Cerebral Dynamics, Plasticity, Learning

Photo Team Cerebral Dynamics, Plasticity, Learning-

The Cere­bral Dynam­ics, Plas­tic­i­ty and Learn­ing research group is an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary team com­posed of the­o­reti­cians and exper­i­men­tal­ists.
Our research address­es the func­tions and dys­func­tions of neu­ronal net­works in the cere­bral cor­tex (visu­al, motor, frontal), the cere­bel­lum and the basal gan­glia (Parkin­son dis­ease, dys­to­nias, autism, absence epilep­sy).

Our work deals with sys­tems at dif­fer­ent lev­els of analy­sis, from synaps­es to neu­rons and from neu­rons to net­works and inter­act­ing struc­tures.

The the­o­ret­i­cal works of the team rely on ana­lyt­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions and numer­i­cal sim­u­la­tions of mod­els that we inves­ti­gate using tech­niques drawn from the­o­ret­i­cal physics (e.g. sta­tis­ti­cal mechan­ics, bifur­ca­tion the­o­ry, extend­ed non­lin­ear dynam­i­cal sys­tems), infor­ma­tion the­o­ry and sto­chas­tic process­es the­o­ry. Our exper­i­men­tal works inves­ti­gate neu­ronal activ­i­ty using extra­cel­lu­lar record­ings in vivo (song bird), or patch-clamp in slices (cere­bel­lum). We com­bine those elec­tro­phys­i­o­log­i­cal meth­ods with opto­ge­net­ics and anatom­i­cal tech­niques includ­ing immuno­his­to­chem­istry, neu­ronal trac­ing and counter-stain­ing col­oration.

For a true inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research it is essen­tial to report on our data, dis­cuss papers and edu­cate all our stu­dents in our dif­fer­ent fields of exper­tise. Our team meets every week – from ear­ly Sep­tem­ber to end of July — for a gen­er­al “group meet­ing”. We have also more spe­cial­ized meet­ings: the “song­bird jour­nal club” and the “Inte­grate-or-fired” club which is a forum ded­i­cat­ed to tuto­ri­als on the­o­ret­i­cal meth­ods.

Themes of research

  • Role of mem­brane recep­tors and chan­nels in the devel­op­ment and plas­tic­i­ty of the cere­bel­lum with a par­tic­u­lar focus on the role of the cere­bel­lum in the eti­ol­o­gy of autism.
  • Mech­a­nis­tic aspects and func­tion­al impli­ca­tions of synap­tic plas­tic­i­ty (short-term, long-term and struc­tur­al) for col­lec­tive net­work dynam­ics.
  • Cel­lu­lar and net­work mech­a­nisms under­ly­ing syn­chro­nous activ­i­ty and wave prop­a­ga­tion in large neu­ronal ensem­bles.
  • Emer­gence of the func­tion­al prop­er­ties of neu­rons in the motor, visu­al and frontal cor­tices, basal gan­glia and the cere­bel­lum.
  • Col­lec­tive dynam­ics in the pre­frontal cor­tex and and their role in work­ing mem­o­ry.
  • Dynam­ics of the basal gan­glia-thal­a­mo-cor­ti­cal loop its role in deci­sion mak­ing and sen­so­ri­mo­tor learn­ing (e.g. song learn­ing in birds) and its dys­func­tions.
  • Deci­sion mak­ing and vari­abil­i­ty in behav­ior in exper­i­men­tal­ly con­trolled sit­u­a­tions as well as in nat­ur­al ones.
  • Deci­pher­ing brain oxy­tocin cir­cuits con­trol­ling social behav­ior. (Press release)

Symposia Series 

Our team orga­nizes one day sym­posia on open ques­tions in neu­ro­science.

Weekly group meeting

Our team orga­nizes week­ly meet­ings, you can access the sched­ule and read­ing list here.

Integrate-or-fired club

The biweek­ly Inte­grate-or-fired meet­ing ded­i­cat­ed to the dis­cus­sion of pure­ly the­o­ret­i­cal top­ics. The sched­ule can be found here.


logoENPWe col­lab­o­rate with col­leagues from France (Bor­deaux, Paris, Toulouse, Mont­pel­li­er, Nice) and abroad (Jerusalem, Kyoto,Atlanta, Austin, Chica­go, Philadel­phia, Seat­tle, Vien­na, Win­ston-Salem).

Our team is a piv­otal com­po­nent of the France Israel Lab­o­ra­to­ry in Neu­ro­science (FILN).

Team leaders


Recent Publications


Speech communication

  • Con­fi­dence lev­els dur­ing per­cep­tu­al deci­sion-mak­ing are dis­crete (PDF)
    Gorea A, Lisi M & Mongillo G : Euro­pean Con­fer­ence on Visu­al Per­cep­tion, Barcelona, Spain, 2017