Olivier White

  • olivier.white@u-bourgogne.fr
  • +33 6 12 08 06 54
  • 114
  • Espace Marey, UFR STAPS


My research interests, in the broad field of neuroscience, are centred on motor control and learning using various techniques and from different theoretical view angles, therefore fostering many multidisciplinary collaborations.

To understand how the brain controls actions as diverse as reaching movements, dextrous manipulation or locomotion, the central nervous system must be challenged. By adopting 3D virtual reality and haptic devices or even gravitational changes (centrifuges, parabolic flights), I demonstrate the flexibility of our brain to adapt behaviour in many environments, including those never experienced. These investigations raise basic questions such as what are the relevant sensory information that drive learning, how do we generalize and consolidate motor skills, why do we choose one specific motor strategy among an infinite repertoire, how does inherent variability in the perception-action chain benefit control?

I address these questions using regular techniques (motion tracking systems, force measurements, accelerometry, electromyography and fMRI) but also parabolic flights, human centrifuges and advanced modeling approaches (optimal control, stochastic resonance and fractal analyses).

My goal is to build a thriving research laboratory that uses multiple approaches, including behavioural, neuroimaging and mathematical methods, to better understand how the brain plans and execute movements with the hope to develop applications. I am pursuing this endeavour through collaborations and by actively involving Msc and PhD students.

2020 Qualif
French Qualification for the Neuroscience Section
2017 HDR
Habilitation (“From basic motor control to applications”), Université de Bourgogne, France
2007 PhD
Neuroscience and applied mathematics, Louvain School of Engineering, Belgium
2006 MAA
Applied Mathematics, biological systems modeling, Louvain School of Engineering, Belgium
2000 MSc
Master in Computing Engineering, Louvain School of Engineering, Belgium
(1st class, summa cum laude)
1997 BSc
Engineering, Louvain School of Engineering, Belgium

Motor control and learning, behavioural neuroscience, dexterous manipulation, upper limb movements, bimanual control, internal models, motor imagery, eye movements, perception, cognitive psychology, altered gravity, robotics, fractal analysis, fMRI, virtual reality, haptics, peer review.

I have developed a broad portfolio of teaching experience gained during research positions in different contexts. I also mix different fields in my teaching approach (e.g.: engineering, neuroscience). This includes face to face coaching, small-group supervisions (10), medium (40) and large lecture groups (200+) as well as the supervision of research projects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Teaching load ca 250h/year. Specifically:


2020 Analyses of large data sets by programming (python, matlab)
All public – short training
2019- Algorithmics, numerical programming and deep learning with Python
Msc, Engineering school (ESTP), France
2018- Descriptive Statistics
Bsc, BSc Sports Sciences, University of Athens, Greece
2018- Space Physiology and Health Master
Msc, MSc in Life Science in Space, King’s College London, UK
2018 Course Coordinator for Computer Science
Bsc, BSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2018- Mathematics
Bsc, BSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2017- Biomechanics
Bsc, BSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2017- English
Bsc, BSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2016- Advanced Statistics
Msc, MSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2016- Matlab Programming and Data Analysis
Msc, MSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2015- Research Methodology and Scientific Communication
Msc, MSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2014- Basic Computer Science (Office suite)
Bsc, BSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
2012- Computational Motor Control and Neuroscience
Msc, MSc in Engineering, Paris Tech, France
2014 –2015 Artificial Neural Networks and Matlab
Msc, MSc in Psychology, Université de Lille 3, France
2010- Motor Control and Neuroscience
Msc, BSc in Sports Sciences, Université de Bourgogne, France
Msc, MSc in Cognitive Psychology, Université de Bourgogne, France
Msc, MSc in Psychology, Université de Lille 3, France
2007 – 2009 Matlab class and hands on linked to fMRI lectures.
Msc in Psychology, Bangor University, UK


