Institute of Neuroscience (IONS) - Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)

NOCIONS : PAIN RESEARCH AT UCLOUVAIN

Diana Torta

​Former postdoc

(Marie Curie-UCLouvain scholarship and FNRS chargé de recherches).

Promoters : André Mouraux & Valéry Legrain

2013-2019

My main research interest is to understand how attention shapes the elaboration and perception of nociceptive and non-nociceptive inputs, both in healthy and in clinical populations. In 2013, Diana Torta joined the NOCIONS group at UCLouvain on an co-funded Marie Curie-Academie UCLouvain scholarship to explore human nociception and its modulation. In 2016, she obtained a Chargé de Recherche grant from the Fondation National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and a post-doc position at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at KULeuven. Using novel techniques based on electroecencephalography, the objective of her postdoctorate research fellowship was to characterize the role of vision and spatial attention on the elaboration of somatosensory stimuli, in particular, nociceptive somatosensory stimuli. In 2019, Diana Torta obtained an academic position at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at KULeuven.

Erwan Guillery

Former PhD student

(UCL Research Assistant).

Promoters : Prof. J.-L. Thonnard, co-promoter: Prof. A. Mouraux

The objective of my PhD was to explore the involvement of high-level cognitive resources in the performance of a common manual behaviour. In everyday life, object manipulation is among the most common tasks we perform and is usually performed concurrently to the execution of cognitive tasks. In a recent study we show that mental resources are required for both the planning and the online control of upper-limb movement. By using a motor-cognitive dual-task paradigm, current studies will examine the influence of a cognitive task on the different aspects of precision grip in elders and in patients presenting with a peripheral or central lesion of the nervous system. Indeed, it could well be that with aging and/or following such a lesion, precision grip is even more dependent on cognitive resources.

Sylvie Nozaradan

Former PhD student and postdoctorate researcher (FNRS)

Supervisor : André Mouraux, Isabelle Peretz

2009-2018

The topic of her research is how musical rhythm entrains the human brain activity. During her PhD and postdoc, Sylvie developed an approach to capture the neural mechanisms of musical beat in humans. Currently, she explores this approach as a mean to investigate human neural mechanisms such as neural entrainment, sensorimotor synchronization and multisensory integration. ​To this aim, she use surface and intracerebral EEG, coupled with auditory/visual stimulations, and motion recordings.

After a postdoc at the MARCS Institute (Prof. P. Keller), Sylvie Nozaradan obtained an academic position at the Institute of Neuroscience of UCLouvain. 

Roxane Dekeyser

Former PhD student

(FNRS PDR).
Promoter : Prof. V. Legrain

2014-2018

My research project investigated the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying visual-nociceptive integration in the representation of the body and the peripersonal space. More specifically, I used steady state evoked potentials to explore how nociceptive stimulation affects the processing of external visual stimuli in order to form a meaningful multimodal representation of physical threats.

Athanasia Moungou

Former PhD student (PROTOTOUCH MC-ITN)

Supervisor Pr. A. Mouraux; Co-supervisor : Pr. J.-L. Thonnard

2013-2016

The aim of my PhD project was be to develop a new approach to isolate and characterize the cortical activity elicited by the mechanical interactions between the contacting finger pad and tactile displays. Using such stimuli, we will use high-density electroencephalography (EEG) to sample, non-invasively, the cortical activity elicited by mechanotransduction of the finger pad interactions with the tactile displays. Specifically, I developped a new technique based on the recording of steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs) to study the cortical processes underlying the perception of complex fine-grained textures. 

She continued with a postdoctorate fellowship at the Dept of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the University Hospital Linköping (Prof. H. Olausson). 

David Gueorguiev

Former PhD student (PROTOTOUCH MC-ITN)

Supervisor : Pr. J.-L. Thonnard; Co-supervisor : Pr. A. Mouraux

2010-2013

The objective of my PhD wa to conceive original psychophysical approaches to study the perception elicited by novel tactile displays. David Gueorguiev continued with a postdoctorate research fellowship at Lille University under the supervision of Prof. Betty Semail. He is currently postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart.

Marjolein Leerink

Former Research assistant (CAPSICUM)

Supervisor : André Mouraux, Patrice Forget

2013-2015

The objective of my research project was to characterize, in humand and animals, the effects on nociception of a high-concentration topical application of capsicum extracts.

Gan Huang

Former Postdoctorate researcher (FNRS Mandat d'impulsion scientifique - MIS and ERC Starting Grant PROBING-PAIN)

Supervisor : Pr. A. Mouraux

2013-2016

The objective of this postdoc was to develop novel approaches to study the cortical representation of pain in the human brain, using novel techniques combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Gan Huang then became Research Associate Professor at the School of Mobile Information Engineering of the Sun Yat-Sen University.

Elisabeth Colon

Former Postdoctorate researcher (BAEF fellowship)

Supervisor : Pr. A. Mouraux

2009-2015

During her PhD, Elisabeth Colon developed a novel approach to study the cortical processes underlying pain perception in humans based on the recording of nociceptive steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs). The aim was to isolate cortical activity more preferentially involved in nociception. We showed that SS-EPs is useful to tag cortical activity related to the perception of sustained pain that possibly reflects nociceptive-specific stages of cortical processing. She then pursued her work as a postdoctorate researcher, with the aim of developing a new approach to study patients suffering from chronic pain with SS-EPs. 

Elisabeth Colon continued with a postdoc in the lab of Prof. D. Borsook (Pain and Imaging Neuroscience - PAIN, Massachussets General Hospital). She now works at the Research Administration (ADRE) of UCLouvain.

Anne Klöcker

​Former Postdoctorate researcher (NEUROSENSE – Program CWALity)

Supervisor : Pr. A. Mouraux

2014-2015
Anne Klöcker performed a postdoctorate research fellow carried out in the framework of the NEUROSENSE project. The purpose of this CWALity project was to develop (i) a vibrotactile stimulator as well as (ii) an EMG system compatible with EEG, IRM and MEG. These devices will be used for non-invasive investigations of the human nervous system. Her role in the NEUROSENSE project was to intervene in the development and the validation process of both devices.

Anne Klöcker continued with a postdoc in the MSL-IN lab (IONS/COSY)

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