Elucidating the mechanisms that underlie the physiological functions of the central nervous system remains an extraordinary challenge. In recent years, neurophysics has emerged as a new field. It provides powerful concepts and methods to link individual properties of neurons to collective phenomena in networks. At the same time, neurophysiologists have started to use in anaesthetized animals electrophysiological methods (Dynamic Clamp, Whole Cell Patch-Clamp recording...) that were initially developed in reduced preparations. Thanks to these tools, we can study the mechanisms at work when a neuron is active in a network and is submitted to physiological stimuli. Neurophysiologists and neurophysicists share the same goals and explore together new scientific territories.
The first aim of the founders of the laboratory was to understand how proprioceptive afferents, by their actions on spinal neurons, control movement in mammals. Our interest in the motor system then extended to the operating principles of basal ganglia and to the motor strategies in healthy subjects and patients. We believe that our research work helps to understand the mechanisms underlying severe motor pathologies such as spasticity, Parkinson’s disease, apraxia... Our interest is not restricted to the motor systems and we have undertaken experimental and theoretical research on visual information processing from the retina to the cortex. Along the way, new methods have enriched our laboratory: immunohistochemistry, in vitro electrophysiology of spinal cord, kinematic analysis of upper human limb.
The friendly atmosphere that prevails in the laboratory is largely due to the fact that people coming from different scientific fields are working together. Exciting research investigations are stimulated by our collaborations with laboratories in France and abroad. This environment contributes to give our junior scientists the training they deserve. They are the future of science.
Logo designed by Goffredo Puccetti.
Last updated on Wednesday 10 October 2012