Neuroscience

Research at the Neuroscience department Paris Seine is centered on analysing the formation and plasticity of neural circuits and neural systems in order to decipher fundamental aspects of brain and spinal cord neurophysiology, and the resulting behaviors. This should unravel the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning the differentiation and functional insertion of neurons into developing neural networks, and the remodelling of these networks in normal or pathological conditions.

Some areas of the CNS focus the attention of several groups such as the spinal cord, the basal ganglia and the thalamus and their relationship to the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus. These approaches should dissect out the complexity of neural network dynamics while gaining insight into human behaviours and neuropsychiatric disorders. 

Our multiscale analyses will embrace large scale genetic screens combined with functional characterisation of the identified genes in animal models, elucidation of the epigenetic marks on the genome and the histone code shaping the neural circuits during development or reshaping them during learning, life events or pathologies. We will analyse the plasticity of synapses and neuronal networks with experience-driven alterations of the rodent brain, from behavioural changes to addiction, gene defects to lesions or aging. 

The neural networks we focus on include not only interconnected neurons and their plasticity but also glial cells (astrocytes, NG2, Schwann cells) and microglia, and of the roles of these interactions on the emergence of signalling network dynamics during development as well as the analysis of energetic needs associated with the regulation of brain vasculature.