Scientific articles in international or national peer-reviewed journals

Boulanger N, Buisseret F, Dehouck V, Dierick F, White O (2021) Motor strategies and adiabatic invariants: The case of rhythmic motion in parabolic flights. Physical Review E104(2-1):024403. (IF : 3,12)
Brix B, White O, Ure C, Apich G, Simon P, Roessler A, Goswami N (2021) Hemodynamic Responses in Lower Limb Lymphedema Patients Undergoing Physical Therapy. Biology (Basel) 10(7):642. (IF : 5,01)
Dierick F, Brismée JM, White O, Bouché O, Périchon C, Filoni N, Barvaux V, Buisseret F (2021) Fine adaptive control of precision grip control without maximum pinch strength changes after median nerve mobilization. Scientific Reports 11(1):14009. (IF : 5,13)
Dierick F, Vandevoorde C, Chantraine F, White O, Buisseret F (2021) Benefits of nonlinear analysis indices of walking stride interval in the evaluation of neurodegenerative diseases. Human Movement Science 75:102741. (IF : 2,64)
Goswami N, White O, Blaber A, Evans J, Van Loon J, Clement G (2021) Human Physiology Adaptation to Altered Gravity Environments. Acta Astronautica 189:216-221. (IF : 2,49)
Jamšek M, Kunavar T, Blohm G, Nozaki D, Papaxanthis C, White O, Babič J (2021) Effects of Simulated Microgravity and Hypergravity Conditions on Arm Movements in Normogravity. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 15:750176. (IF : 3,97)
Kunavar T, Jamšek M, Barbiero M, Blohm G, Nozaki D, Papaxanthis C, Babič J, White O (2021) Effects of Local Gravity Compensation on Motor Control During Altered Environmental Gravity. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 15:750267. (IF : 3,97)
White O, Gaveau J, Bringoux L, Crevecoeur F (2020) The gravitational imprint on sensorimotor planning and control. Journal of Neurophysiology 124(1):4-19. (IF : 2.71)
Rousseau C, Barbiero M, Pozzo T, Papaxanthis C, White O (2020) Actual and Imagined Movements Reveal a Dual Role of the Insular Cortex for Motor Control. Cerebral Cortex 31(5):2586-2594. (IF: 5.4)
Boulanger F, Buisseret F, Dierick F, White O (2019) Higher-derivative harmonic oscillators: stability of classical dynamics and adiabatic invariants. The European Physical Journal C 79:60. (IF : 4,4)
Goswami N, van Loon JJWA, Roessler A, Blaber AP, White O (2019) Editorial: Gravitational Physiology, Aging and Medicine. Frontiers in Physiology 10:1338. (IF : 3,37)
White O, Babic J, Trenado C, Johannsen L, Goswami N (2019) The promise of stochastic resonance in falls prevention. Frontiers in Physiology 9:1865 (IF : 3.37)
White O, Barbiero M, Goswami N (2019) The effects of varying gravito-inertial stressors on grip strength and hemodynamic responses in men and women. The European Journal of Applied Physiology 119:951-960 (IF : 2.58)
Michel C, Bonnetain L, Amoura S, White O (2018) Force field adaptation does not alter space representation. Scientific Reports 8:10982. (IF : 4)
White O, Karniel A, Papaxanthis C, Barbiero M, Nisky I (2018) Switching in Feedforward Control of Grip Force During Tool-Mediated Interaction With Elastic Force Fields. Frontiers in Neurorobotics 12:31. (IF : 3)
White O, Thonnard JL, Lefèvre P, Hermsdörfer J (2018) Grip Force Adjustments Reflect Prediction of Dynamic Consequences in Varying Gravitoinertial Fields. Frontiers in Physiology 9:131. (IF : 3,2)  
Barbiero M, Rousseau C, Papaxanthis C, White O (2017) Coherent Multimodal Sensory Information Allows Switching between Gravitoinertial Contexts. Frontiers in Physiology 8:290. (IF : 3.39)
Dierick F, Nivard AL, White O, Buisseret F (2017) Fractal analyses reveal independent complexity and predictability of gait. Plos One 12:e0188711. (IF : 2.78)
Aubert A, Larina I, Momken I, Blanc S, White O, Prisk GK, Linnarsson D (2016) Towards human exploration of space: the theseus review series on cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal research priorities. NPJ Microgravity 2:16031 (IF : 4)
White O, Clement G, Fortrat JO, Pavy-LeTraon A, Thonnard JL, Blanc S, Wuyts F, Palosk W (2016) Towards human exploration of space: the THESEUS review series on neurophysiology research priorities. NPJ Microgravity 2:16023 (IF : 4)
Rousseau C, Papaxanthis C, Gaveau J, Pozzo T, White O (2016) Initial information prior to movement onset influences kinematics of upward arm pointing movements. Journal of neurophysiology 116(4):1673-1683. (IF : 2.4)
Rousseau C, Fautrelle L, Papaxanthis C, Fadiga L, Pozzo T, White O (2016) Direction-Dependent Activation of the Insular Cortex during Vertical and Horizontal Hand Movements. Neuroscience 325:10-9 (IF : 3.28)
White O, French RM (2016) Pupil Diameter May Reflect Motor Control and Learning. Journal of Motor Behaviour 49(2):141-149. (IF : 1.51)