Claire Wyart

Unravel circuits of exploration and modulation by internal and external cues

The Wyart lab (ICM, Paris, France) combines biophysics, electrophysiology, genetics and optogenetics, behavioral analysis and modeling to understand how internal and external sensory cues are integrated in motor circuits to tune the level and quality of locomotion based on the animal needs.

The Wyart lab investigates how internal and external sensory cues are integrated to shape movements and posture during active locomotion. We discovered a novel sensory system in the vertebrate spinal cord. We show that sensory neurons contacting the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) together with the Reissner fiber detect changes of CSF flow associated with curvature of the spine. These interoceptor neurons modulate the activity of spinal interneurons controlling locomotion and posture. The Wyart lab has investigated the role of this novel sensory system in postural control, morphogenesis of the spine and detection of pathogens during infections of the nervous system. We are now eager to decipher in the brain the motor circuits controlling basic exploration and its modulation based on inner states and external sensory cues.


  • Publication 1: Knafo S, Fidelin K, Prendergast A, Tseng PE, Parrin A, Dickey CW, Bohm UL, Nunes Figueiredo S, Thouvenin O, Pascal-Moussellard H, Wyart C# [2017]. Mechanosensory neurons control the timing of spinal microcircuit selection during locomotion. eLife 6:e25260 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.25260.

  • Publication 2: Böhm U, Prendergast A, Djenoune L, Nunes Figueiredo S, Gomez J, Stokes C, Kaiser S, Suster M, Kawakami K, Charpentier M, Concordet JP, Rio JP, Del Bene F, Wyart C# [2016]. CSF-contacting neurons regulate locomotion by relaying mechanical stimuli to spinal circuits. Nature Communications, 7:10866.

  • Publication 3: Fidelin K, Djenoune L, Stokes C, Prendergast A, Gomez J, Baradel A, Del Bene F, Wyart C# [2015]. State-Dependent Modulation of Locomotion by GABAergic Spinal Sensory Neurons. Current Biology 25: 3035-47.


CHU Pitié Salpêtrière 47, bld hopital 75013 Paris FRANCE