Network dynamics for procedural learning


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Our team aims at understanding the biological and computational principles underlying motor control and procedural learning both in normal and pathological conditions (i.e. Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, or epilepsy). We study the properties of neural networks in various brain circuits linking areas of the cortex, to the basal ganglia and the cerebellum across a wide range of species (including newts, songbirds, rodents and primates). The ambitious nature of our research, that is to understand the complex dynamics of neuronal networks, requires the constant development of innovative methods, both experimental: large-scale in vivo electrophysiological/optical recordings coupled with circuit-specific perturbations (such as opto/pharmacogenetics and closed-loop behavioural manipulations), and theoretical: analysis and simulations of biologically realistic models. Our team also relies on strong interactions between scientists performing fundamental research and clinicians working at the hospital with patients with the ultimate goal to push forward the translational impact of our discoveries.

Selected publications

Striatal and cerebellar vesicular acetylcholine transporter expression is disrupted in human DYT1 dystonia. Mazere J, Dilharreguy B, Catheline G, Vidailhet M, Deffains M, Vimont D, Ribot B, Barse E, Cif L, Mazoyer B, Langbour N, Pisani A, Allard M, Lamare F, Guehl D, Fernandez P, Burbaud P. Brain. 2021, Apr 12;144(3):909-923. doi: 10.1093/brain/awaa465.

The adaptive value of probability distortion and risk-seeking in macaques’ decision-making. Nioche A, Rougier NP, Deffains M, Bourgeois-Gironde S, Ballesta S, Boraud T. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Lond B. 2021, Mar;376(1819):20190668. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0668.

A Disynaptic Circuit in the Globus Pallidus Controls Locomotion Inhibition.  Aristieta A, Barresi M, Azizpour Lindi S, Barrière G, Courtand G, de la Crompe B, Guilhemsang L, Gauthier S, Fioramonti S, Baufreton J, Mallet NP. Current Biology. 2021, Vol31(4):707-721.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.11.019.

The globus pallidus orchestrates abnormal network dynamics in a model of Parkinsonism. de la Crompe B, Aristieta A, Leblois A, Elsherbiny S, Boraud T, Mallet NP. Nature Communications. 2020, 11:1570. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15947-w

What is the true discharge rate and pattern of the striatal projection neurons in Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia? Valsky D, Grosberg SH, Israel Z, Boraud T, Bergman H, Deffains M. Elife. 2020, 9, e57445. doi: 10.7554/eLife.57445

Cortico-striatal synchronization in human focal seizures. Aupy J, Wendling F, Taylor K, Bulacio J, Gonzalez-Martinez J, Chauvel P. Brain. 2019, 142 (5), 1282-1295. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz062

A subcortical circuit linking the cerebellum to the basal ganglia engaged in vocal learning. Pidoux L, Le Blanc P, Levenes C, Leblois A. Elife. 2018, 7, e32167. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32167.001

A canonical neural mechanism for behavioral variability. Darshan R, Wood WE, Peters S, Leblois A, Hansel D. Nature Communications. 2017, 8 (1), 1-13. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15415

Team leader
Arthur Leblois

Nicolas Mallet

Team member(s)

Arthur Leblois (Team leader)
Nicolas Mallet (Team leader)

Chercheurs, Praticiens hospitaliers...

Dominique Guehl (University Teacher- Researcher)
Emmanuel Cuny (University Teacher - Researcher - Hospital practitioner)
Marc Deffains (Researcher)
Pierre Burbaud (PU-PH)
Thomas Boraud (Director of IMN)
Véronique Michel (Hospital practitioner)
Jérôme Aupy (Maître de conférence universitaire - Personnel hospitalier)
Alexis Dubreuil (Researcher)

Ingénieur(e)s, technicien(ne)s


Aude Retailleau


Sophie Gauthier
Roman Ursu
Lise Guilhemsang
Clara Besserer
Eduarda Gervini Zampieri Centeno
Fjola Hyseni
Milesa Simic