Conférence CRNL Michael Halassa "Thalamocortical interactions in cognitive control and flexibility"

Michael Halassa

A l'invitation de

GT conférences du CRNL

Michael Halassa


Interactions between the thalamus and cortex are critical for cognition but the exact contribution of the thalamus has been unclear. Classical theories depict thalamic relay of signals to or between cortical areas, but recent studies have highlighted the existence of bona fide thalamic computation and a diversity of thalamic output patterns capable of non-relay functions. In this talk, I will discuss findings that highlight the role of the mediodorsal (MD) thalamus in generating unique task-relevant variables and regulating prefrontal excitatory/inhibitory balance and effective connectivity during decision making. These findings indicate a role for the MD thalamus in hierarchical reasoning by engaging computations relevant to credit assignment. In addition to being central to many higher level cognitive processes, these computations are perturbed in schizophrenia. If time allows, I will present work that directly shows this link and our collaborative efforts to identify biomarkers and treatment targets.



Michael Halassa lab studies the circuit mechanisms underlying cognitive control and flexibility; how the brain generates thoughts and action plans based on an internal model of the world. The group’s major contribution to the field has been the discovery of a clear non-relay function of the thalamus; the control of task-relevant cortical dynamics and effective connectivity. Halassa’s group also has active collaboration in the computational, human cognitive and translational domains.

2 April 2024 11:30–13:00

CRNL | CH Le Vinatier | Bâtiment 462 Neurocampus Michel Jouvet | Amphithéâtre | 95 Boulevard Pinel | 69500 Bron