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Neural mechanisms of multisensory perceptual binding

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ACoolTouch" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BERLIN
postcode: 13125

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙999˙877 €
 EC max contribution 1˙999˙877 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2021-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Sensory perception involves the discrimination and binding of multiple modalities of sensory input. This is especially evident in the somatosensory system where different modalities of sensory input, including thermal and mechanosensory, are combined to generate a unified percept. The neural mechanisms of multisensory binding are unknown, in part because sensory perception is typically studied within a single modality in a single brain region. I propose a multi-level approach to investigate thermo-tactile processing in the mouse forepaw system from the primary sensory afferent neurons to thalamo-cortical circuits and behaviour.

The mouse forepaw system is the ideal system to investigate multisensory binding as the sensory afferent neurons are well investigated, cell type-specific lines are available, in vivo optogenetic manipulation is possible both in sensory afferent neurons and central circuits and we have developed high-resolution somatosensory perception behaviours. We have previously shown that mouse primary somatosensory forepaw cortical neurons respond to both tactile and thermal stimuli and are required for non-noxious cooling perception. With multimodal neurons how, then, is it possible to both discriminate and bind thermal and tactile stimuli?

I propose 3 objectives to address this question. We will first, perform functional mapping of the thermal and tactile pathways to cortex; second, investigate the neural mechanisms of thermo-tactile discrimination in behaving mice; and third, compare neural processing during two thermo-tactile binding tasks, the first using passively applied stimuli, and the second, active manipulation of thermal objects.

At each stage we will perform cell type-specific neural recordings and causal optogenetic manipulations in awake and behaving mice. Our multi-level approach will provide a comprehensive investigation into how the brain performs multisensory perceptual binding: a fundamental yet unsolved problem in neuroscience.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Thomas Rathjen, Xin Yan, Natalia L Kononenko, Min-Chi Ku, Kun Song, Leiron Ferrarese, Valentina Tarallo, Dmytro Puchkov, Gaga Kochlamazashvili, Sebastian Brachs, Luis Varela, Klara Szigeti-Buck, Chun-Xia Yi, Sonja C Schriever, Sudhir Gopal Tattikota, Anne Sophie Carlo, Mirko Moroni, Jan Siemens, Arnd Heuser, Louise van der Weyden, Andreas L Birkenfeld, Thoralf Niendorf, James F A Poulet, Tamas L Horvath, Matthias H Tschöp, Matthias Heinig, Mirko Trajkovski, Volker Haucke, Matthew N Poy
Regulation of body weight and energy homeostasis by neuronal cell adhesion molecule 1
published pages: 1096-1103, ISSN: 1097-6256, DOI: 10.1038/nn.4590
Nature Neuroscience 20/8 2019-05-22
2017 Ioannis N. Papadopoulos, Jean-Sébastien Jouhanneau, James F. A. Poulet, Benjamin Judkewitz
Scattering compensation by focus scanning holographic aberration probing (F-SHARP)
published pages: 116-123, ISSN: 1749-4885, DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2016.252
Nature Photonics 11/2 2019-05-22
2017 Luc Estebanez, Diana Hoffmann, Birgit C. Voigt, James F.A. Poulet
Parvalbumin-Expressing GABAergic Neurons in Primary Motor Cortex Signal Reaching
published pages: 308-318, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.06.044
Cell Reports 20/2 2019-05-22
2018 Jouhanneau, J.S. and Poulet, J.F.A.
Multiple two-photon targeted whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from monosynaptically connected neurons in vivo
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
bioRxiv 2019-06-06
2018 Phillip Bokiniec, Niccolò Zampieri, Gary R Lewin, James FA Poulet
The neural circuits of thermal perception
published pages: 98-106, ISSN: 0959-4388, DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.04.006
Current Opinion in Neurobiology 52 2019-05-22
2018 Joanna Urban-Ciecko, Jean-Sebastien Jouhanneau, Stephanie E. Myal, James F.A. Poulet, Alison L. Barth
Precisely Timed Nicotinic Activation Drives SST Inhibition in Neocortical Circuits
published pages: 611-625.e5, ISSN: 0896-6273, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.01.037
Neuron 97/3 2019-05-27
2018 Thomas Müller, Stephanie Braud, René Jüttner, Birgit C Voigt, Katharina Paulick, Maria E Sheean, Constantin Klisch, Dilansu Gueneykaya, Fritz G Rathjen, Jörg RP Geiger, James FA Poulet, Carmen Birchmeier
Neuregulin 3 promotes excitatory synapse formation on hippocampal interneurons
published pages: e98858, ISSN: 0261-4189, DOI: 10.15252/embj.201798858
The EMBO Journal 37/17 2019-05-22
2018 Ricardo Paricio-Montesinos*, Frederick Schwaller*, Annapoorani Udhayachandran, Jan Walcher, Roberta Evangelista, James F.A. Poulet*, Gary R. Lewin* *authors contributed equally
The sensory coding of warm perception
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
bioRxiv 2019-06-06

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