Psychiatric diseases & Behavioural disorders

In France, psychiatric diseases affect 1 adult in 4, i.e. 27% of the French population. The most frequent disorders observed in the population are depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and addictions.
Open / close summary

Mental health, an essential component of health, is a state of well-being, an aptitude of the mind to work normally and respond appropriately to environmental stimuli. One speaks of mental disorders when this state of well-being is disturbed by specific conditions (depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders). The individual is then incapable of adapting to difficult or painful situations and maintain his psychic equilibrium. Today, in Europe, 165 million persons are affected by psychiatric disorders; 75% of these conditions appear before the age of 25 years.

Research on mental health and psychiatric disorders at Paris Brain Institute involves essentially studies on cognition, the emotions and behaviour, a voluntary choice on the part of the Institute to approach translational research, and thus use all the pluridisciplinary competencies that constitute the strength and the originality of a model like the Paris Brain Institute.

The brain is considered to be the veritable orchestra leader of our vital functions; it allows us to respond to our primary needs, such as eat, breathe, or even stand upright. Nevertheless, it is considered to be the most complex biological organ, because it is the seat of our emotions, our thoughts. It assures our cognitive functions and enables us thus to interact with our environment.

Why do we do what we do? How do our emotions influence our behaviour? How can we understand the brain mechanisms involved when our mental health is dysfunctional?


To learn more about depression
To learn more about schizophrenia
To learn more about OCD
To learn more about autism



The UNPC – Behavioural Neuropsychiatry Unit – is a new clinical department recently created thanks to the IHU-A-Paris Brain Institute in the framework of “Investments for the Future” and in close collaboration with the APHP/Pitié-Salpêtrière.

Still poorly understood, behavioural disorders can be the symptomatic expression of certain brain diseases and occasion a rupture in the care of the patient. The objective of this department is to better understand their origin and the mechanisms underlying the dysfunction, associating neurologists, psychiatrists and researchers. The UNPC will enable follow-up of patients needing a neuropsychiatric approach and to begin, in parallel, clinical research projects notably on apathy and motivation.



BRAIN’US was born at the Brain and Spine Institute – Institut du Cerveau – ICM. This mobile phone application, promoted by Jean Daunizeau, Inserm researcher and co-director of the Institut du Cerveau – ICM team “Motivation, Brain, Behaviour,” aims at collecting information on the way the brain functions.

The data obtained in normal subjects is indispensible for understanding and better treating brain functions (memory, attention, intuition, etc…) altered in patients (anxiety, depression, schizophrenia…).

While you play with the BRAIN’US application, in complete confidentiality, you contribute to a unique scientific experience. BRAIN’US contains 8 amusing tests, conceived in the form of a game, to elucidate the manner in which the brain makes decisions. Discover the different tests: the game of “3 trains late” that evaluates your working memory, “when is the appointment” that stimulates your reasoning capacity or the “difficult chicken” that evaluates your capacity to learn. The behaviour of each player is then analyzed, along with that of the other participants, with the help of mathematical models. The more players there are, the better the researchers can produce a precise synthesis of the basic mental mechanisms that determine the behaviour.

We can’t treat what we don’t understand. Let’s get acquainted!

Sources: Paris Brain Institute,  Inserm, OMS