Dr. Christophe Lopez

Research Scientist (Chargé de recherche CR1) at CNRS

Habilité à Diriger des Recherches (HDR)

Contact : christophe.lopez@univ-amu.fr

Tel. : +33 4 13 55 08 41








Research highlights:

The vestibular and multisensory foundations of bodily self-consciousness

  • vestibular and somatosensory perception
  • self-consciousness
  • own body representation
  • vestibular cortex
  • visuo-spatial perspective-taking


Current research

Principal investigator of BODILYSELF “Vestibular and multisensory investigations of bodily self-consciousness” (Career Integration Grant from the FP7 European Union’s Marie Curie program)

I am a neuroscientist interested in vestibular and multisensory integration in healthy humans as well as in functional recovery after lesions of the vestibular system. I investigate the effects of vestibular stimulation on various aspects of bodily perception and awareness (embodiment, self-location, self-motion, ownership for body parts) and visuo-spatial cognition (mental imagery and perspective taking).


Research methods

Vestibular physiology, psychophysics, virtual reality, whole-body motion platform (Robulab), galvanic vestibular stimulation, electromyography (vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials); electroencephalography.




Research and teaching experience

  • Since Oct. 2015 : Chargé de recherche (CR1) at CNRS. Section 26 (Cerveau, Comportement, Cognition).
  • 2015: Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (Sciences)
  • Since Oct. 2011 : Chargé de recherche (CR2) at CNRS. Section 26 (Cerveau, Comportement, Cognition).
  • 2010-2011 : Post-doctoral researcher. Laboratory of Cognitive Psychology (Prof. Fred Mast), Department of Psychology, Universität Bern, Switzerland.
  • 2006-2009 : Post-doctoral researcher. Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience (Prof. Olaf Blanke), Brain-Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • 2004-2005 : Attaché temporaire d’enseignement et de recherche en neurosciences. Université de Provence, Marseille.
  • 2001-2005 : PhD candidate. Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Intégrative et Adaptative. Université de Provence, Marseille (Dr. M. Lacour ; Dr. L. Borel).
  • 2001-2004 : Moniteur de l’enseignement supérieur. Université de Provence, Marseille.



  • Bachelor neuroscience (Aix-Marseille Université)
  • Master neuroscience (Aix-Marseille Université)
  • Diplôme inter-universitaire de posturologie clinique


