SloW-Dyn joined the HBP as a Partnering Project via the 2015 FLAG-ERA Joint Transnational Call. This Partnering Project investigates slow wave dynamics: from experiments, analysis and models to rhythm restoration.

About SloW-Dyn

Slow wave sleep and its underlying corticothalamocortical activity -slow oscillations- appears to be critical not only for memory but also for the maintenance of the brains structural and functional connectivity. At the same time, slow oscillations are an emergent pattern from the network, highly revealing of the underlying structure and dynamics of the system. In this project we plan to develop a data-constrained realistic model of the generation of slow oscillations. It will consist of a biophysically realistic model of adaptive exponential integrate- and-fire cells fully compatible with existing neuromorphic implementations in HBP. The model will go beyond state-of-art models by first describing mathematically and then fitting to real cortical data not only the first-order structure (mean), but also the second-order structure (variance and correlations) of the spatio-temporal organization of slow-wave oscillations. This model will be first developed and used to understand and document the cellular and network mechanisms slow wave oscillatory activity, and then to investigate the transformation of slow wave sleep with age and in two murine models of neurodegenerative disease associated to ageing. The model will be built and constrained using experimental data of cortical activity during slow oscillations obtained covering multiple scales. These data, together with a set of purpose-developed analytical methods, will reveal the causal contribution of genetically identified neurons to the slow wave dynamics, the 2D and 3D patterns of propagation of activity across different areas, an will go all the way to the very extensive data set of EEG obtained from large populations of humans during sleep through the SME in the project. A large emphasis will be on the analytical methods used at all levels, and the resulting tools will be useful for the scientific community. With this approach, we want to understand the underlying cortical system at multiple scales and reproduce it in silico. This will open up the possibilities for designing sensory stimulation patterns during sleep that restore young sleep in ageing individuals, an intervention expected to have a positive impact on cognition. This specific application will be directly accessible to society through the exploitation of the project led by the partner company. 

Principal Investigators

Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives (Coordinator)

María V. Sanchez-Vives, MD, PhD in Neurosciences, has been ICREA Research Professor at the IDIBAPS (Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer) since 2008, where she is Head of the Systems Neuroscience group. She is also co-Director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments in Neuroscience and Technology) and Adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Basic Physiology, University of Barcelona. She previously held a position as Associate Professor of Physiology and group leader at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante (UMH-CSIC). She was Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University and Postdoctoral and Research Associate scientist at Yale University. Her independent research has been supported by national and international agencies. She has been partner in 7 EU grants and coordinator of CORTICONIC and SlowDyn EraNet. Her main interest is the generation, modulation and function of spontaneous rhythmic activity in the cerebral cortex and also body representation. Since 2013 she is Chief Editor of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.

Stefano Panzeri

Stefano Panzeri received a Laurea in Physics from the University of Torino, and a PhD in Computational Neuroscience from SISSA, Trieste, Italy. He has held personal Research Fellowship awards in both theoretical physics and computational neuroscience, including an INFN junior Fellowship in Theoretical Physics at Turin University, an EU Marie Curie postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford, and an MRC Research Fellowship in Neuroinformatics at the University of Newcastle. Since 2002, he has been a Faculty member at the University of Manchester, where from 2007 he was promoted to a Readership. He serves as Deputy Chair of the UK Medical Research Council panel for fellowships in Bioinformatics and Neuroinformatics; as a member of the UK EPSRC Review College, and as an editor of the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. His research lies at the interface between theory and experiment and aims at understanding the principles of cortical information processing by developing new quantitative data analysis techniques based on the principles of Information Theory and by developing computational models of neural network function. At IIT, he set up the the Laboratory of Brain Signals Analysis, which has the purpose to develop techniques to decode the information content of the brain recordings used to drive brain-machine interfaces.

Rubén Moreno-Bote

Dr. Rubén Moreno-Bote is one of the leading scientists in population coding and neuronal dynamics approaches to brain functions, with special emphasis on spiking neuronal networks. His theoretical and work investigating the dynamics of neuronal networks had an important impact on the emergent field of theoretical neuroscience, as witnessed by the high number of citations and numerous invitations to give lectures in the most important research institutes of America and Germany, such as the NIH and the Max Planck Institute. His work is published in highly prestigious research journals such as Physical Review Letters, Neuron and Nature Neuroscience. Recipient of a PhD Prize in Physics (2005) and a bachelor degree in Physics in 1999 by Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, he was awarded a Ramon y Cajal Award in 2010 to become a scientific independent leader at the Foundation Sant Joan de Deu. Since 2015 he is a Serra Hunter Associate Professor at the University Pompeu Fabra.

Mathieu Galtier

Mathieu Galtier has a PhD in mathematical neuroscience with a special focus of the dynamics of learning. He then worked in the field of machine learning and more precisely on the prediction of time series with recurrent neural networks. He started working at Rythm (formerly Dreem) early in the life of the startup and heads research and algorithm development. His team gather ~10 software and data science engineers. His interests cover both the understanding of the animal brain and artificial neural networks. In that respect, sleep is an interesting topic since it occurs in every animal and improves the predictive performance of the sleeper.

Alain Destexhe

Alain Destexhe leads a research team in theoretical neuroscience at the interface with experimental neuroscience, at the "Neurosciences, Information and Complexity" reseach unit (UNIC) of Gif sur Yvette.  He is Research Director at CNRS since 2000 and participated to the creation of the UNIC, which mixes theory and experimental research teams.  Since 2014, he is also Director and scientific animator of the European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience ( in Paris.   He is author of 125 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 2 monographs, 7 books as co-Editor, and 42 book chapters.  He is also co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Computational Neuroscience since 2005, and is in the editorial board of 5 other journals including The Journal of Neuroscience.  He is also invited speaker in numerous international conferences and summer schools, and coordinates the theoretical neuroscience activities in the EU-funded Human Brain Project.  He was awarded several prizes, including the 2008 CNRS Medal for interdisciplinary work.