Cortical dynamics and multisensory processing


Research center

1 avenue de la Terrasse1 avenue de la Terrasse
91190 Gif-sur-Yvette
Yves Frégnac


Université Paris Sud
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


UPR 3293
Idex NeuroSaclay


multisensory processing
two photon calcium imaging
theoretical neuroscience
quantitative behavior


Peter M, Bathellier B, Fontinha B, Pliota P, Haubensak W, Rumpel S, Transgenic mouse models enabling photolabeling of individual neurons in vivo. PLoS One, 2013, 8(4):e62132

Bathellier B, Ushakova L, and Rumpel S, Spontaneous association of sounds by discrete neuronal activity patterns in the neocortex. Neuron, 2012, 76(2):435-49

Bathellier B, Steinmann T, Barth FG and Casas J. Air motion sensing hairs of arthropods detect high frequencies at near-maximal mechanical efficiency. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2012, 9(71):1131-43.

Bathellier B, Margrie TW, and Larkum ME. Properties of piriform cortex pyramidal cell dendrites: implications for olfactory circuit design. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2009, 29(40):12641-52

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

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.