Alain Destexhe Team

Computational Neuroscience

In brief

The research conducted in Alain Destexhe’s laboratory stands at the interface between several disciplines, such as biophysics, physics, computer science and neuroscience. The themes investigated range from the microscopic (single neurons) to the macroscopic (networks or populations of neurons) aspects of the central nervous system function. At the single cell level, we use theoretical methods and computer-based simulation techniques to explore the complex behavior of cortical and thalamic neurons and understand their integrative properties. At the network level, we try to understand the collective behavior of neuronal populations, and how information is processed and represented. We also study the genesis of sleep rhythms, their physiological role and their perversion into pathological rhythms such as epileptic seizures.

Our research

NWe use different physical frameworks (such as electromagnetism theory) to understand the genesis of different brain signals, such as the extracellular electric potentials (LFP, EEG) or magnetic fields. Finally, we use theoretical frameworks (such as stochastic dynamical systems) to conceive methods to deduce hidden information in experimentally-recorded signals. This research is only possible through a very tight collaboration with experimentalists recording single cells (intracellular measurements) and network behavior (EEG, MEG, LFP and optical imaging). We actively collaborate with experimental groups in Europe, in USA as well as within the ICN. We encourage students to follow mixed projects combining both experimental and theoretical/computational components.

Our group also created and is animating the European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience (EITN) in Paris and Gif sur Yvette. This institute is jointly financed by the Human Brain Project and the CNRS. The EITN is meant to be an incubator of ideas in theoretical neuroscience, through organizing workshops and hosting visitors, postdocs and students.

Selected Publications

• Trang-Anh E Nghiem, Núria Tort-Colet, Tomasz Górski, Ulisse Ferrari, Shayan Moghimyfiroozabad, Jennifer S Goldman, Bartosz Teleńczuk, Cristiano Capone, Thierry Bal, Matteo di Volo, Alain Destexhe. Cholinergic Switch between Two Types of Slow Waves in Cerebral Cortex. Cereb. Cortex, 30, 3451–3466. (2020)

• Jean-Marie Gomes, Claude Bedard, Silvana Valtcheva, Matthew Nelson, Vitalia Khokhlova, Pierre Pouget, Laurent Venance, Thierry Bal and Alain Destexhe, Intracellular Impedance Measurements Reveal Non-ohmic Properties of the Extracellular Medium around Neurons, Biophysical Journal 110 : 234-246, (2016)

• Yann Zerlaut, Bartosz Telenczuk, Charlotte Deleuze, Thierry Bal, Gilles Ouanounou and Alain Destexhe, Heterogeneous firing rate response of mouse layer V pyramidal neurons in the fluctuation-driven regime, The Journal of Physiology 594 : 3791-3808, (2016)

• Francesca Barbieri, Vincent Trauchessec, Laure Caruso, Josué Trejo-Rosillo, Bartosz Telenczuk, Elodie Paul, Thierry Bal, Alain Destexhe, Claude Fermon, Myriam Pannetier-Lecoeur and Gilles Ouanounou, Local recording of biological magnetic fields using Giant Magneto Resistance-based microprobes, Scientific Reports 6 : Article number : 39330, (2016)

• R Reig, Yann Zerlaut, R. Vergara, Alain Destexhe and Maria V Sanchez-Vives, Gain modulation of synaptic inputs by network state in auditory cortex in vivo, Journal of Neuroscience 35 : 2689-2702, (2015)

• Marco Brigham and Alain Destexhe, Non-stationary filtered shot noise processes and applications to neuronal membranes, Physical Review : E91 : 062102, (2015)

Team members