Psychiatric Disorders, Neuroscience Research and Clinical Research

Our main goal is to understand the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying three core cognitive domains that are impaired across a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions: “reward processing”, “reality-monitoring”, and “emotion regulation”. We aim to study these mechanisms under normal conditions, as well as their dysfunction in various psychiatric and neurological conditions. In parallel, we strive to develop innovative methods of care.

Methods and Techniques

We use a multi-scale approach, from neurotransmission to behavior, alongside a variety of tools, from brain imaging to neuropsychology and psychopharmacology.

For basic neuroscience purposes, we mainly use an original approach combining noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS, tACS, tRNS) and neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, PET, EEG).

We also use cognitive evaluation and psychometrics tools to evaluate the severity of symptoms and cognitive deficits. For clinical investigation, we develop large multicentric randomized sham-controlled trials.

Research Project

The three axes of our research program are embedded within the CRNL’s transverse research axes, in particular the basic neuroscience axis (memory, emotion and social cognition, social applications) and the clinical and preclinical neuroscience axis (translational research and non-pharmacological rehabilitation and therapies). Some parts of our program are also in line with transverse projects ongoing at the CRNL (“Life-span Development”, “Neuro-informatics, Artificial Intelligence and Computational Neuroscience”, “Natural and Naturalistic Neuroscience”, “Central Nervous and Immune system Interactions & Behavior”).

Long-term goal is to contribute to the development of a more personalized approach to care in psychiatry.

  • The main objective of Axis 1 (headed by B. Rolland & G. Sescousse) is to better characterize the brain mechanisms underlying reward processing and motivation, both in healthy individuals and in patients with various psychiatric disorders, in particular behavioral and substance addictions. We are strongly dedicated to identifying new therapeutic approaches as well as predictors of treatment success.
  • The main objective of Axis 2 (headed by M. Mondino & F. Haesebaert) is to understand reality-monitoring (the capacity of making judgments about the origin (the source) of remembered information) and, more precisely, to disentangle the underlying neural, neurochemical and cognitive (low and high cognitive levels) mechanisms. To elucidate these mechanisms, we conduct studies in specific patient populations with impaired reality-monitoring: patients with auditory hallucinations.
  • The main objective of Axis 3 (headed by J. Brunelin & E. Fakra) is to understand emotion regulation at rest and in acute stress situations. Emotion recognition and expression are basic everyday skills, which play a key role in social cognition and social interactions. We aim to disentangle the neurochemical, neural, and cognitive mechanisms of emotion regulation in normal and pathological states. In particular, we assess whether stressful situations altering emotion regulation abilities and prefrontal top-down control lead to abnormal behavior such as psychotic outbursts, suicide attempt, and substance abuse in subjects with a high level of vulnerability.


Group picture



WALLART Leslie -




FAKRA Eric -