Addiction, interoception and sex differences (NEED)


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For decades, neurosciences research was exclusively on males with the assumption that biological processes are the same across sexes. This dogma created a huge gap in our understanding of behavioral and brain mechanisms in both sexes. Although the field proved that this dogma is not always true, it left an important question unanswered: Why males and females have different vulnerability to brain disorders?

Drug addiction is among the disorders with the highest men/women prevalence ratio. While the prevalence is higher in men, the gap between men and women is narrowing highlighting that drug addiction affects both sexes. Clinical and preclinical studies report that both males and females have different vulnerability profiles to drugrelated behaviors, however the underlying brain mechanisms are still poorly understood.

Our research program aims to decipher the behavioral mechanisms and neuronal circuits alterations that control sex differences in drug relapse in rodents. We will focus on understanding how environmental and interoceptive cues interact and trigger drug relapse in a sexdependent manner and the contribution of the hormonal cycle in this phenomenon. To achieve this goal, we will use stateoftheart model of drug addiction combined with cuttingedge technologies allowing the mapping, manipulation, imaging and recording of selective neural populations

Team leader
Céline Nicolas

Team member(s)

Chercheurs, Praticiens hospitaliers...

Ingénieur(e)s, technicien(ne)s



Claudia Fornari

Neuropsychologist(s) and speech therapist(s)

Ingénieur(s) hospitalier(s) et ARC