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Dr. Laurent's laboratory is interested in the behavior, dynamics and emergent properties of neural systems (typically, networks of interacting neurons or neuron populations), especially as these properties relate to neural coding and sensory representation. The lab focuses principally on olfactory and visual areas, combining experiments, quantitative analysis and modeling techniques. They tend to use "simpler" experimental systems such as the brains of insects, fish and reptiles to facilitate the identification, mechanistic characterization and computational description of functional principles.
The lab's research is centered on neurophysiological approaches and on experimental data. They combine single-cell electrophysiological techniques (whole-cell patch-clamp, intracellular, extracellular recordings), in vivo tetrode recordings, imaging (intrinsic, calcium, multi-photon) with modern molecular techniques (viral infections and gene transfer, photo-activation and silencing).
A large component of the lab's expertise is also based on quantitative models and data analysis, carried out "in house". Much of their prior work has benefited greatly from close and long-lasting collaborations with physicists, modelers and other quantitative experimentalists, with whom ideas and concepts were developed, tested and refined.