Guillaume Dumas , Ph.D.
    Guillaume Dumas
    Research Axis
    Brain and Child Development Axis
    Research Theme
    Development of psychopathologies
    CHUSJ - Centre de Recherche


    • Assistant Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal (2020)


    Precision Psychiatry and Social Physiology


    • PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience (Université Paris 6, 2011)
    • MSc, Cognitive Science (ENS/EHESS/Université Paris 5, 2008)
    • MEng, Systems engineering & Data science (École Centrale Paris, 2007)
    • MSc, Theoretical Physics (Université Paris 11, 2006)

    Research Interests

    The Precision Psychiatry and Social Physiology team combines computational biology and social neuroscience approaches to pave the way for a Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, Prescriptive, and Participatory (5P) medicine, especially for mental disorders.

    The great challenge for modern psychiatry is to combine the most recent theoretical and methodological advances to better diagnose and treat patients. Last innovations in medicine have been largely driven by high technology, including the emergence of powerful computational tools for analyzing large amounts of data. Psychiatry requires more: to bridge the gap between our understanding of our brain (biology), our social mind (psychology), and our health (medicine). Another key challenge in the area of so-called "precision" medicine is to adapt care to every individual from their genomes to their smartphones. Finally, research has paradoxically focused on isolated individuals despite the fundamental role of social interactions in human cognition and its disorders. This requires the development of a “social physiology” approach that not only studies how the brain allows us to interact with others, but also models how this social dimension affects our representation of mental disorders.

    The Precision Psychiatry and Social Physiology team addresses this challenge by leveraging data science across various scales of analysis: genetic, neural, cognitive, behavioral, and social. Its translational research program is composed of three axes developing new computational methods for respectively the collection, analysis, and interpretation of clinical data. Ultimately, results will provide new actionable assets for medical practices, healthcare and global health: automated assessment and rehabilitation instruments (e.g. serious video games), predictive biological signatures (e.g. stratification biomarkers), and heuristic representations for clinical decision making (e.g. normative models, symptom networks).

    Research Topics

    • Multiscale and Computational psychiatry
    • Cognitive Neuroscience of Social Interaction
    • Neurophysiology (EEG) and Brain Imaging (fMRI/sMRI/DTI)
    • Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    • Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
    • Mathematical modeling and Statistics
    • Practices and Dissemination of Open Science

    Career Summary

    Guillaume Dumas is a neuroscientist with a transdisciplinary background in theoretical physics, systems engineering, and cognitive science. He investigates the neurobiology of social cognition through the lens of complex systems theory and computational methods. His scientific interests connect with biomedical research, specifically in psychiatry which requires to integrate biological, psychological, and social dimensions of the human mind.

    Over the course of his career, Dr. Dumas has progressively moved from cognitive and social neuroscience to systems biology and biomedical research on neurodevelopmental disorders. In 10 years, his research findings have led to a better understanding of how our brains allow to interact with others. He was particularly involved in the development of hyperscanning — the simultaneous recording of brain activity in multiple people. During his Ph.D. at the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital (University Paris 6, France), he demonstrated the existence of synchronizations between brains during social interaction (Dumas et al. 2010) and performed the first neuro-computational simulations of two interacting brains, demonstrating how anatomical similarity is one of the mechanisms underlying interbrain synchronizations (Dumas et al. 2012). In postdoc at Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences (Florida Atlantic University, USA), he then introduced a new paradigm of human-computer interaction — the Human Dynamic Clamp (Dumas et al. 2014) — which uses dynamic systems theory to control a bio-inspired avatar in real time. Combined with high-resolution electrophysiology, it allows to uncover how a specific neural hub (rTPJ) between self- and other behavior is connecting the sensory-motor (system 1) and representational (system 2) dimensions of social cognition during real-time interaction (Dumas et al. 2020).

