Neural Processing, Neuromodulation and sensory plasticity


Research center

1 avenue de la Terrasse1 avenue de la Terrasse
91190 Gif-sur-Yvette
Yves Frégnac


Université Paris Sud
ED158 - 3C ED FDV
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


Phone: 01 69 82 34 00
Idex NeuroSaclay - Equipe FRM
Available to host a PhD student


Estebanez, L. et al. (2012) Correlated input reveals coexisting coding schemes in a sensory cortex. *Nature Neuroscience* 15:1691-1699. 


Arduin, P.J. et al. (2013). "Master" neurons induced by operant conditioning in rat motor cortex during a brain-machine interface task. *Journal of Neuroscience* 33:8308–8320.

Arduin P-J. et al. (2014) Bidirectional control of a one-dimensional robotic actuator by operant conditioning of a single unit in rat motor cortex. *Frontiers in Neuroscience* (Neuroprosthetics) Vol. 8/206 : 1-15.

Estebanez, L., et al. (2016) A radial map of multi-whisker correlation selectivity in the rat barrel cortex. *Nature Communications.* 7, 13528 doi: 10.1038/ncomms13528.

Kerekes, P. et al.(2017) Bilateral discrimination of tactile patterns without whisking in freely-running rats.*Journal of Neuroscience* 37:7567-7579

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

The Team is specialized in integrative neuroscience. Using the barrel cortex of rodents as a system model, our research is centered on the study of neuronal processes responsible for the coding of tactile sensory information and perception, as well as their regulation through the interaction of the animal with the environment. We are interested in the propagation and integration of neuronal information in the primary somatosensory cortex and subcortical somatosensory relays, and the emergence of collective properties in response to spatially distributed stimuli on the receptor surface. In addition, we study the functional and synaptic adaptation within the framework of Hebbian and non-Hebbian plasticity algorithms. We include in this research the study of permissive factors linked to the attentional and behavioral state of the animal which are mediated by ascending neuromodulatory systems. Our research involves a combination of cutting edge techniques (multi-electrode electrophysiology, functional imaging (VSD), optogenetics, multiple-whisker stimulation, behaviour) in acute and chronically implanted preparations.

Lab rotation

Brain-Machine Interface based on operant conditioning of neural activity in the head-fixed mouse

Chercheur responsable: 

SHULZ Daniel


2 April 2018 - 29 June 2018

Date limite de candidature: 

29 June 2018


~ April-June 2018


Our team is interested in neuronal mechanisms of sensory processing and learning in the sensorimotor whisker system of the rodent. This project focuses on the impact of somatosensory feedback in learning a motor task, using a Brain-Machine Interface set-up. Recently, we have demonstrated that operant conditioning of the firing rate of a single cortical neuron is a successful strategy to control an actuator bringing a reward to the rat mouth (Arduin et al, 2013, J Neurosci). We have now built a new setup incorporating sensory feedback in the control loop of the neuroprosthesis, by stimulating optogenetically neurons in the barrel cortex of the head-fixed mouse. We have just started investigating whether the performance of the animals is improved when somatosensory feedback is provided to the brain-machine interface, in particular when we apply biomimetic patterns similar to natural spatio-temporal sequences of whisker movements. The student will be involved in training the animals and analyzing electrophysiology data from the operant conditioning task. 


Unité de Neurosciences Information et Complexité (UNIC) - 1 Avenue de la Terrasse, Bât. 33, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France - +33 1 69 82 34 46 -