Development and Neurobiology of Neural Networks (DN3)


Voir la version en français

Our research aims to decipher the neurobiological bases of the development and functional plasticity of motor control neural networks at the cellular, network and integrated system levels during normal operation and pathological dysfunction (spinal cord injury, exposure to nanoparticles, central congenital hypoventilation syndrome). Our main focus is on locomotor, vestibular, gaze control and respiratory functions during early stages of development (embryonic, newborn and juvenile animals). For this, we use rodent (mouse, rat) and amphibian (xenopus) animal models that are amenable to in vitro and in vivo investigation, with the possible development of new specific transgenic lines, some of which will serve both fundamental and translational research purposes. We use multi-faceted approaches ranging from neural activity measurements (unitary and multi-cellular electrophysiology, nerve recordings, functional imaging, pharmacology treatments) and anatomical investigations (immunohistology, Clarity), to behavioral analyses (plethysmography, electromyography, kinematics, optogenetic) performed on our AniMotion plateform.

Until now, our research has made important contributions to unraveling neural processes involved in (1), the development of brainstem and spinal cord motor networks responsible for respiration, locomotion, posture and gaze-stabilizing eye movements, and (2) ,the functional coupling between different motor-to-motor, motor-to-sensory and sensory-to-motor circuits required for coordinating effective behavior. (3) We also developed several pathophysiological projects contributing to the fundamental description of neural network abnormal development with the added potential of supporting pre-clinical investigations. Our ongoing and future research aims continue now to investigate mechanisms underlying the development, modulation, coordination and plasticity of sensory-motor networks involved in the generation and regulation of automatic (breathing, locomotion) and non-automatic (gaze and posture stabilization) motor functions.

Selected publications

Team leader
Muriel Thoby-Brisson

Grégory Barriere

Team member(s)

Chercheurs, Praticiens hospitaliers...

Didier Morin (University Teacher- Researcher)
John Simmers (Researcher)
Laurent Juvin (Researcher)
Olivier Brissaud (Hospital practitioner)
François Lambert (Researcher)
Jean Forgue (Associate professor)

Ingénieur(e)s, technicien(ne)s


Eloïse Colnot
Marie Boulain


Neuropsychologist(s) and speech therapist(s)

Ingénieur(s) hospitalier(s) et ARC