Research Director
ED 158

Theory & modeling in direct interface with experiments, info processing in single neurons and networks, noise, brain rhythms, local field potentials, EEG, MEG, dynamic-clamp



Integrative properties of neocortical neurons in high-conductance states.In awake animals, neurons of cerebral cortex are in a "high-conductance" (HC) state, characterized by a sustained, irregular...


Alain Destexhe, research director CNRS and CNRS Silver Medal 2008 is today member of the Integrative and computational neuroscience unit (UNIC) of the CNRS at Gif-sur-Yvette. 

He is also Director of the European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience (EITN) in Paris.  His research team is located both in Gif sur Yvette and at the EITN in Paris.

In 2000, he got an ATIP young researcher startup from CNRS and participated to the creation of this unit of research which associates experimentation and theory.

During his PhD in the department of Ilya Prigogine, Nobel prize of Chemistry 1977, he has described the electroencephalographic activity of human brains with dynamical systems and chaos theory before joining the Salk Institute of San Diego where he has set up during three years an international collaboration between biologists and physicists, which gave rise to a record number of scientific publications.

In the next five years, Alain Destexhe created a computational neuroscience laboratory at the faculty of medicine of Laval University (Québec, Canada) where he continued his theoretical work in close relation with experiments, and he later joined the CNRS in 2000. He is now editor in chief of the "Journal of Computational Neuroscience" and director of the Theoretical Neuroscience activities in the Human Brain Project.  

Recent publications: Muller [ENP student] et al., The stimulus-evoked population response in visual cortex of awake monkey is a propagating wave. Nature Communications 2014; Bedard and Destexhe, Generalized cable theory for neurons in complex and heterogeneous media. Physical Review E, 2013; Estebanez et al., Correlated input reveals coexisting coding schemes in a sensory cortex. Nature Neurosci. 2012; Peyrache, Dehghani [ENP student] et al., Spatiotemporal dynamics of neocortical excitation and inhibition during human sleep. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012

Articles for a larger audience: Contreras & Destexhe,  Neuronal computations with stochastic network states. Science 2006; Destexhe & Marder, Plasticity in single neuron and circuit computations. Nature 2004; Destexhe et al., Are corticothalamic `up' states fragments of wakefulness? TINS 2007; see also Scholarpedia papers in 2007 and 2013 ("Spike and Wave Oscillations", "High-Conductance States" and "Local Field Potentials")

All articles are available in PDF at


He is also Director of the European Institute for Theoretical