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Forum Teratec 2021
Tuesday June 22 - Technical workshop

Workshop 02 - 16:00 to 18:00

Communicable diseases and vision disorders

Chaired by Philippe Gesnouin, Tech Transfer Associate for Life Science and Healthcare, Inria and Richard Bosmans, Directeur des Partenariats et Financements Externes de la R&D, Essilor International

Modeling in neuroscience of vision and neuro-computational epidemiology
By Angelo Arleo Fontaine, Directeur de recherche, CNRS

Combining experiments and computational models offers a unique vantage point to crosslink multilevel mechanisms of the visual system (e.g., from neuroanatomical to functional processes). This talk will address some of our theoretical and computational models that complement our empirical studies of visual aging. This two-fold approach aims at generating new insights and testable predictions on possible bio-markers of discontinuities from healthy to pathological aging.

We framed all our computational models within the Aging Human Avatar platform, an open-source tool to simulate vision-based human behavior throughout aging. Based on 3D computer graphics and implemented as a ROS modular architecture, the Human Avatar interacts with its environment through active sensing and locomotion. It perceives the world and acquires visuo-spatial representations based on a series of neuromimetic models that run in parallel: from early visual processing mediated by a large-scale retinal network that mimics the spiking responses of retinal ganglion cells; to cerebellar-dependent vestibular-ocular reflex adaptation that stabilizes vision during head motion; to spatial behavior based on hippocampal-dependent spatial coding and goal-oriented navigation.

These models are all grounded on data from the clinical and neuro-psychophysical assessments of the participants of our SilverSight cohort (~350 subjects). The action-perception loop of the Human Avatar can be operated using biometric data (including gaze, head, and body dynamics) recorded during our behavioral experiments. Visual disturbances (e.g., optical deformations, retina degenerations) hindering subjects’ visuo-spatial behavior can also be simulated. Hence, the Human Aging Avatar provides a “digital-twin” like tool that helps to understand age-related changes on an individual basis. It allows large-scale cross-sectional and longitudinal studies to be simulated, which is useful to explain discrepancies among human epidemiological data in terms of interindividual variability during normal and / or pathological aging.

Biography: Angelo Arleo is a Director of Research at CNRS and he leads the Aging in Vision & Action laboratory at the Vision Institute, Paris. He is also the director of the ANR Chair SilverSight (2015-2023), which pioneers fundamental research on visual aging, action and autonomy to foster innovative health care developments. A. Arleo’s research has been centred on the neural processing mediating multisensory integration, contextual learning, and spatial cognitive functions. The transfer of knowledge to health and IT applications has always been at the core of his work, and he substantially interacted with industrial partners and acted as a PI in numerous European projects involving small-and-medium enterprises. He achieved a PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and a postdoctoral training at Coll├Ęge de France, Paris. He obtained his Habilitation to Direct Research in Life Science from Sorbonne University, Paris. He was appointed as a tenured CNRS researcher in 2007 and promoted Director of Research in 2012. He joined the Vision Institute in 2014 to implement a new research program combining fundamental research, clinical evaluation, and innovative developments, leveraging the academic-industrial partnership between the Vision Institute and the Essilor group.

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