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Holographic control of visual circuits

Project description

Let there be light to reveal brain circuits with the resolution of single cells

Decades of research building on advances in experimental methods, technologies and theoretical models harnessing the power of computing have all made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the brain's structure and function. As the saying goes, the more we know, the more we realise how much we do not yet know. The ultimate goal is to understand how the activity of individual neurons in separate brain regions comes together to subserve whole-brain functions, much as the individual notes of different instruments contribute to a symphony. However, given the approximately 80 billion neurons in the human brain, reaching this goal remains elusive. The EU-funded HOLOVIS project is developing high-tech optical technologies to reveal mid-scale circuit connectivity and ensemble function with single-cell resolution.


The aim of this research program is to produce novel all-optical technologies to explore brain functions at the mesoscopic scale with cellular resolution opening a new phase in optogenetics that I named circuit optogenetics.
Revealing the neural codes supporting specific mammalian brain functions is a daunting task demanding to relate in vivo the individual activities of large numbers of neurons recorded jointly within collectives that form distinct nodes of a network and to perform precisely targeted and calibrated interventions in the spatiotemporal dynamics of neural circuits on the scale of naturalistic patterns of activity. Despite recent technical advances, these experiments remain out of reach because we lack a comprehensive approach for large-scale, multi-region, in depth, single cell and millisecond precise manipulation of neural circuits. HOLOVIS will tackle these limitations through the construction of an innovative paradigm combining optogenetics with cutting-edge technology of wave front shaping, compressed sensing, microendoscopy, wave-guide probes, laser developments and opsin engineering.
My lab has pioneered the use of wave front shaping for neuroscience and developed in the past years a number of new optical methods, for patterned optogenetic neuronal stimulation. Here, we will push forward this technology and first demonstrate the performances of these breakthrough systems to reveal how inter, intra-laminar and cortical/sub-cortical wiring construct and refine visual orientation selectivity in mice.
We will focus on the visual system of mice, whose input-output responses to controlled sensory stimulations have been characterized in decades of studies. However, we are persuaded that our approach can be used to reveal the connectivity rules that underlie specific patterns of activity of any neuronal circuit, thus defining the functional building blocks of distinct brain areas.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 500 000,00
75794 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 2 500 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)