Group leader: Daniel E. Shulz

Sensori-motor Integration & Plasticity

In brief

Tactile information is acquired and processed in the brain through concerted interactions between movement and sensation. We study neuronal processes responsible for the coding of sensorimotor information by using a comprehensive approach including electrophysiological, imaging, optogenetic and behavioral strategies in rodents. Our general strategy is to probe the brain with controlled natural tactile inputs in vivo, in order to gain understanding of the functional architecture of the system and the plasticity rules that underlie perceptual learning and motor control.

Our laboratory is the only one in the world to have developed a 24 whisker stimulator (the Matrix) which allows multidirectional whisker deflections at behaviorally relevant speed and acceleration. The Matrix allowed us to explore new paradigms that are changing the way we consider the functional organization of the somatosensory system, from a labeled line to a more distributed and flexible cortical coding. Within the framework of closed-loop neuroscience, we explore general rules of sensorimotor adaptation by developing brain-machine interfaces used as a probe for studying the neuronal code and its adaptation by reinforced learning. Our approach is original and out of the main stream since instead of applying adaptive decoding algorithms, we fix the algorithms and require the brain to adapt to them allowing the study of the plasticity capacities of the brain and the embodiment of external devices.

Selected publications

  • Henri Lassagne, Dorian Goueytes, Daniel Shulz, Luc Estebanez, Valérie Ego-Stengel. Continuity within the somatosensory cortical map facilitates learning. Cell Reports, Elsevier Inc, 2022, 39 (1), pp.110617 hal-03633778, doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110617.
  • Evan R. Harrell, Matías A. Goldin, Brice Bathellier, Daniel E. Shulz (2020) An elaborate sweep-stick code in rat barrel cortex. Science Advances 6 (38):eabb7189. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7189
  • Matias A. Goldin, Evan R. Harrell, Luc Estebanez and Daniel E. Shulz (2018) Rich spatio-temporal stimulus dynamics unveil sensory specialization in cortical area S2. Nature Communications 9:4053, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06585-4
  • Eugenia Vilarchao, Luc Estebanez, Daniel Shulz and Isabelle Férézou (2018) Supra-barrel distribution of directional tuning for global motion in the mouse somatosensory cortex. Cell reports, 22 no13, 3534-3547. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.006
  • Luc Estebanez, Julien Bertherat, Daniel E. Shulz, Laurent Bourdieu, and Jean-François Léger (2016) A radial map of multiwhisker correlation selectivity in the rat barrel cortex. Nature Communications, 7: 13528. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13528
  • Luc Estebanez, Sami El Boustani, Alain Destexhe and Daniel Shulz (2012) Correlated input reveals coexisting coding schemes in a sensory cortex, Nature Neuroscience 15 No12: 1691-1699. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3258
  • Vincent Jacob, Julie Le Cam, Valerie Ego-Stengel and Daniel Shulz (2008) Emergent Properties of Tactile Scenes Selectively Activate Barrel Cortex Neurons, Neuron 60: 1112-1125. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.10.017
  • Vincent Jacob, Daniel J. Brasier, Irina Erchova, Daniel E. Feldman and Daniel Shulz (2007) Spike timing-dependent synaptic depression in the in vivo barrel cortex of the rat, J Neurosci 27: 1271-84. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4264-06.2007
2020

• Henri Lassagne, Dorian Goueytes, Daniel Shulz, Luc Estebanez, Valérie Ego-Stengel. Continuity within the somatosensory cortical map facilitates learning. Cell Reports, Elsevier Inc, 2022, 39 (1), pp.110617 hal-03633778, doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110617.

2020

• Evan Harrell, Matias Goldin, Brice Bathellier, and Daniel Shulz. An elaborate sweep-stick code in rat barrel cortex. Science Advances , 6(38):eabb7189, September 2020. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7189.
• Sophie Hubatz, Guillaume Hucher, Daniel E. Shulz, and Isabelle Ferezou. Spatiotemporal properties of whisker-evoked tactile responses in the mouse secondary somatosensory cortex. Scientific Reports, 10 (1):763, January 2020. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-57684-6.

2019

• Valérie Ego-Stengel, Aamir Abbasi, Margot Larroche, Henri Lassagne, Yves Boubenec, and Daniel E. Shulz. Mechanical coupling through the skin affects whisker movements and tactile information encoding. Journal of Neurophysiology, 122(4):1606-1622, October 2019. doi: 10.1152/jn.00863.2018.