Peer-reviewed publications

  1. PAVLIDOU A., GALLHAGER M., [LOPEZ C.* and FERRÈ E.R.*] (2019) Lets share our perspective: but only if our body postures match. Cortex (in press) [*Shared senior authorship]. [IF2017 = 4.907]
  2. KIM J.M., MUN S.K., YOO I.H., LOPEZ C. and KIM J.S. (2018) Vertigo and impaired pursuit eye movements in a small medial superior temporal infarction. Journal of Neurology, 265: 2740–2742. [IF2017 = 3.783]
  3. LOPEZ C., NAKUL E., PREUSS N., ELZIERE M. and MAST F.W. (2018) Distorted own-body representations in patients with dizziness and during caloric vestibular stimulation. Journal of Neurology, 265(Suppl.1): 86–94. [IF2017 = 3.783]
  4. LOPEZ C. and ELZIÈRE M. (2018) Out-of-body experience in vestibular disorders – a prospective study of 210 patients with dizziness. Cortex, 104: 193–206. [IF2017 = 4.907]
  5. PAVLIDOU A., FERRÈ E.R., and LOPEZ C. (2018) Vestibular stimulation makes people more egocentric. Cortex, 101: 302–305. [IF2017 = 4.907]
  6. NAKUL E. and LOPEZ C. (2017) Commentary: Out-of-body experience during awake craniotomy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11:417. [IF = 3.209]
  7. DEROUALLE D., TOUPET M., VAN NECHEL C., DUQUESNE U., HAUTEFORT C. and LOPEZ C. (2017) Anchoring the self to the body in chronic bilateral vestibular failure. Plos One, 12(1):e0170488. [IF = 4.411]
  8. DIEGUEZ S. and LOPEZ C. (2017) The bodily self: insights from clinical and experimental research. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 60(3): 198–207. [IF = 3.342]
  9. GALE S., PRSA M., SHURGER A., GAY A., PAILLARD A., HERBELIN B., GUYOT J.P., LOPEZ C. and BLANKE O. (2016) Oscillatory neural responses evoked by natural vestibular stimuli in humans. Journal of Neurophysiology, 115(3): 1228– [IF = 2.887]
  10. LOPEZ C. (2016) The vestibular system: balancing more than just the body. Current Opinion in Neurology, 29(1):74-83. [IF = 5.31]
  11. BESNARD S., LOPEZ C., BRANDT T., DENISE P. and SMITH P.F. (2015) Editorial: The vestibular system in cognitive and memory processes in mammals. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 9:55.
  12. LOPEZ C., FALCONER C.J., DEROUALLE D. and MAST F.W. (2015) In the presence of others: self-location, balance control and vestibular processing. Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology, 45: 241–254. [IF = 1.593]
  13. DEROUALLE D., BOREL L., DEVÈZE A. and LOPEZ C. (2015) Changing perspective: the role of vestibular signals. Neuropsychologia, 79: 175–185. [IF = 3.30]
  14. LOPEZ C. (2015) Making sense of the body: the role of vestibular signals. Multisensory Research, 28(5–6): 525–557.
  15. DEVÈZE A., MONTAVA M., LOPEZ C., LACOUR M., MAGNAN J. and BOREL L. (2015) Vestibular compensation following vestibular neurotomy. European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases, 132: 197–203.
  16. LOPEZ C. and BLANKE O. (2014) Nobel Prize Centenary: Robert Bárány and the vestibular system. Current Biology, 24(21): R1026–R1028. [IF = 9.92]
  17. [MAZZOLA L.*, LOPEZ C.*], FAILLENOT I., CHOUCHOU F., MAUGUIÈRE F. and ISNARD J. (2014) Vestibular responses to direct stimulation of the human insular cortex. Annals of Neurology, 76(4): 609–619 [*Shared first authorship]. [IF = 11.91]
  18. FERRÈ E.R., LOPEZ C. and HAGGARD P. (2014) Anchoring the self to the body. Psychological Science, 25(11): 2106–2108. [IF = 5.667]
  19. DEROUALLE D. and LOPEZ C. (2014) Toward a vestibular contribution to social cognition. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 8:16.
  20. LOPEZ C. (2013) A neuroscientific account of how vestibular disorders impair bodily self-consciousness. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7:91.
  21. SERINO A., ALSMITH A., COSTANTINI M., MANDRIGIN A., TAJADURA-JIMENEZ A., and LOPEZ C. (2013) Bodily ownership and self-location: components of bodily self-consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 22(4): 1239–1252. [IF = 2.144]
  22. LOPEZ C., FALCONER C.J. and MAST F.W. (2013) Being moved by the self and others: influence of empathy on self-motion perception. Plos One, 8(1): e48293.
  23. PFEIFFER C., LOPEZ C., SCHMUTZ V., DUENAS J.A., MARTUZZI R., and BLANKE O. (2013) Multisensory origin of the subjective first-person perspective: Visual, tactile, and vestibular mechanisms. Plos One, 8(4): e61751.
  24. LOPEZ C., SCHREYER H-M., PREUSS N. and MAST F.W. (2012) Vestibular stimulation modifies the body schema. Neuropsychologia, 50: 1830–1837.
