Yann Zerlaut

Post Doc
Modeling network dynamics in neocortical assemblies



  • PhD in Neuroscience from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France. Laboratory: Unité de Neurosciences, Information et Complexité. Supervisors: Alain Destexhe & Gilles Ouanounou. Title: ”Biophysical and circuit properties underlying population dynamics in neocortex”
  • Msc in Cognitive Science (Univ. Paris Descartes, ENS Paris, EHESS)
  • Msc in Complex Systems Physics (Univ. Pierre et Marie et Marie Curie, Paris)
  • Bsc in Fundamental Physics (Univ. Paris XI, Orsay)


Neurophysiology Systems Neuroscience Network Dynamics Biophysics


My project is focused on understanding how the cellular and connectivity properties of neural assemblies shape the collective dynamics emerging at the network level. Together with the experimental team of T. Fellin (IIT Genova), we are particularly interested in the role of the various inhibitory subnetworks in shaping the dynamical patterns of spontaneous and sensory-evoked activity in mammalian neocortex. I investigate this question using numerical simulations of neural network dynamics and its associated mathematical reductions (relying on techniques coming from the field of statistical physics and dynamical systems theory). Back-and-forth between the multimodal recordings of the Fellin team and our reductionist theoretical approach, this joint effort aims at providing a comprehensive picture for the role of circuit features in shaping neocortical processing.

Selected Publications

  1. Heterogeneous firing responses predict diverse couplings to presynaptic activity in mice layer V pyramidal neurons. Y Zerlaut, A Destexhe. BioRxiv 2017
  2. Heterogeneous firing rate response of mouse layer V pyramidal neurons in the fluctuation‐driven regime Y Zerlaut, B Teleńczuk, C Deleuze, T Bal, G Ouanounou, A Destexhe. The Journal of physiology 594 (13), 3791-3808
  3. Gain modulation of synaptic inputs by network state in auditory cortex in vivo R Reig, Y Zerlaut, R Vergara, A Destexhe, MV Sanchez-Vives, Journal of Neuroscience 35 (6), 2689-2702



iit Publications

2017 Heterogeneous firing responses predict diverse couplings to presynaptic activity in mice layer V pyramidal neurons


  • 2015 : Fellowship ”Espoirs de la Recherche” from the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale

    2012 : PhD fellowship from the Initiative d’Excellence Paris-Saclay