Our thoughts, sensation, desires, emotions or, among others, ability to plan our life in the long run emerge from the collective activity of billions of neurons in the brain. Understanding the organization of neuronal activity in relation to behavior is the central questions in neuroscience. To address these questions, you need a model. At the lab, our favorite system is the brain's GPS. We study it in rodents as these animals are truly amazing at exploring their environments, avoiding dangerous spots and returning to their nest as quickly as needed. Anyone who has observed rats in the subway of Paris or New York knows what we are talking about.
Unraveling the relationship between cognitive processes and neuronal dynamics will take us one step further toward understanding the neural basis of cognitive impairments observed in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.