2018

• Matias Goldin, Luc Estebanez, and Daniel E. Shulz. Rich spatio-temporal stimulus dynamics unveil sensory specialization in cortical area S2. Nature Communications, 9(1):4053, October 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06585-4.
• Aamir Abbasi, Dorian Goueytes, Daniel E. Shulz, Valérie Ego-Stengel, and Luc Estebanez. A fast intracortical brain-machine interface with patterned optogenetic feedback. Journal of Neural Engineering, 15(4):046011, August 2018. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/aabb80.
• Maria Eugenia Vilarchao, Luc Estebanez, Daniel E. Shulz, and Isabelle Ferezou. Supra-barrel Distribution of Directional Tuning for Global Motion in the Mouse Somatosensory Cortex. Cell Reports, 22(13):3534-3547, March 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.006.
• Luc Estebanez, Isabelle Ferezou, Valérie Ego-Stengel, and Daniel E. Shulz. Representation of Tactile Scenes in the Rodent Barrel Cortex. Neuroscience, 368:81-94, January 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.08.039.

2017

• Pauline Kerekes, Aurélie Daret, Daniel E. Shulz, and Valérie Ego-Stengel. Bilateral Discrimination of Tactile Patterns without Whisking in Freely Running Rats. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(32):7567-7579, August 2017. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0528-17.2017.

2016

• Lorraine Perronnet, Maria Eugenia Vilarchao, Guillaume Hucher, Daniel E. Shulz, Gabriel Peyré, and Isabelle Ferezou. An automated workflow for the anatomo-functional mapping of the barrel cortex. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, page 11, April 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.09.008.
• Luc Estebanez, Julien Bertherat, Daniel E. Shulz, Laurent Bourdieu, and Jean-Francois Leger. A radial map of multi-whisker correlation selectivity in the rat barrel cortex. Nature Communications, (7):13528, 2016. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13528.

2014

• Yves Boubenec, Laure Nayelie Claverie, Daniel Shulz, and Georges Debrégeas. An amplitude modulation/demodulation scheme for whisker-based texture perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(33):10832-43, August 2014. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0534-14.2014.
• Pierre-Jean Arduin, Yves Frégnac, Daniel Shulz, and Valérie Ego-Stengel. Bidirectional control of a one-dimensional robotic actuator by operant conditioning of a single unit in rat motor cortex. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8(16):206, July 2014. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2014.00206.
• Luc Estebanez, Sami El Boustani, Alain Destexhe, and Daniel Shulz. [What the whiskers tell the tactile brain]. médecine/sciences, 30(1):93-8, January 2014. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20143001019.

2013

• Pierre-Jean Arduin, Yves Fréegnac, Daniel Shulz, and Valérie Ego-Stengel. “Master” neurons induced by operant conditioning in rat motor cortex during a brain-machine interface task. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(19):8308-20, May 2013. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2744-12.2013.

2012

• Luc Estebanez, Sami El Boustani, Alain Destexhe, and Daniel Shulz. Correlated input reveals coexisting coding schemes in a sensory cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 15(12):1691-9, December 2012. doi: 10.1038/nn.3258.
• Samuel Garcia, Clément Léna, Pierre Meyrand, Christophe Pouzat, Daniel E Shulz, and Michael Zugaro. Editorial: Neuronal ensemble recordings in integrative neuroscience. Journal of Physiology – Paris, 106(3-4):57, June 2012. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2012.05.003.
• Valérie Ego-Stengel, Julie Le Cam, and Daniel Shulz. Coding of apparent motion in the thalamic nucleus of the rat vibrissal somatosensory system. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(10):3339-51, March 2012. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3890-11.2012.
• Daniel J Calvo, Diego A Golombek, and Daniel Shulz. A celebration of Franco-Argentinean neuroscience. Journal of Physiology – Paris, 106(1-2):1, January 2012. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2012.04.001.
• Yves Boubenec, Daniel Shulz, and Georges Debrégeas. Whisker encoding of mechanical events during active tactile exploration. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 6:74, 2012. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00074.

2011

• Julie Le Cam, Luc Estebanez, Vincent Jacob, and Daniel Shulz. Spatial structure of multiwhisker receptive fields in the barrel cortex is stimulus dependent. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(2): 986-98), August 2011. doi: 10.1152/jn.00044.2011.

2010

• Vincent Jacob, Luc Estebanez, Julie Le Cam, Jean-Yves Tiercelin, Patrick Parra, Gérard Parésys, and Daniel Shulz. The Matrix: a new tool for probing the whisker-to-barrel system with natural stimuli. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 189(1):65-74, May 2010. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.03.020.
• Daniel Shulz and Vincent Jacob. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the intact brain: counteracting spurious spike coincidences. Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience, 2:137, 2010. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2010.00137.
• Yves Frégnac, Marc Pananceau, Alice René, Nazyed Huguet, Olivier Marre, Manuel Levy, and Daniel Shulz. A Re-Examination of Hebbian-Covariance Rules and Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity in Cat Visual Cortex in vivo. Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience, 2:147, 2010. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2010.00147.

