1 The role of sleep in cognitive development
It is common knowledge that good and regular sleep is very important for children.
The last decade has witnessed a growing concern about chronic sleep deprivation among children.
Yet we do not know yet what is happening during sleep that is so important for cognitive development!!
We are aiming to answer this question by:
1) Recording/imaging neural activity during sleep across development.
2) Exploring how healthy neural development is perturbed in animal models whose sleep is controlled and manipulated.
To this end, the lab is equipped with a large array of experimental and computational methods ranging from high-density in vivo freely behaving electrophysiology in rodents models coupled with optogenetics to cognitive tests, molecular and microscopy tools as well as computational models. In addition, we have active collaboration with colleagues to perform high-precision calcium imaging.
The research conducted at the BoccaraLab has the ambition to answer this timely health concern which has a clear societal impact.
We hope that our findings can contribute to the public debates and provide incentives to change guideline encouraging healthier sleep habits, as well as translational research applications to study associations with neurodevelopmental disorders.
2 Neural coding in the adult brain
In support to the investigations of the developing brain, the BoccaraLab keep studying how healthy cognition takes place in the adult brain. Specifically, the lab is exploring how representations are encoded, consolidated and updated in neural networks with a special interest for physiological supporting mechanism arising during sleep periods.
New results presented at COSYNE 2020 on Angular head velocity coding in the parahippocampus region: