Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine (UMR5287)

Aquitaine Institute for Cognitive and Integrative Neuroscience

Université de Bordeaux

Zone nord Bat 2 2ème étage
146, rue Léo Saignat
33076 Bordeaux cedex


Supervisory authorities

CNRS Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Université de Bordeaux

Our partners

Neurocampus Unitéde Formation de Biologie


GDR Robotique GDR Mémoire GDR Multi-électrodes


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Simmers John

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Directeur de recherche émérite CNRS, University of Bordeaux

+33 (0)5 57 57 45 60

Site : Carreire

Development and Neurobiology of Neural Networks - DN3)

Neurobiology of neural circuits generating behavior

Research axis:
Neuronal and network mechanisms, functional plasticity and development of sensory-motor systems

Scientific expertise:
Neural networks, central pattern generation, rhythmic and motivated behavior
Neuronal and synaptic properties, sensory-motor integration, motor systems interactions
Network plasticity and neuromodulation.
Network assembly and remodeling during development
Locomotion, respiration, gaze control, feeding behavior
Brainstem and spinal networks, invertebrate rhythmogenic networks
Xenopus laevis, mouse, Aplysia

External collaborations:

  • Pr Keith T. Sillar, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK
  • Pr Hans Straka, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

Selected Publications (since 2012):
- Bédécarrats A, Puygrenier L, Castro O’Byrne J, Lade Q, Simmers J, Nargeot R. (2021) Organelle calcium-derived voltage oscillations in pacemaker neurons drive the motor program for food-seeking behavior in Aplysia. eLife 2021;10:e68651.

- Combes D, Sillar KT, Simmers J. (2020) Xenopus frog metamorphosis: a model for studying locomotor network development and neuromodulation. In: Whelan PJ and Sharples SA (eds) Neural Control of Movement: model systems and tools for examining locomotor function. Elsevier pp 175-203.

- Lambert FM, Cardoit L, Courty E, Bougerol M, Thoby-Brisson M, Simmers J, Tostivint H, Le Ray D. (2018) Functional limb muscle innervation prior to cholinergic transmitter specification during early metamorphosis in Xenopus. eLife 2018;7:e30693.

- Straka H, Simmers J, Chagnaud BP. (2018) A new perspective on predictive motor signaling. Curr Biol. 28, R232-243.

- Chevalier M, Toporikova N, Simmers J, Thoby-Brisson M. (2016) Development of pacemaker properties and rhythmogenic mechanisms in the embryonic respiratory network. eLife 2016;5:e16125.

- von Uckermann G, Lambert FM, Combes D, Straka H, Simmers J. (2016) Adaptive plasticity of spino-extraocular motor coupling during locomotion in metamorphosing Xenopus laevis. J Exp Biol. 219, 1110-21.

- Chagnaud BP, Banchi R, Simmers J, Straka H. (2015) Spinal corollary discharge modulates motion sensing during vertebrate locomotion. Nature Commun. 6:7982.

- Sillar KT, Combes D, Simmers J. (2014) Neuromodulation in developing motor microcircuits. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 29, 73-81.

- Chapuis C, Autran S, Fortin G, Simmers J, Thoby-Brisson M. (2014) Emergence of sigh rhythmogenesis in the embryonic mouse. J Physiol (Lond). 592, 2169-2181.

- von Uckermann G, Le Ray D, Combes D, Straka H, Simmers J. (2013) Spinal efference copy signaling and gaze stabilization during locomotion in juvenile Xenopus frogs. J Neurosci. 33, 4253-4264.

- Nargeot R, Simmers J. (2012) Functional organization and adaptability of a decision-making network in Aplysia. Front Neurosci. 6, 113. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2012.00113.

- Lambert FM, Combes D, Simmers J*, Straka H*. (2012) Gaze stabilization by efference copy signaling without sensory feedback during vertebrate locomotion Curr Biol. 22, 1649-58. *Co-senior authors.

- Clemens S, Rauscent A, Simmers J*, Combes D*. (2012) Opposing modulatory effects of D1- and D2-like receptor activation on a spinal central pattern generator. J Neurophysiol. 107, 2250-2259. *Co-senior authors.

- Juvin L, Le Gal J-P, Simmers J, Morin D. (2012) Cervico-lumbar coordination in mammalian quadrupedal locomotion: role of spinal thoracic circuitry and limb sensory inputs. J Neurosci. 32, 953-965.

- Straka H, Simmers J. (2012) Xenopus laevis: An ideal experimental model for studying the developmental dynamics of neural network assembly and sensory-motor computations. Dev Neurobiol. 72, 649-663.