    Before joining the CHU Sainte-Justine, Dr. Dumas was a senior research fellow of the Departments of Neuroscience and of Computational Biology of the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France). He investigated how to address heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorders in the Human Genetics and Cognitive Functions laboratory. At that time, he became a core member of the data management and analysis group for the EU-AIMS consortium and founded the SoNeTAA (Social Neuroscience for Therapeutic Approach of Autism) research platform in the pediatric hospital Robert Debré (Paris, France). Dr. Dumas is now the Principal Investigator of the Precision Psychiatry and Social Physiology laboratory at the research center of CHU Sainte Justine, and is a Professor for Computational Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.

    Awards and Distinctions

    • 2019 EU-AIMS young researcher award
    • 2015 Sage Bionetworks young researcher award
    • 2014 Nominated for the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35

    Major financing

    • Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO)
    • Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)


    • 2020 Feb. 28th, Zangwill Seminar, Psychology Department, Cambridge University, UK
    • 2019 Oct. 17th-20th, Keynote, Regional International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), Puerto Varas, Chile
    • 2018 Sep. 17th-19th— Keynote, Personification Across Disciplines, Durham University, UK
    • 2017 Nov. 25th – Keynote & First Interdisciplinary Lecture, Aspects of Neuroscience, Warsaw, Poland
    • 2016, Sep. 28th-30th – 10 years anniversary of the Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus, Denmark

    Selected Publications

    • G. Dumas, T. Gozé, J-A. Micoulaud-Franchi (2020) “Social Physiology” for Psychiatric Semiology: How TTOM can initiate an interactive turn for Computational Psychiatry? Behavioral and Brain Sciences10.1017/s0140525x19002735
    • E. Dohmatob, G. Dumas, & D. Bzdok (2020) Dark Control: A Unified Account of Default Mode Function by Control Theory and Reinforcement Learning. Human Brain Mapping 10.1002/hbm.25019
    • C. Lord, T.S. Brugha, T. Charman, J. Cusack, G. Dumas, T. Frazier, E. Jones, R.M. Jones, J. Lounds Taylor, A. Pickles, M.W. State, J. Veenstra-VanderWeele (2020) Autism Spectrum Disorders. Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 10.1038/s41572-019-0138-4
    • J-A. Micoulaud-Franchi, C. Quiles, J.M. Batail, C. Daudet, M. Cermolacce, G. Dumas (2019) Towards a physiological approach to semiology in psychiatry. Part 1: DRC, DSM, RDoC and HiTOP approaches. AMPSY10.1016/j.amp.2019.01.001
    • G. Dumas, M. Cermolacce, J.M. Batail, C. Quiles, J-A. Micoulaud-Franchi (2019) Towards a physiological approach to semiology in psychiatry. Part 2 Perspectives offered by systemic biology. AMPSY10.1016/j.amp.2019.01.002
    • G. Dumas, Q. Moreau, E. Tognoli, J.A.S. Kelso (2019). The Human Dynamic Clamp reveals the fronto-parietal network linking real-time social coordination and cognition. Cerebral Cortex10.1093/cercor/bhz308
    • A. Maruani, G. Dumas, A. Beggiato, N. Traut, H. Peyre, A. Cohen, F. Amsellem, M. Elmaleh, D. Germanaud, J-M. Launey, T. Bourgeon, R. Toro, R. Delorme* (2019) Plasma melatonin differences in autism: beyond the impact of pineal gland volume. Frontiers in Psychiatry | Child and Adolescent Psychiatry10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00011
    • A. Pérez, G. Dumas, M. Karadag, J.A. Duñabeitia (2018) Differential brain-to-brain entrainment while speaking and listening in native and foreign languages. Cortex (from the cover). 10.1016/j.cortex.2018.11.026
    • A. Lefebvre, R. Delorme, C. Delanoé, F. Amsellem, D. Germanaud, R. Toro, T. Bourgeron, G. Dumas (2018) Alpha waves as a biomarker of autism spectrum disorder: the challenge of reproducibility and heterogeneity. Frontiers in Neuroscience10.3389/fnins.2018.00662
    • Y-M. Kim, J-B. Poline, G. Dumas (2018) Experimenting with reproducibility in bioinformatics. GigaScience10.1093/gigascience/giy077

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