2008

• Vincent Jacob, Julie Le Cam, Valérie Ego-Stengel, and Daniel Shulz. Emergent properties of tactile scenes selectively activate barrel cortex neurons. Neuron, 60(6):1112-25, December 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.10.017.

2007

• Vincent Jacob, Daniel J Brasier, Irina Erchova, Dan Feldman, and Daniel Shulz. Spike timingdependent synaptic depression in the in vivo barrel cortex of the rat. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(6):1271-84, February 2007. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4264-06.2007.

2005

• Valerie Ego-Stengel, Tadeu Mello E. Souza, Vincent Jacob, and Daniel Shulz. Spatiotemporal characteristics of neuronal sensory integration in the barrel cortex of the rat. Journal of Neurophysiology, 93: 1450, 2005. doi: 10.1152/jn.00912.2004.

2003

• Daniel Shulz, Valérie Ego-Stengel, and Ehud Ahissar. Acetylcholine-dependent potentiation of temporal frequency representation in the barrel cortex does not depend on response magnitude during conditioning. Journal of Physiology – Paris, 97(4-6):431-9, 2003. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2004.01.001.

2002

• Valérie Ego-Stengel, Vincent Bringuier, and Daniel Shulz. Noradrenergic modulation of functional selectivity in the cat visual cortex: an in vivo extracellular and intracellular study. Neuroscience, 111 (2):275-89, 2002. doi: 10.1016/S0306-4522(02)00011-8.

2001

• Valérie Ego-Stengel, Daniel Shulz, Sebastian Haidarliu, Ronen Sosnik, and Ehud Ahissar. Acetylcholine-dependent induction and expression of functional plasticity in the barrel cortex of the adult rat. Journal of Neurophysiology, 86(1):422-37, July 2001.

2000

• Daniel Shulz. Memories of memories: the endless alteration of the engram. Neuron, 28(1):25-9, October 2000. doi: 10.1016/S0896-6273(00)00082-9.

• Daniel. E. Shulz, R. Sosnik, Valérie Ego, S. Haidarliu, and E. Ahissar. A neuronal analogue of state-dependent learning. Nature, 403(6769):549-53, February 2000. doi: 10.1038/35000586.

Chapitres de livres

• Valérie Burgos Blondelle, Jean-Gael Barbara, Buffetault Aurore, Yves Carton, Dujonc Isabelle, Yves Fregnac, Daniel Shulz, David Viterbo, and Guthleben Denis. Histoire d’une cité scientifique . In Histoire d’une cité scientifique. Le campus du CNRS à Gif-sur-Yvette (1946-2016). cnrs editions, December 2016. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01557391.
• Daniel Shulz and Daniel E. Feldman. Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity in Development. In John Rubenstein (Eds) Pasko Rakic, editor, Developmental Neuroscience: A Comprehensive Reference, page Non spéciale. Academic Press, 2012. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00739680.
• Daniel Shulz and Yves Frégnac. From sensation to perception. In George F. Koob, Michel Le Moal, and Richard F Thompson (Eds), editors, Encyclopedia of Behavioural Neuroscience, Volume 1, pages 550-558. Elsevier Science, 2010. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00739642.
• Daniel Shulz. Neurones et apprentissage. In Gènes et culture: Enveloppe Génétique et Variabilité Culturelle, Symposium du Collège de France, 2002, page 142. Odile Jacob, September 2003. Jean-Pierre Changeux, editor. ISBN : 2738113109. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00123872.

Daniel Shulz
Burning questions in neuroscience. Master “Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering” (M2-CNN, Université Paris-Saclay)

Anatomo-functional principles of organization of haptic systems. Master “Integrative Neurosciences” (M1, Module ENS-N3, École Normale Supérieure Paris).

Sensory systems: the example of the haptic sense. Master “Interface Physique Biologie” (M2, Université Paris-Diderot).

Anatomo-functional principles of organization of haptic and pain systems. Master “Training to higher education in life sicences” (M2 FESup, Agrégation BGB, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay)

Valérie Ego-Stengel
Closed-loop Neuroscience. Master “Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering” (M2-CNN, Université Paris-Saclay). Valérie Ego-Stengel, In charge of the training module.

Brain-Machine interfaces. (2nd year, École CentraleSupélec.)

Neurobiology. (3rd year, Ecole Polytechnique). Valérie Ego-Stengel, In charge of the training module.

