Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lab Update: Prevention of Pathologies of the Auditory System

Just a selection of some of our papers which could be linked to the broad thematic of prevention. We are working among other subjects on some pathologies for which no treatment is available ... thus, a lot of what we did can actually be translated into "prevention" : factors of risks, main causes, mechanisms of vulnerability ... As we mentionned in this blog earlier with the paper of Colleen LePrell, the situation changed a lot in the last decades. Now, the "standard" ear of a young adult is already damaged. Auditory prevention? First, put your headphone at a lower volume. Second, put your tv and radio at a lower volume. Third, put your headphone at a lower volume (yes, same than one, but it is really important). We are all vulnerable to noise. However, the degree of variability is not the same for all of us. Factors underlying individual vulnerability can also been identified using animal models ...

Guitton MJ, Klin Y, Dudai Y (2008) Taste-dependant sociophobia: When food and company do not mix. Behavioural Brain Research, 191:148-152.
Guitton MJ (2006) Tinnitus and anxiety: more than meet the ears. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 2:333-338.
Chabert R, Guitton MJ, Amram D, Uziel A, Lallemant JG, Puel JL (2006) Early maturation of evoked otoacoustic emissions and medial olivocochlear reflex in preterm neonates. Pediatric Research, 59:305-308.
Guitton MJ, Wang J, Puel JL (2004) New pharmacological strategies to restore hearing and to treat tinnitus. Acta Otolaryngol (Stockholm), 124:411-415.
Wang J, Lloyd Faulconbridge RV, Fetoni A, Guitton MJ, Pujol R, Puel JL (2003) Local application of sodium thiosulphate prevents cisplatin-induced hearing loss in the guinea pig. Neuropharmacology, 45:380-393.
Nicolas-Puel C, Lloyd Faulconbridge R, Guitton M, Puel JL, Mondain M, Uziel A (2002) Characteristics of tinnitus and etiology of associated hearing loss : a study of 123 patients. International Tinnitus Journal, 8:37-44.
Delprat B, Boulanger A, Wang J, Beaudoin V, Guitton MJ, Venteo S, Deschesne CJ, Pujol R, Lavigne-Rebillard M, Puel JL, Hamel CP (2002) Down regulation of otospiralin, a novel inner ear protein, causes hair cell degeneration and deafness. Journal of Neuroscience, 22:1718-1725.
Puel JL, Ruel J, Guitton M, Wang J, Pujol R (2002) The inner hair cell synaptic complex: Physiology, pharmacology and new therapeutic strategies. Audiology Neurootology, 7:49-54.
Kossowski M, Mom T, Guitton M, Poncet JL, Bonfils P, Avan P (2001) Fine alterations of distortions-product otoacoustic emissions after moderate acoustic overexposure in guinea pig’s. Audiology, 40:113-122.
Avan P, Wit HP, Guitton M, Mom T, Bonfils P (2000) On the spectral periodocity of transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions from normal and damaged cochleas. Journal of Acoustical Society of America, 108:1117-1127.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lab Update: We rock!

Two excellent news today !

1) Catherine got one of the most prestigious student grants of Canada, the Alexandre Graham Bell fellowship, awarded jointly by the three Research Council of Canada, for projects of excellence with technology innovation, for "top ranked students". No need to say, it is one of the most prestigious student grants of Canada.

2) We got today with a group of collaborators a grant from the SSHR (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), for developping new tool to investigate social cognition in humans. Meaning that now, we are one of the only lab in Laval University to be funded by the three Research Councils of Canada (the CIHR - Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the NSERC - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and now the SSHR - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). Oh, and as well, we are the first lab of the Faculty of Pharmacy to get the three Councils since the foundation of the Faculty.

