The team is working on multisensory processing in the cortical circuit based on cuting-edge electrophysiology and two-photon imaging techniques. Teh expertise of Brice Bathellier in olfactory and auditory systems is usefully combined with the expertise of the Fregnac (vision) and Shulz (somatosensation) teams in the research unit to adress the problem of multisensory processing as a whole.
1. We use two-photon microscopy to monitor cortical respresentations of stimuli in awake behaving mice during a multisensory discrimination task. This allows us to measure precisely how the represention of a sensory modality in the cortex is influenced by other modalities, in order to build a coherent respresenation of the external world.
2. We develop optogenetic techniques to identify the inter-areal connections that are causally involved in multisensory interaction at the cortical level. We also develop light sculting techniques for optognetic stimulation in vivo, in order to more precisely establish the causal relationship between activity patterns in the cortex and perceptions.
3. We plan to build computational models of interactions between sensory cortices to find network mechanisms explaining our experimental data and to establish quantitative predictions that can be tested in vivo in order to select and refine the models.
4. We develop quantitative, eventually automated behavioral approaches to measure perception and establish generic predictive models of sensory discrimnation learning in mice.