Xavier Leinekugel

Xavier Leinekugel

Graduated from Toulouse Business School in 1990. Master in Experimental Psychology from Paris 8 / Paris 5 in 1992 Master of Neuroscience from Paris 6 in 1993.  PhD in Neuroscience (Paris 6) in 1997 with Rustem Khazipov in the lab of Y. Ben-Ari (Port-Royal Maternity hospital, Paris), studying brain rhythms and underlying synaptic mechanisms in the immature hippocampal network using electrophysiology and Ca imaging in vitro.  Post Doc in the lab of Prof Buzsaki (NY), use of tetrode recordings to investigate brain rhythms and neuronal interactions in freely moving rats

 INSERM position in 2001, started his research group in Bordeaux in 2006, soon invited to join the ENI-Network of European Young Investigators (a European Network of Excellence), and finally just moved in to Neurocentre Magendie in dec 2014 to team up with A. Frick, combining electrophysiology, imaging, optogenetics and behavioural techniques to better understand the functional organization of cortical networks in normal and pathological conditions such as neurodevelopmental disorders, Alzheimer or Huntington’s diseases

 Besides his exploration of brain mechanisms using sophisticated electrophysiological techniques, he most recently got interested in a new tool for rat and mouse behavioural phenotyping, based on the technology of piezo-electric pressure-sensors, allowing to detect fine and elaborate motor behaviour with an unprecedented accuracy, from heart-beat to the time-schedule of spatial exploration.



12th June 2015 – 11:00-12:00     Room 1

Endogenous neuronal clocks for information processing and the planning of action: experimental evidence and contribution of a new piezoelectric pressure-sensor device allowing exquisite rat and mouse behavioural and cognitive phenotyping

Engineered computation devices such as personal computers rely on a tight temporal organization that includes the internal clock of the central processing units (CPU) and that of its interactions with other components such as memory and hard drive. The time organization of biological neuronal circuits is less clear and represents an active field of study in the Neuroscience community.

Based on our recent results in rodents, we came to the hypothesis that endogenously expressed slow (<1Hz) brain rhythms would represent sensory-motor integration cycles supporting the computational and decisional refreshment underlying ongoing behaviour. In other words, we propose that neuronal circuits ticking endogenously at the 1s time scale would integrate information and anticipate action for the coming 1s, leading to periodic behavioural re-evaluation at this time scale. I will present our latest results challenging this hypothesis experimentally by a combination of electrophysiological and behavioural investigations in rodents, also investigating the relevance of this hypothesis for the cognitive processes taking place in human subjects and in pathological conditions known to affect cognition.

I will also introduce an innovative experimental device, based on an open field platform resting on highly sensitive piezoelectric pressure-sensors, which allows to detect in a non invasive manner the slightest animal movements (including heart beat, respiration, individual footsteps, etc…) and will provide information on the timing of behaviour with unprecedented richness and precision. Through an international collaboration between Bordeaux University and our partners from the University of the Basque Country, we are now combining experimental and computational approaches to demonstrate how much fine behavioural analysis can bring to our understanding of cognitive processes and the timing organization of neuronal computation.