Course overview

The ability to move in an automatic or a goal-directed manner is a crucial function for many living organisms to survive and interact efficiently with their environments. Movements generation depend on the coordinated activity of motor centres that are distributed in the cortex, the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, and the brainstem but that, altogether, shape the descending motor commands sent to the spinal cord which will then execute the appropriate movements by controlling the activity of motoneurons. Any alteration in these systems and/or their interaction will impair the flow of information leading to disastrous motor disorders. In this CAJAL course, we will not only discuss the common organization of motor centres across species (from lamprey to primate) but also the neuronal mechanism and dynamics that underlie spontaneous and voluntary movements as well as how pathological alteration of these activities can lead to detrimental motor performances and disease state.

The goal of this CAJAL course is to instruct promising young neuroscientists to the advanced scientific concepts established in the field of motor control. We will present the latest discoveries that has been made in different species that shed light on how voluntary and goal-directed movements are generated. We will also describe the computational advances and analysis method that has pushed the limit of understanding movement generation. We will provide hands-on training on state-of-the-art methods applied to the study of motor control in the field including motor tracking, optogenetics manipulation, calcium imaging, high-density electrophysiology recording and data analysis. Thus, this course will combine theoretical and methodological courses by keynote speakers and instructors, respectively, with hands-on projects conducted in the Bordeaux School of Neuroscience.

Course directors

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Paris Brain Institute, France

University of Bordeaux, France

Seminal Lecture

Dr. Réjean Dubuc – Université de Montréal, Canada

Honorary lectures from Brain Prize Winners

Dr. Sylvia Arber – Basel University, Switzerland
Dr. Ole Kiehn – University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Keynote Speakers

Dr. David McLean – Northwestern University, USA
Dr. Claire Wyart – Paris Brain Institute, France
Dr. Lora Sweeney – Institute of Science and Technology A., Austria
Dr. Jonathan Whitlock – KISN, Norway
Dr. Camille Jeunet – INCIA CNRS, Bordeaux University, France
Dr. Marie-Laure Welter – Paris Brain Institute, France
Dr. Joaquim Alves da Silva – Champalimaud CU, Portugal
Dr. Gilad Silberberg – Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Dr. Claire Meehan – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Dr. Ian Duguid – University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr. Rune Berg – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Dr. Nicolas Mallet – IMN CNRS, Bordeaux University, France.


Will be announced soon.

Course content

The course will be an intensive 3-week theoretical and practical course with two main goals:

1) Teaching students the theoretical foundation of the techniques (in week 1 and 2).

2) Give them enough hands-on experience to create an experimental mini-project (week 1) that will be carried out (in weeks 2 and 3) so they can establish these methods when they get back to their labs.

Bordeaux School of Neuroscience, France

The Bordeaux School of Neuroscience is part of Bordeaux Neurocampus, the Neuroscience Department of the University of Bordeaux. Christophe Mulle, its current director, founded it in 2015. Throughout the year, renowned scientists, promising young researchers and many students from any geographical horizon come to the School.
The school works on this principle: training in neuroscience research through experimental practice, within the framework of a real research laboratory.

Their dedicated laboratory (500m2), available for about 20 trainees, is equipped with a wet lab, an in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology room, IT facilities, a standard cellular imaging room, an animal facility equipped for behavior studies and surgery and catering/meeting spaces. They also have access to high-level core facilities within the University of Bordeaux. They offer their services to international training teams who wish to organize courses in all fields of neuroscience thanks to a dedicated staff for the full logistics (travels, accommodation, on-site catering, social events) and administration and 2 scientific managers in support of the experimentation.


Fee : 3.950 € (includes tuition fee, accommodation and meals)

Applications will open soon.

The CAJAL programme offers 4 stipends per course (waived registration fee, not including travel expenses). Please apply through the course online application form. In order to identify candidates in real need of a stipend, any grant applicant is encouraged to first request funds from their lab, institution or government.

Kindly note that if you benefited from a Cajal stipend in the past, you are no longer eligible to receive this kind of funding. However other types of funding (such as partial travel grants from sponsors) might be made available after the participants selection pro- cess, depending on the course.