Coordinator : Jean-Luc Martinot

L’équipe Trajectoires développementales et psychiatrie (Inserm U1299) s’intéresse aux symptômes psychopathologiques, à l’environnement, et aux cerveaux des adolescents, par le suivi de cohortes et l’observation par psychométrie et IRM multimodale au cours des périodes sensibles de la maturation cérébrale, afin de préciser les facteurs de transition vers des troubles psychiatriques.

Over the past 5 years, our team has focused on the features of psychiatric  conditions with a neuro-developmental component. We extended our activities: to cohorts of typically developing juveniles ; to individuals at risk for mood disorders and addiction, and abnormalities of the social brain in ASD.

Highlights – Recent activities

We completed the first european cohort of 2 000 adolescents followed for 10 years with our partners abroad. This multi-disciplinary resource is now combined with young patients assessments.

1- At-risk adolescents. The mediation of risk for mood disorders involves circumscribed brain regions during early adolescence. Our lab was the first to demonstrate changes in grey matter regions and in the microstructure of white matter, using a longitudinal design in at-risk adolescents. This information highlights the vulnerability of neuro-affective systems in early adolescence, and fueled the rationale to stratify the age of protection in a law adopted by the French parliament. The findings were also presented in an audition to the Sénat (2019) addressing the protection of adolescents, within the framework of the revision of French Biothics laws.

2- Correlation between dopamine regulation and regional function in main psychiatric disorders. The dopamine transporter in the midbrain correlated with the neural response in a core region of the reward system, across psychiatric disorders. This supports trans-diagnostic dimension of the behavior.

3- Brain structure abnormalities were detected in pharmaco-resistant depression (TRD). This supports a neuroimaging biomarker of vulnerability to chronicity, revealed by medication resistance.

4- Neuromodulation of superior temporal cortex modifies a modelized social behaviour. Inhibition of the right posterior superior temporal region with rTMS decreased the social gaze perception. This paves the way for future cognitive – behavioral research on interventions for ASD.


How will psychological, cognitive, sensorimotor and brain changes during adolescence lead to the prediction of vulnerability, or resilience, to emotion disorders and ‘at-risk’ behaviors?

– Data Fusion and Mathematical Modeling using adequate formulations on large databases of adolescents and young adults, within the framework of the Borelli Center.  Complementary ancillary studies focus on patients from clinical departments in Paris-Centre, in Paris Sorbonne University (child and adolescent psychiatry, Salpêtrière), or in Paris-Saclay University (e.g. addictology), and in Orsay hospital.

The laboratory coordinates an international consortium: Targeting adolescent neurocognitive processes in depression to promote intervention response. At-risk adolescents, young adults, and patients hospitalized for disorders tackling on emotion dysregulation will be investigated with respect to developmental databases.