HOK Vincent

+33(0)4 13 55 09 07

Equipe(s) de recherche

Bases neurales de la cognition spatiale


Bâtiment 9 | 9-1/E-07


Teaching manager in charge of the practical sessions of the third year of the Neurosciences degree (Aix-Marseille University).
Vice-President of the local ethics committee on animal experimentation (CEEA n°71 – Laurent Vinay).

Domaines de recherche

My research aims to understand the neural basis of spatial navigation. Recent advances allow us to propose biologically realistic computational models inspired by the concepts of cognitive psychology. In this context, I study not only how the animal perceives space and orients itself but also the involvement of several neural systems dedicated to these tasks.

My work focuses on the role of the hippocampus and several neocortical and subcortical areas (prefrontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, nucleus reuniens) that have distinct functions in space processing. The lesion studies aim to describe the differential effects induced by damaging these structures. Reversible inactivation studies allow us to analyze the role of these structures in specific stages of information processing.

My current research focuses on the couplings between activity of place cells and navigation performance, in order to establish how these cells are involved in computing trajectories.

Research Funding

Lauréat de l’appel à projets « Émergence & Innovation »



Sensory Neurophysiology (first year Biology)
This course aims to provide the basis of physiological mechanisms involved in the processing of sensory information from internal and external stimuli to the body. The main concepts covered in this course focus on the mechanisms of transduction, transmission and coding of neural information. These mechanisms are discussed through several examples involving different sensory modalities (e.g. somesthesia, vision, auditory perception). Most of these concepts serve as a basis for the teaching of second year in which some features are developed in more detail.

Anatomy Glossary and Neuroanatomy (first year Biology)
These classes aim to enable students to acquire the basics for understanding the relationship between structures and different levels of organization of the vertebrate nervous system. Developmental, functional and pathological aspects are also addressed in order to facilitate the integration of neuroanatomical knowledge in a broader framework of reflection on nerve physiology.

Visual Perception (first year Biology)
This lab aims at illustrating concepts acquired about vision in the course. This study focuses on the characterization of the human visual field using campimetry technique. Students have to characterize their visual field in response to stimuli of different colour variations and interpret these data based on knowledge covered in class. This lab also provides an opportunity to illustrate the phenomenon of the blind spot of Mariotte and on this occasion to recall the anatomy of the eye and the main types of photoreceptors present in the retina.

Behavioural Genetics (third year Physiology & Neurosciences)
This series of courses address key concepts covered in class through the study of scientific articles, book excerpts and popular science magazines. The second objective is to enable students to develop critical thinking based on scientific knowledge and to learn to identify the source of certain information and to judge their quality.

See also Science and Humanities Bachelor’s Degree for further information!