In other words, we rock.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lab Update

Well, I know that our research interests may time to time seem a bit hard to size ... so here is another way to explain them (at least for the research interests in cyberbehavior) :
We are interested by the expression of behavior in virtual spaces, and particularly by the multimodal - sensory, perceptive, and cognitive - integration which occurs in such environments, and by the dynamics of social structuring in virtual worlds. Our work focuses on the cognitive mechanisms of immersive behavior, at the individual level (multimodal aspects of behavior in virtual spaces), at the group level (organization of social behavior in virtual spaces), and at the environmental level (interaction between virtual world design and behavior, human-machine interactions).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lab Update

The website of one of our collaborators. Fran├žois Giard is Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Visual Arts of Laval University, and the director of the Program of Animation Science. Fran├žois is an expert in the technological aspects of image synthesis, 3D animation, and a master in the amazingly fascinating tools we are using more and more in the lab. We are having several projects going on. Most of them are based on some level of tool development, so the latency of data production is a bit delayed ... Still, there is one of them which I think we lead to another paper by the end of the summer, so keep reading this blog J. Something else, but connected as well as it is in the broad thematic of tool development, we just submitted a paper on social cognition. A very interesting (in my point of view) work: we gathered 4 PI (including me) with different, yet complementary expertises, to approach this problematic with an innovative and integrated point of view. Now, just need to hope that we will convince the Reviewers easily!

Giard F, Guitton MJ (2010) Beauty or realism: The dimensions of skin from cognitive sciences to computer graphics. Computers in Human Behavior, 26:1748-1752.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Comment: Is there a life outside of the lab?

To answer a lingering question, which several people asked repeatedly: do we have a real life as well? or are we, scientists, only living in virtual worlds? Well, part of the answer is in the following pics, from the competition of February 27, 2011 ("Coupe Michel Boudrault") at the Dojo of Beauport (one of the biggest Judo training centers of Canada). Since Sensei Olivier Bordry is presently in China, I have to give the courses of Iaido (only 2 more weeks! yay!), and had to do the demonstration of Iaido too with our students to entertain the kids (shown with me is Robin, one of our best students here in Iaido) ... But, no, I never come to the lab with the hakama nor the iaito (sorry to disapoint you, I know ...).

Friday, March 18, 2011


Just something interesting pointed out by Christine. On the multiple uses that can be done of social media, and of the wish governements may have to use them at their full potential. Specifically, a general press article about some of the operations of army to impact the opinion via social media, using "artificial" identities ("virtual" virtual self?). And lucky you, it is both in English and in French !

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Since the paper on the trade role-play in the Second Life Gorean community is in its last stage before being published, here is a recent pic from one of the avatars who helped me the most for this particular work: Lady Shana. Lady Shana is Elder of the Caste of the Merchants and Head of the Caste of the Merchants of the City of Tharna.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Literature Update

Social Media are growing, and so their use. However, in this new kind of jungle, it may be hard to decipher which one to use, or which combination of media to use, and as well, how to use them the most efficiently. The following paper is a contribution done in that direction. This paper, written by a researcher well-known in the field of the social media and directed mostly toward the business community, provides practical advices to help the process of decision-making while using social media (such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, but as well Wikipedia or Second Life), in order to optimize the impact of these media. In addition, this paper suggests a classification of social media according to operative characteristics.

Kaplan AM, Haenlein M (2010) Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53:59-68.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lab Update

Summer is approaching (hard to believe with the snowstorms of the last days ... but well, let's say that summer is approaching)... and, with summer come the summer students! So, here to welcome our new summer students to be: Chen Chen from France will join us for the human part of our research, and Milomir Stefanovic who will come back to us from Serbia to continue the excellent work he was doing on the animal part of our research.
Other thing, I finally received the proof of the paper on the Gorean trade role-play. So this paper is in its final line and shall soon be available. Actually, this paper brings a lot of important input from an anthropological point of view of the "sense of virtual community".
Dear readers and followers of this blog, we are always looking for smart and interested new members willing to join, so never hesitate to contact me if you want to explore the virtual worlds with us!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Virtual reality has obvious applications. Among them, practical training in medical field is obvious and really important. Indeed, when you are learning, for instance, to do surgery, you don't have that many option ... at a moment or another you will have to practice yourself on a human patient. And somehow, we would all like to not be this patient. So, using virtual reality tools to practice is a reasonable idea.

Banerjee A, Bancil AS (2011) Virtual reality simulation: the future of medical training. Med Teach, 13:172.

Well, the idea is not new: since a decade already people have been trying to do so.

Lange T, Indelicato DJ, Rosen JM (2000) Virtual reality in surgical training. Surg Oncol Clin N Am, 9:61-79.
Mantovani F, Castelnuovo G, Gaggioli A, Riva G (2003) Virtual reality in training for health-care professionals. Cyberpsychol Behav, 6:389-395.

Just now, the technology is getting more and more mature.