Neurocybernetics of thalamic and cortical networks


Research center

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


Université Paris Sud
ED 158
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


Phone: 01 69 82 34 21
Idex NeuroSaclay


Cell-machine interface
synaptic homeostasy
neuronal magnetic field
Available to host a PhD student


Gomes, J.-M., bedard, C., Valtcheva, S., Nelson, M., Khokhlova, V., Pouget, P., Venance, L., Bal, T., & Destexhe, A. (2016) Intracellular Impedance Measurements Reveal Non-ohmic Properties of the Extracellular Medium around Neurons. Biophysj, 110, 234–246.

Ouanounou G, Baux G, Bal T.A novel synaptic plasticity rule explains homeostasis of neuromuscular transmission.Elife. 2016 May 3;5. pii: e12190. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12190.

Gomes et al. (2016) Intracellular Impedance Measurements Reveal Non-ohmic Properties of the Extracellular Medium around Neurons. Biophysj, 110, 234–246.

Behuret et al. (2015). Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons. Front Neural Circuits, 9, 11633

Casale, A.E., Foust, A.J., Bal, T., & McCormick, D.A. (2015). Cortical Interneuron Subtypes Vary in Their Axonal Action Potential Properties. Journal of Neuroscience, 35, 15555–15567

Behuret et al. (2013). Cortically-Controlled Population Stochastic Facilitation as a Plausible Substrate for Guiding Sensory Transfer Across the Thalamic Gateway. PLoS Computational Biology 9 (12) : e1003401

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

A neuron-machine interface based on dynamic-clamp allows building hybrid circuits, in which living neurons interact in real time with computer models via artificial synapses: 1) We explore the top-down cortical mechanisms of sensory information transfer in thalamocortical circuits at different scales: from the cellular and conductance levels to the mesoscopic level of the population of neurons. 2) We unraveled the post-synaptic sensors of synaptic activity involved in the retrograde control of neurotransmitter release and the homeostasis of the neuromuscular transmission (G. Ouanounou). 3) We contributed with A. Destexhe team to the development of methods of estimation of conductances and other properties of network activity from intracellular recordings. 4) We are installing a voltage sensitive imaging technique with exceptional spatial and temporal resolution to monitor the propagation of fast electrical events into fine axon collaterals and dendrites in individual neurons in vitro. Combining these techniques will increase the technical sophistication of the mixed theoretical/experimental investigations performed through interdisciplinary collaboration in the UNIC lab. In particular, we are examining the cellular origin of magnetic field generators and local field potentials in cells and circuits.


Lab rotation

From circuit to dendritic activities in active cortical slices in vitro

Team leader: 

BAL Thierry


January 2, 2018 - June 29, 2018

Application deadline: 

June 29, 2018


~ Jan-March 2018

~ April-June 2018


We use refined techniques to maintain spontaneous slow oscillations (up and down states) in preserved neural circuits in mouse brain slices, and explore dendritic dynamics in individual neurons using voltage sensitive dye imaging.In a recently designed slice, both the entorhinal cortex and the claustrum (a mysterious structure hypothetized as a hub for attention and consciousness, linking most cortical areas in the brain. Goll et al., TINS 2015) are both strongly synaptically active. The project will explore interactions between these structures and their cell/circuits dynamics using patch-clamp and calcium and voltage imaging. 


Unité de Neurosciences Information et Complexité (UNIC) - 1 avenue de la Terrasse, bat 32-33 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex 91198 - +33 1 69 82 34 21 - +33 6 52 17 87 51 -


BAL Thierry