Le Groupement d'Intérêt Scientifique Cerveau - Comportement – Société vise, par la synergie de compétences interdisciplinaires originales rassemblées en Région Bretagne, à faire émerger des actions communes de recherche et formation centrées sur l’étude du comportement, social en particulier, à l’interface entre l’individu et son environnement. Les intérêts sont à la fois fondamentaux et appliqués (troubles de la communication, autisme, effets de déficits sensoriels, bien-être animal ..

technological supports

The GIS-CCS's technological research supports are based on the existing

Software and other methodological developments finalized within the various teams in particular on:

  • Ethological observation methods approaches and video recording

  • Telemetric recording

  • Trajectométry

  • Actography
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Sound analysis
  • Electrophysiological recording (the EthoS electrophysiological technical platform)
  • Olfactométry


Technicalogical platforms

  • Research in imaging is supported by the recently developed PRISM platform: the IRMf can be used for humans as well as for smalls animals (Unité 176 VisAGes).

  • Virtual reality (CREM)


    The CREM (Research centre in Economy and Management) with the support of the University of Rennes 1 and the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) created a laboratory of experimental economy, the LABEX (LABoratory of EXperiments in social sciences) focusing on experimental games. The project of this LABEX comes, in a cross-cutting way within the scope of the four themes developed by axes: macroeconomics and finance, public economy and social choice, industrial and marketing economy and management.

    Concretely, an experimental economics laboratory is equipment where a controlled environment can be recreated. This room is equipped with a network of computers. This network provides simple, rapid information exchanges. Thus participants are isolated so that anonymity of their decisions is guaranteed and any collusive behavior, impossible to control, is avoided. Subjects are asked to answer an interactive questionnaire on the computer.

  • Hospitalo Universitary Service of Psychitry of child and teenager (Pr S.Tordjman).
  • Teaching and Research Center NIDCAP (Neonatal Individualized developmental care and assessement program) developed by ALS in Harvard which aims at improving the environment in neonate and at  adopting a strategy of care based on the observation of the skills of every child. Paediatric department CHU of Brest.

  • Cochlear Implant Centre (CHU de Rennes).

  • the primatology center is located at the Paimpont field station  (about 50 km from Rennes). Four species (about 50 individuals) are housed at this center: red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus), grey-cheeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena), Campbells’ monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli campbelli) and de Brazza’s monkeys (Cercopithecus neglectus). The attraction of this centre is due to the species housed, which, due to their under-representation in captivity, are very rarely or even not studied elsewhere in the world. 


  • At the Beaulieu Campus in Rennes outdoor and indoor aviaries are available to house starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).We also breed both domestic Japanese (Coturnix c. japonica) and wild European (Coturnix c. coturnix) quail, which is highly original. Our breeding stock is indeed the only one in France. It was started in the 1980s, before wild populations were genetically polluted by domestic quail, and it greatly contributes to species conservation, and the genetic quality of our birds has been checked very recently. we have also two urban cockroach species: Blattella germanica and Periplaneta americana. This mass breeding provides all the individuals that are necessary for our experiments. Several experimental rooms are available to observe and to test the behaviour of these insects (observation of behaviour, behavioural tests, conditioning, video-tracking, olfactometry ). Insect odours are analysed with a gas-chromatograph.



  • INRA SENAH Located at Saint-Gilles (15 km west of Rennes, Brittany, France), the INRA and Agrocampus Reseach Unit named "Systèmes d'Elevage, Nutrition Animale et Humaine (SENAH; Livestock Production Systems, Animal and Human Nutrition) is conducting research programs on both livestock production and human nutrition.The most frequently used animal model is the pig and the studies are conducted with our lab in the field of animals welfare.


Major topics

The GIS-CCS is centred on multidisciplinary research the major fields included are:

  • Biology/Medicine (ethology, child psychiatry, neonatalogy, neurosciences, imaging).
  • Social and Human Sciences (psychology, sociolinguistics, economy, law, philosophy).
  • Physical sciences (signal processing).



From a general point of view, this research is centred on the study of social behaviour at the interface between  individual and it's environment.

The main aspect studied are:

  • The importance of the social environment during the development of cognitive, perceptual and social capacities during ontogeny.
  • The consequences of social, cognitive or emotional disorders on social integration.
  • The characterisation of individual behavioural profiles and the implication of individual cognitive skills in social and non social strategies.
  • the fundamental and applied aspect of human/animal relationships in terms of human/animal well-being and of therapeutic perspectives.
  •  Problems of human behaviour within organisations and markets.

In the long term, our research will focus on questions of general interest  such as the relationships between adults and young, the formation of social groups and bands and social identities. Our research will also be concerned with the  place of animals in economic activity and in the law


The short and medium terms aims and applications of GIS research include:

  • Specifying determinants of specific, normal, pathological, simple or complex behaviors (e; g effects of an antenatal stress).
  • Identifying key periods during  ontogeny to help improve the recovery of impaired cognitive and/or social capacities.
  • Improving teaching and educational strategies especially in the linguistic domain (For exemple the VALEX  project aims to develop sofware to help diagnos dyslexia).
  • Proposing trainings courses stressing the importance of social interactions during cognitive and learning development.
  • Proposing appropriate social environments (family, group of young childreens).
  • Suggesting improvements ofthe legal status of animals and of the EU regulations on animals well-being and relationships between animals and humans health and environment.
  • Approaching from an another point of view and by using observation methods better managment problems of organisations and of the behaviour of economics actors compared to experimental economics methods.  


Integrative approach

Integrative approach

By taking in synergy the ethological approaches with those of neurosciences and human and social sciences, we can better inderstand the general question of the biological basis of behavior. This synergy allows to ask questions of fundamental interest as philosophical questions related to the place of the man in nature with regard to the animal, its responsability with regard to domestic animals, the foundation of the standard and societal rules.

The interdisciplinary  exchanges allow to confront the methodological approaches around the study of behavior. an another key point is the integrative dimension of the project which concern several biological levels and their interactions. The organism is located at the interface gene/environment. It is both the product and producer of this interface. such an approach concern:

  • The individual: his perceptual capacities, the central treatment of information, his cognitive skills (categorization , laterality) appropriate behavioral caracteristics (temperament) individual choice, difference in the apprehension of normative reflexion.
  • Ontogenesis:development of the language or vocal communication in a normal or pathological context), social and environemental influences cerebral plasticity, effects of emotional social sensorial stress on the brain fonction. Develpment of the normative thought and link with emotional development
  • The social interactions: communication rules, multimodality, attention, effects of sensory or social déficit, rule of implicit et explicit standard, habits
  • The social group: functioning, group structuration and determiners of the affinities, antagonisms, determiners of the attractivness, social identities (linguistic markers) the modelling of the functionning, the production and the évolution of the conventions/standards.
  • The social phenomenon: homology/analogy/convergence in the evolution man/animal

This work will be realized in animals (mammals, non human primate, birds, insect) and the mean) and human (from antenatal stage to the adulthood) allowing a comparative approach.