The MIMS project

« Use it or lose it»

Neuroscience proverb

An acute injury often results in a period of immobilization of the considered limb, which leads to drastic impairments of neural and muscular factors. The main aim of this project is to implement different training methods to counteract these deficits and assess their impact on both structural and central factors. The novelty lies in the combination of two methods: muscle stimulation and mental training. This project, by gathering two approaches from different scientific fields (neuromuscular physiology with muscle stimulation and neurosciences with mental training), hopes to maximize the effects of rehabilitation programs during limb immobilization, from the brain to the muscle.

The main coordinator

I received my PhD in Neurophysiology in 2013, entitled “Interactions of the cortico-spinal processes during movement execution and mental simulation”, during which I aimed at deciphering the involvement of spinal networks during several imagined and actual movements. I won a Young Investigator Award from the European College of sport science (ECSS) in 2014 for his research on the effects of motor imagery (MI) on spinal circuitry. Later on, my work during post-doctoral studies was dedicated to investigate the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) protocols on corticospinal networks, as well as optimizing NMES parameters to maximize its effects. I worked during my post-doctoral studies with scientists from Lausanne (Switzerland), such as Dr. Nicolas Place and Dr Daria Neyroud, specialized in NMES.

Since then, I obtained a permanent position of assistant professor at the sport faculty of Besançon where I continue working on these topics and teaches neurosciences and physiology. I am involved in the “health and performance” team of my laboratory, the research unit C3S “Culture, Sport, Health and Society”, which has the particularity to work with a multidisciplinary approach by gathering neuroscientists, psychologists and physiologists. Therefore, I have been educated in developing a holistic approach of the motor performance, including the study of cognitive processes as well as neuromuscular function. I am currently running a project in collaboration with Pr. Haffen about the effect of brain stimulation on motor performances and behaviour of sport practitionners, a project for which I obtained a fellowship of the university. I also went to Slovenia several times to work with the team of Dr Marusic, specialized in cognitive training for rehabilitation (bedrest studies, etc.).

I am also the administrative head of the Master’s Degree EOPS (Training and Optimization of sport performance), from which students will be recruited for the present project. I am willing to obtain the Ability to supervise research (HDR) during the completion of the project (provisional date: end of 2020), which will allow me to fully supervise at least the second half of the PhD required for this project. I am currently co-supervisor of a PhD student working on motor imagery, and frequently supervise Master Degree students in the field of neurophysiology and training.