Isabelle Férézou
Methods for measuring and actuating neuronal activity, principles and applications. Master “Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering” (M2-CNN, Université Paris-Saclay). Isabelle Férézou, In charge of the training module.

Cortical processing of tactile sensory information. Master “Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering” (M2-CNN, Université Paris-Saclay).

Imaging the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical activity at the mesoscopic scale. “Interdisciplinary Master’s in Life Sciences” (ENS Paris).

Luc Estebanez
Organization of the somatosensory system. Master “Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering” (M2-CNN, Université Paris-Saclay).

Brain-machine interfaces. B.Sc. in Biology (2nd year, Université Paris-Saclay).

Doctoral school:
« Signalisations et Réseaux Intégratifs en Biologie » (ED568 BIOSIGNE)

https://www.universite-paris-saclay.fr/ecoles-doctorales/signalisations-et-reseaux-integratifs-en-biologie-biosigne

Graduate students:

Max Chalabi-Prat (2021-…)
Supervisor: Isabelle Férézou
Project : Visualizing neuronal correlates of sensory processing in the barrel cortex of mice engaged in a whisker-guided locomotion task.

Edouard Ferrand (2021-…)
Supervisor: Luc Estebanez
Project : Interfaçage d’une prothèse bi-directionnelle chez la souris.

Zineb Hayatou (2020-…)
Supervisor: Luc Estebanez
Co-Supervisor: Antoine Chaillet
Project : Étude dans le modèle murin de l’appropriation d’une prothèse contrôlée par une interface cerveau-machine.

Timothé Jost-Mousseau (2018-…)
Supervisor: Isabelle Férézou
Project : Étude de l’intégration corticale de stimulations sensorielles tactiles complexes chez la souris en comportement.

Henri Lassagne (2018-…)
Directrice de thèseSupervisorCo-Supervisor: Luc Estebanez
Project: Optimizing cortical feedback strategies for a closed-loop brain machine interface.

Fan Yang (2021-…)
Supervisor: Isabelle Férézou
Co-Supervisor: Laurent Bourdieu (ENS Paris)
Project : The cellular and network mechanisms underlying expectancy of predictable tactile stimuli.


Alumni:

2016-2019 Dorian Goueytes (3C UPMC)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Co-Supervisor: Valérie Ego-Stengel
Co-Supervisor: Luc Estebanez
Project : Exploring sensorimotor control using an ultra-fast closed loop brain-machine interface in rodents

2016-2018 Aamir Abbasi (FdV, Paris V)
Supervisor: Valérie Ego-Stengel
Co-Supervisor: Luc Estebanez
Co-Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project : Integration of sensory feedback in a closed-loop cortical brain-machine interface requires somatotopy

2013-2017 Pauline Kerekes (3C, Paris UPMC)
Supervisor: Valérie Ego-Stengel
Co-Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project : Behavioral and electrophysiological study of spatial pattern discrimination in the rat

2011-2015 Eugenia Vilarchao (FdV, Paris Descartes)
Supervisor: Isabelle Férézou
Co-Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project : Spatiotemporal properties of sensory integration in the mouse barrel cortex

2008-2012 Yves Boubenec (3C, Paris UPMC)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Co-Supervisor: Georges Debrégeas (ENS Paris)
Project: Collecte d’information tactile chez le rat : biomécanique de la vibrisse et stratégie d’exploration

2008-2011 Pierre-Jean Arduin (FdV, Paris Descartes)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Co-Supervisor: Yves Frégnac
Co-Supervisor: Valérie Ego-Stengel
Project: Conditionnement opérant de neurones pour une contrôle gradué de prothèses.

2007-2012 Julien Berthérat (ENS, Paris Descartes)
Supervisor: Laurent Bourdieu (ENS Paris)
Co-Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project: Etude en microscopie de fluorescence à deux photons in vivo de l’intégration multi vibrissale chez le rat.

2007-2011 Luc Estebanez (ENS, Paris Descartes)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Co-Supervisor: Laurent Bourdieu (ENS Paris)
Project: Caractérisation des traitements sensoriels dans le cortex à tonneaux du rat anesthésié.

2006-2010 Julie Le Cam (Paris UPMC)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project: Représentations de scènes tactiles complexes dans la boucle thalamo-corticale du système vibrissal

2003-2007 Vincent Jacob (Paris UPMC)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project: Intégration spatio-temporelle de scènes tactiles et plasticité fonctionnelle dans le cortex à tonneaux du rat.

1996-2001 Valérie Ego (Paris UPMC)
Supervisor: Dan Shulz
Project: Neuromodulation et plasticité fonctionnelle des neurones corticaux: Étude dans les cortex primaires visuel et somatosensoriel