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A developmental scaffold for the organization of cortical networks

Cossart Lab

Cossart’s Team tries to understand the hippocampal function in healthy or pathological conditions by studing the network developmental of neurons

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Research interests

Most adult cortical dynamics are dominated by a minority of highly active neurons distributed within a silent neuronal mass. If cortical spikes are sparse, spiking of single distinct neurons, such as hub neurons (Bonifazi et al. 2009), can impact on network dynamics and drive an animal’s behavior. It is thus essential to understand whether this active and powerful minority is predetermined and if true to uncover the rules by which it is set during development. Current work in the lab aims at testing the possibility that birthdate is a critical determinant of neuronal network function into adulthood, in health and disease. More specifically, we reason that neurons that are born the earliest are primed to participate into adult network dynamics. This hypothesis is considerably fed by our past work aiming at understanding how cortical networks function and assemble during development. To test this hypothesis, and more generally to describe structure-function relationships in cortical networks, we have developed a multidisciplinary approach that combines in vitro and in vivo calcium imaging and electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, notably from clarified intact structures, mathematical analysis and mouse genetics.

Horizontal Slice of mice brain

Calcium Activity in vitro

Calcium Activity in vivo


Keys Words

  • Early born neurons
  • Development
  • Epilepsy
  • Cortex
  • Network
  • Modeling
  • Electrophysiology
  • Genetic fate-mapping

Area of research

Understand the role of early born neurons in cortical network activity during development and into adulthood, in health and disease.
Dissect the connectome and the functional topography of early-born cortical neurons.



Collaborations INMED:

  • Dr. R. Khazipov.
  • Dr. C. Hammond
  • Dr. J. Epstein


Collaborations extérieures:

  • Pr. G. Fishell, NYU, USA
  • Pr. Fabrice Bartolomei, Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique APHM, La Timone, Marseille
  • Dr. Hervé Rignault, Equipe MOSAIC, Institut Fresnel, Marseille
  • Dr. Valentina Emiliani, Neurophotonics Laboratory, Paris
  • Dr. B. Poucet, Laboratoire de Neurosciences cognitives, Marseille
  • Pr. Heinz Beck, Laboratory of Experimental Epileptology and Cognition Research, Bonn, Allemagne

Our publications