What are the brain regions that process visual information when we walk within our environment ? Are they identical in human and non-human primates, species that are very close by on the evolutionary tree ? In order to answer these questions, researchers from the ECO-3D team used a neuroimaging technique based on fMRI recordings at high field (3T) in awake behaving macaque. This state-of-art approach was developed in parallel in human and monkey over the last 5 years within the MRI platform of the ‘Institut des Sciences du Cerveau de Toulouse’ on the site of the Purpan hospital. This platform is one of the first in France that was specifically designed for studies in both human and macaque. Numerous tests were necessary for the establishment of fMRI sequences, the development of specific coils but also for the processing of the data and the conditioning of the animals. The results, published in Cerebral Cortex, revealed that despite some differences, the cortical networks activated during locomotion in macaques are very close to those obtained in humans using the same experimental approach. They allow a better understanding of the homologies between the two species and open new perspectives on our current knowledge of brain function evolution in primate.
Mise à jour 15/02/2017