  25. LOPEZ C., BLANKE O. and MAST F.W. (2012) The vestibular cortex in the human brain revealed by coordinate-based activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis. Neuroscience, 212: 159–79.
  26. LOPEZ C., BIERI C.P., PREUSS N. and MAST F.W. (2012) Tactile and vestibular mechanisms underlying ownership for body parts: a non-visual variant of the rubber hand illusion. Neuroscience Letters, 511: 120–124.
  27. LOPEZ C. and BLANKE O. (2011) The thalamocortical vestibular system in animals and humans. Brain Research Reviews, 67(1–2): 119–1
  28. PÉRUCH P., LOPEZ C., REDON C., ESCOFFIER G., ZEITOUN A., SANJUANE M., DEVÈZE A., MAGNAN J. and BOREL L. (2011) Vestibular information is necessary for maintaining metric properties of representational space. Evidence from mental imagery. Neuropsychologia, 49: 3136–3144.
  29. LOPEZ C., MERCIER M., HALJE P. and BLANKE O. (2011) Spatiotemporal dynamics of visual vertical judgments: Early and late brain mechanisms as revealed by high-density electrical neuroimaging. Neuroscience, 181: 134–149.
  30. HEYDRICH L., LOPEZ C., SEECK M. and BLANKE O. (2011) Partial and full own body illusions of epileptic origin in a child with right temporo-parietal epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 20(3): 583–
  31. [REDON C.*, LOPEZ C.*], BERNARD-DEMANZE L., DUMITRESCU M., MAGNAN J., LACOUR M. and BOREL L. (2011) Betahistine treatment improves the recovery of static symptoms in patients with unilateral vestibular loss. [*Shared first authorship]. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 51(4): 538–5
  32. LOPEZ C., VIBERT D. and MAST F.W. (2011) Can imagined whole-body rotations improve vestibular compensation? Medical Hypotheses, 76: 816–819.
  33. LOPEZ C. and BLANKE O. (2010) How body position influences the perception and conscious experience of corporeal and extrapersonal space. Revue de Neuropsychologie, 2(3): 195–
  34. LOPEZ C., LENGGENHAGER B. and BLANKE O. (2010) How vestibular stimulation interacts with illusory hand ownership. Consciousness and Cognition, 19(1): 33–47.
  35. LOPEZ C., HEYDRICH L., SEECK M. and BLANKE O. (2010) Abnormal self-location and vestibular vertigo in a patient with right frontal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 17(2): 289–292.
  36. LOPEZ C., BACHOFNER C., MERCIER M. and BLANKE O. (2009) Gravity and observer’s body orientation influence the visual perception of human body postures. Journal of Vision, 9(5):1, 1–
  37. LACOUR M., DUTHEIL S., TIGHILET B., LOPEZ C. and BOREL L. (2009) Tell me your vestibular deficit, and I’ll tell you how you’ll compensate. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1164: 268–
  38. BOREL L., LOPEZ C., PÉRUCH P. and LACOUR M. (2008) Vestibular syndrome: a change in internal spatial representation. Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology, 38(6): 375–
  39. LOPEZ C., HALJE P. and BLANKE O. (2008) Body ownership and embodiment. Vestibular and multisensory mechanisms. Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology, 38(3): 149–
  40. LENGGENHAGER B., LOPEZ C. and BLANKE O. (2008) Influence of galvanic vestibular stimulation on egocentric and object-based mental transformations. Experimental Brain Research, 184(2): 211–
  41. LOPEZ C., LACOUR M., LÉONARD J., MAGNAN J. and BOREL L. (2008) How body position changes visual vertical perception after unilateral vestibular loss. Neuropsychologia, 46(9): 2435–
  42. LOPEZ C., LACOUR M., MAGNAN J., EL AHMADI A. S. and BOREL L. (2007) Changes of visual vertical perception: a long-term sign of unilateral and bilateral vestibular loss. Neuropsychologia, 45(9): 2025-2037.
  43. LOPEZ C., BOREL L., MAGNAN J. and LACOUR M. (2006) Visual field dependence-independence before and after unilateral vestibular loss. Neuroreport, 17(8): 797–
  44. LOPEZ C., BOREL L., MAGNAN J. and LACOUR M. (2005) Torsional optokinetic responses after unilateral vestibular loss: asymmetry and compensation. Brain, 128(7): 1511– [IF2017 = 10.848]
  45. GHULYAN V., PAOLINO M., LOPEZ C., DUMITRESCU M. and LACOUR M. (2005) A new translational platform for evaluating aging or pathology-related postural disorders. Acta Oto-laryngologica, 125(6): 607–
  46. BOREL L., HARLAY F., LOPEZ C., MAGNAN J., CHAYS A. and LACOUR M. (2004) Walking performance of vestibular-defective patients before and after unilateral vestibular neurotomy. Behavioural Brain Research, 150(1-2): 191–