Research at the University of Fribourg

Research with non-human primates (NHPs) at the University of Fribourg began 40 years ago and has involved various studies. Nevertheless, one topic has been explored from the beginning: the motor system and locomotion. Research is carried out through the use of different behavioural tasks (based on positive reinforcement), electrophysiological recordings (single-unit recordings, EEG, EMG, etc.) and also histology.

The research carried out is both fundamental and applied. Anatomical and functional similarities with humans make it possible to investigate the bases of various neurological systems. These similarities also enable applied research emerging form translational research. As a concrete example, we can mention research on Covid-19. Fundamental research is carried on NHPs to understand the virus and applied research to develop treatment.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the different areas addressed in our institute.

Current projects involving NHPs

  • Motor System

    Research on a possible treatment for recovery after a spinal cord injury

    • Spinal cord electrical stimulation generated via implant and brain-implant interface (collaboration with Profs. J. Bloch and G. Courtine)

    Autologous cells implication in recovery

    • after IC Stroke
    • after cortical injury


  • Visual System

    Basic research 

    • Plasticity induced by retinal disease or cortical atrophy
    • Visual and attentional processes involved in reading task

    Pre-Translational Research

    • Development and testing of new therapies to overcome blindness
    • Alteration in developmental dyslexia
  • Reward System

    Stimulation of reward system centre

    • Development of a possible approach to treat self-administration and compulsive behaviours
    • Use of deep brain stimulation
  • Auditory System

    Auditory brainstem implant

    • Development and design of new auditory brainstem implant