neuropsychology with focus Body, Self and Plasticity. Department of Psychology
LNSC Laboratoire de Neurosciences Sensorielles et Cognitives

Help of the ANR 454,700 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: May 2020 - 48 Months

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