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University of Geneva
Laboratory of Sensory Perception and Plasticity
School of Medicine, Department of Basic Neurosciences
1 rue Michel-Seret
1211 - Geneva

+41 22 379 54 26

Job opportunities

Prof Alan Carleton
Sensory perception and plasticity
Neurosciences Fondamentales at Geneva

Research Area

How sensory processing is occurring into the brain and how to relate behavior to neuronal activities are key questions in neuroscience.
We propose to study the mechanisms controlling sensory perception and how different senses may interact together.
We would like to understand how sensory stimuli are coded by brain networks and how these representations may be influenced by experience, other sensory senses or modulatory brain centers.
In order to address these general questions, we propose to study chemical senses as model sensory systems.
Olfactory and gustatory systems are central to the behavior of rodents (animal models that we study), are highly plastic and largely modulated by the neuromodulatory brain centers.
Furthermore they are probably the senses most naturally interacting together in behaving animaIs especially during feeding behavior.
We propose to use a combination of genetic, electrophysiological, imaging and behavioral methods to study how flavor information is processed in the central nervous system as it moves from the periphery to higher areas of the brain.


Vincis, R., Gschwend, O., Bhaukaurally, K., Beroud, J. and Carleton, A. (2012) Dense representation of natural odorants in the mouse olfactory bulb. Nature Neuroscience, 15: 537-39

Gschwend, O., Beroud, J. and Carleton, A. (2012) Encoding odorant identity by spiking packets of rate-invariant neurons in awake mice. Plos One, 7, e30155: 1-12

Carleton, A., Acolla, R. and Simon, S.A. (2010). Coding in the mammalian gustatory system. Trends in Neuroscience, 33: 326-34

Bathellier, B., Buhl, D.L., Accolla, R. and Carleton, A. (2008) Dynamic ensemble odor coding in the mammalian olfactorybulb: sensory information at different time scales. Neuron, 57: 586-598
Accolla, R. and Carleton, A.(2008) InternaI body state influences topographical plasticity of sensory representations in the rat gustatory cortex. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 105: 4010-4015
Accolla, R., Bathellier, B., Petersen, C.C.H. and Carleton, A.(2007) DifferentiaI spatial representation oftaste modalities in the rat gustatory cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 27: 1396-1404

Technical Expertise

- In vivo multiunit recordings using silicon probes

- Patch clamp recording in slices and in vivo

- Functional imaging in vivo (intrinsic optical signal imaging, voltage and calcium sensitive dye imaging)

- In vitro and in vivo 2-photon laser scanning microscopy

- Mouse behaviour

- Genetic manipulation using lentiviral and AAV vectors

- Optogenetic manipulation