Affinity Groups

Affinity groups regroup multiple researchers from SENSUM’s affiliated entities. Its goal is to collaborate around the federating research themes. SENSUM provides support in coordination and communication.

Computational approaches in neuroscience and mental health

Computational psychiatry aims to regroup clinical manifestations of mental illnesses to the neurocognitive and socio-affective process via a mathematical formal modelling. Originating from psychological and computational neuroscience theories, it regroups 3 fields: (1) digital psychiatry that uses digital tools to interact with individuals by, for example, collecting data; (2) psychiatry based on AI that analyses those data using automated learning methods; and (3) knowledge modeling in psychiatry that develops formal models (mathematical) for the cerebral and cognitive function (and dysfunction) to explain symptoms observed in clinics. These 3 complementary approaches allow to understand the socio-cognitive and affective functions and the mechanisms of mental illnesses (mechanistic). It also allows to innovate new interventions such as clinical decision making (pragmatic).

Members of this affinity group

  • Guillaume Dumas, Research Centre of the CHU Sainte-Justine, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology
  • Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Research Centre of the University of Montreal's Institute in Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology
  • Tania Lecomte, Research Centre of the University of Montreal's Institute in Mental Health, Department of Psychology
  • Karim Jerbi, Research Centre of the University of Montreal's Institute in Mental Health, Department of Psychology
  • Baudouin Forgeot d’Arc, Research Centre of the CHU Sainte-Justine, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology
  • Marc J. Lanovaz, Research Centre of the University of Montreal's Institute in Mental Health, School of Psychoeducation
  • Pierre Orban, Research Centre of the University of Montreal's Institute in Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology
  • Miriam Beauchamp, Research Centre of the CHU Sainte-Justine, Department of Psychology
  • Irina Rish, Mila – Mila - Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, Department of Computer Science and Operations Research
  • Stéphane Potvin, Research Centre of the University of Montreal's Institute in Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology

Neurostimulation group

SENSUM’s research community comprises of an important group of researchers using neuromodulation. Multiple methods that stimulate the nervous system exist. These stimulations can be used to study the neuron circuits and the interactions between diverse regions of the brain. Alternatively, they can be used to model neuron activity in a translational context with the development of clinical treatment like profound stimulation for Parkinson’s. A lot of these methods are non-invasive. Stimulation is done through the skin and the skull for example, with magnetic or electrical stimulation through the skulls. The electrodes can also be implanted in an invasive way to interface more precisely with the brain. This is particularly useful within the context of neuro-prothesis.

Members of this affinity group

  • Numa Dancause, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), Department of Neuroscience
  • Dorothy Barthélemy, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), School of Rehabilitation
  • Feldman, Quebec Rehabilitation Research Network (REPAR)
  • Jason Neva, Research Centre of the Montreal Universidty Institute of Geriatrics (CRIUGM) , School of Kinesiology and Physicial Activity Sciences
  • Guillaume Lajoie, Mila, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Marina Martinez, Research Group on the Central Nervous System, Department of Neuroscience
  • Mathieu Vanni, Interdisciplinary Brain and Learning Research Centre (CIRCA), School of Optometry

Translational Addiction Research 

In our departments and research centres, research on etiology and treatment of addictive disorders represent a particular strength for the University of Montreal. We have been participating, for a long time, in inter-institutional initiatives and cosortia that aim to understand neurobiological (e.g. ENIGMAA-Addiction), psychosocials (GRIP and RQSHA) and environmental (CRISM, CCPRT) factors that have an impact on substance abuse and their co-morbidity with other psychiatric disorders. Our researchers direct pan-Canadian and international consortia that focus on multi-sites student essays focusing on new intervention strategies for addictive behaviours covering topics from prevention in school settings to new treatments and harm reduction strategies including therapies replacing opioids, cannabinoids and hallucinogens. These intervention strategies developed and studied by our researches have been recognized in multiple reports that have authority on drug and alcohol abuse prevention (e.g. UNODC, WHO), clinical treatment guidelines and guidelines on safe drug and alcohol use (CRISM). The knowledge transfer is assured by multiple initiatives under the Expertise Centre and the collaboration in concomitant disorders (mental health and dependence)of the RUISSS of the University of Montreal. Le CECTC was born to support establishments and their teams in the implantation and the perpetuation of care, integrated services that are adapted to specific needs of people with concomitant disorders with the finest knowledge such as the e-mentoring program ECHO CHUM of concomitant disorders.

Members of this affinity group

  • Patricia Conrod, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology
  • Anne-Noël Samaha, Interdisciplinary Brain and Learning Research Centre (CIRCA) , Department of Pharmacology and Physiology 
  • Sylvana Côté, Research group on psychosocial inadaptation in kids (GRIP),  Department of Social and Preventive Medicine 
  • Didier Jutras Aswad, Research Centre of the Montreal University Institute of Geriatrics (CRIUGM), Department of Psychiatry and Addictology
  • Stéphane Potvin, Research Centre of the National Institute of Legal Psychiatry Philippe Pinel, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology

Neural signaling and circuits.

The research group for neural signaling and circuits (SNC) is a multi-departmental and trans-faculty group that interests themselves in circuits and in the mechanisms of neural and glial signaling in the central and peripheral nervous systems that determine behaviour. It includes researchers from the faculty of Medicine, the faculty of Dental Medicine, the faculty of Arts and Science, the school of Optometry and the Polytechnic school. The main mission of the SNC is to spark research in the field by organising scientific activities such as conferences, updates on research, presenting students and post-doctoral students, sharing technical expertise and networking events.

Members of this affinity group 

This content has been updated on 7 February 2024 at 19 h 28 min.