Practicals and demonstrations


From the essentials to state of the art techniques for neurophysiologists

The course offers a choice of intensive, hands-on practicals and students attend numerous demonstrations of high-level techniques through visits to labs at the Université Paris Cité, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Paris Brain Institute (ICM) and the Institut de la Vision.


Consolidate your newfound theoretical knowledge of electronics and optics with the two practical “benches”. Everybody does these.

Intensive training on basic concepts

Electronics bench

Build operational-amplifier circuits illustrating the principles of electrophysiological recordings. Then use an Arduino to learn how digital electronics convert, represent and process information.

Optics bench

Reconstruct the image-forming path of a microscope and build a basic scanning system. Learn how to couple exetrnal optics to your own system.


Three two-day blocks, which students choose from the following :

Mandatory Patch training

If you have selected an advanced technique based upon patch-clamping and you do not have prior experience, the first practical block will get you up to speed with the basics of the technique, allowing you to extract maximum benefit from the advanced practicals.

Photolysis of caged neurotransmitters

Use a laser to trigger focal photorelease of L-glutamate, GABA in cerebellar slices. Learn how to calibrate photorelease like a pro, using caged fluorophores.

Extracellular Field recording

In this practical you will learn to perform field recordings in hippocampal slices, induce and record LTP as well as using optical stimulation of channelrhodopsin-expressing inputs

Patch-clamp recording and synaptic stimulation in slices

Learn about slice preparation, recording, amplifier operation, optimisation of recordings and synaptic stimulation. Two setups are available.

Sodium imaging with ultra-fast cameras

Learn how to use ultra-fast CCD or cMOS camera imaging and laser light sources to image neuronal signals in slices; the practical will apply these techniques to imaging intracellular sodium ions.

Imaging Calcium concentration in whole cell recording in slices

Learn how to use organic and genetically encoded calcium indicators, CCD imaging and LED illumination to record calcium responses from somata, dendrites and terminals during whole-cell recording.

2-photon calcium imaging

Learn to use 2-photon microscopy to measure intracellular calcium concentrations in subcellular compartments.


Discover high-density multielectrode recording and high-throughput analysis using Neuropixels.

AOD-based, high-speed 2-photon imaging

Discover the flexibility of 2-photon scanning microscopy based upon acousto-optic deflectors, applied to both genetically encoded voltage and calcium indicators.

Open-source miniscopes

Learn how to assemble and deploy open-source miniscopes to perform in vivo calcium recordings in freely-moving animals.


Custom demonstrations of state of the art techniques

    • Holographic stimulation
    • Tissue Clearing
    • Light-sheet microscopes
    • 3D acousto-optic deflectors
    • And more…


Tim Harris

Janelia Farm, USA

Luiza Filipis

Inserm Grenoble

Samuel Garcia


Louis Richevaux

Paris Descartes

Flavia Alusini

Paris Descartes

Maria Fernanda Niiño

Paris Descartes

David Ogden

Paris Descartes

Pierre Yger

Institut de la Vision

Brandon Stell

Paris Descartes

Maxime Beau


Marin Manuel

Univ. Rhode Island, USA

Desdemona Fricker

Paris Descartes

Marco Diana

Paris Descartes

Joana Lourenço


Angela Vergnano

Paris Descartes

Nelson Rebola


German Sumbre


Sébastien Wolf


Marco Canepari

Inserm Grenoble

Mahesh Karnani

VU, The Netherlands

Boris Barbour


Eric Schwartz

Paris Descartes

Benjamin Mathieu


Antonin Singer

Paris Descartes

Ludovic Tricoire


Alan Montarras


Laila Blömer

Inserm Grenoble

Igor Delvendahl

University of Zurich

Michael Graupner

Paris Descartes

Murat Orynbayev

Paris Descartes

Vincenzo Marra

University of Leicester

Nelson Rebola


Nicolas Gervasi

Collège de France

Federico Trigo

IIBCE, Uruguay