Fundamental neuroscience research in Toulouse involves a rich spectrum of topics in species from invertebrates (e.g honeybees and fruit flies) to vertebrates (rodents, marmosets, macaques), including humans. Strong topics include cellular and molecular studies on learning and memory, with focus on phenomena such as neurogenesis or plasticity of neural codes and analysis of perceptual phenomena via intracellular and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.
Cracking the neural code for different forms of sensory stimulation will remain a priority in Toulouse. Future research will study the temporal properties of neuron assemblies at specific moments when (and where) the brain encodes and memorizes perceptual stimuli, in order to dissect the underlying codes and to produce dynamic models of the neural networks activated in different phases of perception and memory formation.
Teams working in cellular and molecular neuroscience will study the composition of multimolecular complexes, their assembly rules, their dynamics and their regulation, in order to understand their role in cell organization both in healthy and pathological conditions. Other projects will study interactions between large system neuromodulators (dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, etc.) and information processing systems, as well as the relationships between motivation, emotion and memory. A particular effort will be made to characterize basic neural and molecular dysfunctions of memory in relation to cognitive aging or diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer disease.