PICNIC Lab Physiological Investigations of Clinically Normal & Impaired Cognition

Research center

47 bld de l'Hôpital
75651 Paris
Alexis Brice


Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Université Paris 6
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


UMRS 1127 UMR 7225
Contrat ANR, ICM Big Brain Theory Program, Idex Sorbonne université



Mongelli, V., Dehaene, S., Vinckier, F., Peretz, I., Bartolomeo, P., & Cohen, L. (2016). Music and words in the visual cortex: The impact of musical expertise. Cortex. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.05.016

Lunven, M., Thiebaut de Schotten, M., Bourlon, C., Duret, C., Migliaccio, R., Rode, G., & Bartolomeo, P. (2015). White matter lesional predictors of chronic visual neglect: a longitudinal study. Brain, 138, 746-760.

Sitt*, J., King*, J. R., El Karoui, I., Rohaut, B., Faugeras, F., Gramfort, A., Cohen, L., Sigman, M., Dehaene, S., & Naccache, L. (2014). Large scale screening of neural signatures of consciousness in patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state. Brain, 137, 2258-2270.

Bouhali, F., Thiebaut de Schotten, M., Pinel, P., Poupon, C., Mangin, J. F., Dehaene, S., & Cohen, L. (2014). Anatomical Connections of the Visual Word Form Area. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(46), 15402-15414.  

King*, J. R., Sitt*, J., Faugeras, F., Rohaut, B., El Karoui, I., Cohen, L., Naccache, L., & Dehaene, S. (2013). Information Sharing in the Brain Indexes Consciousness in Noncommunicative Patients. Current Biology, 23(19), 1914-1919.

Fields of research

Cognitive neurosciences / neuropsychology /neuroeconomy

Research Theme

The PICNIC lab is devoted to the study of cognitive functions with an exclusive or prevalent development in humans, namely language and conscious cognition. The study of brain-damaged patients occupies a central position in our methodological approach. For the study of both language and consciousness, and with both patients and healthy subjects, we resort to state-of-the-art behavioural methods and multimodal brain imaging (MRI, high-density surface EEG and intracerebral implanted electrodes). In the field of language, we mostly address the brain mechanisms of reading a domain which gives an empirical grasp on the interplay of cultural phenomena and biological background. Our main project concerns the dynamics of word reading: functioning, origins, and impairments. We address questions such as: how are visual words encoded and recognized in adults? how do word recognition abilities emerge from the interaction of education and of the pre-existing biological background? what are the functional abnormalities underlying acquired reading impairments, and what are the compensation mechanisms that may develop in such conditions? In the field of consciousness, we aim at discovering the specific psychological and neural properties of conscious processing, by contrasting conscious and unconscious cognition, both in healthy subjects and in patients in comatose, vegetative or  inimally conscious states. Particularly we probe in such patients the depth of cognitive processing in the domain of semantics, short-term memory, and strategic elaboration. Beyond fundamental issues, we also derive tools for the assessment or rehabilitation of patients. Thus we recently demonstrated the value of ERPs for assessing the diagnosis and prognosis of comatose patients.

Membres de l'équipe