Neuronal networks and physiopathological rhythms

Cortical activity constitutes the bases of consciousness. Nearly all information received by the cortex arises from the thalamus. During wakefulness the thalamic inputs encode and relay the different features of the outside world while during states of reduced consciousness the strongly interconnected cortical and thalamic networks developed multiple oscillatory activities that condition the still largely unknown sleep functions.

Our aim is to decipher the complex functional interactions between cortex and thalamus during different behavioral states.

Our present projects are organized along 3 questions:

  • How inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs interact with intrinsic properties of thalamic and cortical neurons to condition sensory information processing.
  • How thalamic activities organize sleep oscillations and mediate sleep related network plasticity.
  • How alterations in thalamic excitability may lead to pathologies, such as absence epilepsy.

These objectives are achieved using a multidisciplinary approach that includes in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological approaches, neurocomputational strategy, and two-photon calcium imaging.


  • V. Crunelli, Cardiff School of Biosciences UK. European Associated Laboratorypartner “Thalamic function in health and disease states” CNRS-University of Wales
  • D. Contreras
  • T. Bal, UNIC CNRS UPR2191, Gif sur Yvette.
  • P. Lory, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, CNRS UMR5203 - INSERM U661 - Univ. Montpellier I & II.
  • E. Bourinet, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, CNRS UMR5203 - INSERM U661 - Univ. Montpellier I & II.
  • P. Reynaud-Bourret, Laboratoire JA Dieudonné – CNRS UMR7351 – Univ. Nice-Sophia Antipolis
  • V. Rivoirard, CEREMADE- CNRS UMR7534 – Univ. Paris Dauphine
  • Diego CONTRERAS University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA