Brain Rhythms and Neural Coding of Memory


Research center

11 place Marcelin Berthelot
75231 Paris
Serge Haroche


Collège de France
ED 158 - 474


Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB)
UMR7241 - U1050

Mots clefs

neural oscillation
visual handicap


Catanese J, Viggiano A, Cerasti E, Zugaro MB, Wiener SI. (2014) Retrospectively and prospectively modulated hippocampal place responses are differentially distributed along a common path in a continuous T-maze. J Neurosci. 34(39):13163-9

Cei A, Girardeau G, Drieu C, Kanbi KE, Zugaro M. Reversed theta sequences of hippocampal cell assemblies during backward travel. Nat Neurosci. 2014 May;17(5):719-24.

Girardeau G, Cei A, Zugaro M. Learning-induced plasticity regulates hippocampal sharp wave-ripple drive. J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 9;34(15):5176-83.

Arleo A, Déjean C, Allegraud P, Khamassi M, Zugaro M, Wiener SI (2013) Optic flow stimuli update anterodorsal thalamus head direction neuronal activity in rats. J. Neuroscience 33(42):16790-5.

Catanese J, Cerasti E, Zugaro M, Viggiano A, Wiener S.I.(2012) Dynamics of decision-related activity in prospective hippocampal place cells. Hippocampus 22(9):1901-11 

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

Our research targets the neurophysiological basis of spatial navigation and memory, in particular the network processes that integrate internal signals (representations, expectations, emotions) and multisensory information from the environment to store and update memories, and guide behavior. We record large neuronal ensembles and local field potential oscillations in freely moving animals performing learning and memory tasks. We focus on the hippocampal system (affected in epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease), where neurons code for the position and direction of the head in space. To understand how this activity is implicated in memorization and in informing ongoing behavior, we simultaneously record in downstream structures such as prefrontal cortex (affected in schizophrenia) and ventral striatum (affected in Parkinson's disease). This provides tractable experimental models for high-level cognitive representations at the level of single neurons and neural networks.

Etudiants ENP


Membres de l'équipe

Susan SARA

Lab rotation

Hippocampo-Cortical Coupling for Memory Consolidation During Sleep

Chercheur responsable: 

ZUGARO Michael


1 September 2016 - 30 June 2017

Date limite de candidature: 

1 September 2016

Lab rotation proposal

~ Sep-Dec 2016 ~ Jan-March 2017 ~ Apr-June 2017


Seminal work in the late 50s, later complemented by animal studies, have established that the hippocampus is a key brain structure involved in memory, in particular episodic and spatial memories. An influential theory postulates that information initially encoded in the hippocampus are progressively transferred to the neocortex for long term storage. This process is referred to as 'memory consolidation', and appears to occur during offline states such as slow wave sleep. Several brain rhythms could be involved, in particular slow oscillations and thalamo-cortical spindles, as well as hippocampal ripples, but their interactions remain poorly understood. Our team has recently confirmed that ripples play a critical role in memory consolidation, a long standing hypothesis that had inspired countless studies but had never been validated. Further, we now have data that confirms the complementary role of the cortex. We have dynamically manipulated the temporal coordination between the two structures during sleep following training on a spatial memory task specifically designed to trigger encoding but not memory consolidation. Reinforcing the endogenous coordination between hippocampal sharp wave-ripples, cortical delta waves and spindles by timed electrical stimulation resulted in high recall performance on the next day, contrary to control rats that performed at chance levels.  The goal of the current project is to further examine hippocampo-cortical couplings, in terms of brain rhythms as well as neuronal ensemble activity, underlying the consolidation of memory traces. We will therefore monitor the ongoing activity of dozens of neurons recorded simultaneously across hippocampal and cortical regions in freely behaving rats, both during spatial navigation tasks and sleep. This will involve massive recordings in freely behaving rats, and complex analysis of multichannel signals recorded across brain areas.

AddressCollège de France - 11, Place Marcelin Berthelot 75231 Paris Cedex 05

Phone number: +33 1 44 27 12 93 ; 



Michael ZUGARO