Université catholique de Louvain

Research groups affiliated to EURON:

  • Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS)

    (President of the Institute: Prof André Mouraux) : The Institute of Neuroscience of UCLouvain brings together a multidisciplinary team of approximately 210 researchers and 30 administrative and technical staff working in the fields of cellular and molecular neurosciences (CEMO division), systems and cognitive neurosciences (COSY division) and clinical neurosciences (NEUR division). Its research facilities are located in Brussels and in Louvain-la-Neuve, and include three technological platforms, one dedicated to studying animal behaviour, the second to the analysis of human neuroimaging data, and the third to investigations in clinical nutrition. The institute also benefits from close interactions with two academic hospitals: the Saint-Luc University Hospital in Brussels, and the CHU Dinant Godinne.  

List of research groups / themes:

Cellular and molecular division (CEMO)
The Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience division comprises nine research groups that use molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, transgenesis, imaging and electrophysiology to investigate the fundamental bases of development, physiology and pathologies of the nervous system.
Research interests include the characterization of mechanisms involved in neural differentiation, neuronal migration, axon guidance and synaptogenesis, in neuronal, glial or muscular physiology, in the alterations of nervous activity in chronic pain and in the degeneration of neuronal, glial or muscle cells in the course of degenerative disorders.
The long term objective of this research is to improve diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, of neurodegenerative pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, and of neuromuscular diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Research groups:

  • Alzheimer’s Dementia
  • Cell physiology
  • Developmental neurobiology
  • Mammalian Development and Cell Biology
  • Neural differentiation
  • Neuroimmunology and CFS neurochemistry
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Physiology and biochemistry of exercise

System and cognition division (COSY)
Researchers within the Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience division (COSY) of the Institute seek to understand the neural mechanisms underlying perceptual, cognitive and motor functions in humans. About 24 senior scientists and a total of 72 researchers are affiliated to COSY. Our research interests include the neural mechanisms of numerical and social cognition, executive functions, sensori-motor coordination, motor control, spatial perception, representation of time and expectation, sensory plasticity, impact of early visual defects on late development of cognitive functions, language and gesture understanding and production, semantics, somatosensory perception including pain, visual perception of complex naturalistic images (faces, objects and scenes), the dynamics of object grasping, psychometry, neuro-rehabilitation, biomechanics of locomotion, rhythm perception, and neural interfaces.
Our research relies on a wide range of methods and techniques available locally or through national and international collaborations: psychophysics and mental chronometry, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scalp and intracerebral electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), recording of eye movements, and electromyography. These methods are complemented by neuropsychological studies of patients with lesions of the peripheral or central nervous system.

Research groups:

  • Anticipation and its troubles
  • Coactions
  • Cognitive neuropsychology
  • Crossmodal Perception and Plasticity (CPP-lab)
  • Human-centered robotics
  • Human visual neuroscience
  • Motor skill learning & intensive neurorehabilitation (MSL-IN)
  • Neural mechanisms of human face recognition
  • NOCIONS: pain research
  • Numerical cognition
  • Physiology and biomechanics of locomotion
  • Sensorimotor coordination
  • Social cognitive neuroscience (Springlab)

Clinical Neuroscience division (NEUR)
The Clinical Neurosciences division of the IoNS is composed of nine research groups from the Cliniques Universitaires UCL Saint-Luc, the CHU Dinant-Godinne UCL and the CPS Louvain-la-Neuve UCL. Research conducted in the NEUR division is closely interconnected with the clinical activities and utilizes a broad repertoire of techniques. NEUR aims at understanding clinical, physiopathological, biochemical, inflammatory, cognitive and social-cognitive, emotional, brain structural and functional dimensions, and neuropharmacological aspects of various nervous/mental disorders. It mainly focusses on studies in humans, but these are also sometimes complemented by preclinical studies.

  • Neurological diseases: stroke (acute management, brain plasticity, non-invasive brain stimulation for therapeutic purpose), inflammatory diseases (in relation with the CSF analysis), neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson’s disease (deep brain stimulation), Alzheimer’s disease (early diagnosis by cognitive evaluation and biomarkers), refractory epilepsy, chronic pain, childhood neurometabolic disorders.
  • Neuro-otology (cochlear implant induced plasticity, tinnitus) and the chemosensitive platform (neurophysiology, imaging, psychophysics)
  • Neurosurgical aspects in neurooncology , neurovascular disorders, epilepsy surgery (including invasive EEG)
  • Eye movement, oculomotor as well as neurosensory disorders
  • Emotional, visual and musical recognition, cognitive, biological aspects in various psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcohol dependency, anxious disorders, depression, eating disorders, gambling.
  • The neuroimaging group occupies a central position to many research projects including: brain perfusion imaging, preoperatory MRI in neuro-oncology, functional MRI, thermography, cerebral pathophysiology of stroke, etc.