Laurent Petit, PhD

Laurent Petit, researcher at the CNRS, specialist in cognitive neuroimaging and anatomy of the white matter.

After a Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences dealing with the anatomo-functional bases of the self-paced horizontal saccadic eye movements as revealed by Positron Emission Tomography in healthy humans (GIN, B. Mazoyer / LPPA, A. Berthoz), I made a first post-doctoral fellowship in 1995 in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology (A. Roucoux, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) and a second post-doctoral fellowship from 1996 to 1998 at NIMH in Bethesda (USA) in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition (L. Ungerleider). Recruited at the CNRS in 1998 as a researcher in the GIN, today integrated in the IMN UMR 5293 in Bordeaux.
Specialist in cognitive neuroimaging, my early work concerned the neural basis of eye movements (saccades, pursuit, fixation), and those of spatial attention and spatial working memory.
My recent research focuses on the human hemispheric specialization and its anatomo-functional and cognitive underpinnings, a project ignited with the BIL&GIN cohort. The BIL&GIN database includes psychometric measurements, anatomical MRI, diffusion imaging (dMRI), neural bases of language and visuo-spatial functions, and functional resting-state data in 450 healthy subjects balanced for left and right handedness.
I’m currently working more particularly on the white matter connectivity by studying the structural connectome, i.e. the architecture of the brain’s connectome, assessed with diffusion imaging-based tractography to provide information on the intra- and inter-hemispheric patterns of connectivity and their association with grey matter, and task-induced functional markers of hemispheric specialization.

Scientific domains : human brain connectome; hemispheric specialization; spatial attention, eye movements; diffusion imaging; tractography; anatomy of the white matter bundles.