Integrative & Computational Neuroscience (ICN)

Head Daniel E. Shulz,
Vice-Head Catherine Del Negro

The department of Integrative & Computational Neuroscience (ICN) is engaged in an interdisciplinary and multi-scale study of the brain to identify computational principles and neurophysiological mechanisms in thalamo-cortical networks, governing the emergence of high-level brain functions, like perception and learning. ICN is composed of six research teams collectively studying the synaptic and neuronal mechanisms of cortical and subcortical sensory processing and perception, sensori-motor integration and dynamics of internally-generated brain states (e.g. wakefulness, sleep).

Research themes

The research at ICN is centered on three linked scientific issues.

• 1) The synaptic and neuronal mechanisms involved in cortical and subcortical sensory information processing (audition, touch, vision) and perception, and their plasticity.

• 2) The impact of internally generated brain states (like attention, wakefulness or sleep) on subcortical and cortical sensory processing and cognitive abilities.

• 3) The neuronal mechanisms of sensori-motor integration and learning and of motor behavior (including brain-machine interfaces).


ICN teams use experimental, computational and theoretical approaches in an integrated and interdisciplinary context combining Neuroscience, Physics, Mathematics and Informatics at multiple scales (cell, network, behavior) and organization levels (micro, meso and macro-scales).

ICN interdisciplinary approaches range from multiple-scale electrophysiology (intracellular sharp and patch recordings, dynamic clamp in vivo and in vitro, multiple simultaneous single unit recordings and local field potentials), network functional imaging (two photon and voltage sensitive dye imaging, combined with optogenetics) and behavioral/psychophysical measurements to databases of correlates between structure and function, theoretical neuroscience and data-driven computational modeling, as well as statistical physics and large scale simulations.

ICN is also in charge of two international antennae, the French node of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facilities (INCF) (dir: Andrew Davison) and the European Institute of Theoretical Neuroscience (EITN, dir: Alain Destexhe).

Teams of the Department
Technical Team of the Department