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


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Le Ray Didier

by Le Ray Didier, Loïc Grattier - published on , updated on

Research Assitant (CRCN) – CNRS

+33 (0)5 57 57 47 74

Site : Carreire

Team leader with P. Brachereau of:
Motor neuron and synaptic partners (Motoneurone et partenaires synaptiques - MotoPSyn)

Sensory-motor systems

Research interests:

  • Neural organization of locomotor-related behaviors
  • Development of sensory-motor networks

Scientific expertise:

  • Electrophysiology: extra/intracellular recordings, electromyography
  • Kinematics and behavioral analyses
  • Neuroanatomy


  • Developmental adaptation of posture/locomotion interactions in the metamorphosing frog
  • Development of the vestibulospinal control of posture and locomotion
  • Dopaminergic neuromodulation of spinal motor networks in adult frogs
  • Sensory control of spinal motor network assembly during metamorphosis


  • Pr Vincent Bels – Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (France), Université de Mons (Belgium)
  • Pr Pascal Desbarats - Université de Bordeaux (France)
  • Pr Réjean Dubuc – Université de Montréal (Canada)
  • Pr Jean-Pol Frippiat - Université de Lorraine (France)
  • Dr Jean-Luc Morel - Université de Bordeaux (France)
  • Dr Guillaume Rao - Université de la Méditerranée (France)
  • Dr Hans Straka – Universität München (Germany)
  • Dr Hervé Tostivint - Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (France)

Selected Publications:

  • Cattaert D. et Le Ray D. (2001) Adaptive motor control in crayfish. Prog. Neurobiol.
    - I have a special attachment to this review which places a large part of my work (initiated during my PhD) on the sensory-motor network that controls postural and locomotor movements of a single leg into the whole neurobiological context of crayfish motor control. All aspects of sensory-motor networks are evoked in this work, from network wiring to neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity.
  • Le Ray D., Brocard F., Bourcier-Lucas C., Auclair F., Lafaille P. et Dubuc R. (2003) Nicotinic activation of reticulospinal cells involved in the control of swimming in lampreys. Eur. J. Neurosci. Le Ray D., Brocard F. et Dubuc R. (2004) Muscarinic modulation of the trigemino-reticular pathway in lampreys. J. Neurophysiol. Le Ray D., Juvin L., Boutin T., Auclair F. et Dubuc R. (2010) The mesencephalic locomotor region directly controls trigeminal inputs to reticulospinal neurons in lampreys. Eur. J. Neurosci.
    - In this series of papers initiated during my second post-doc in Montreal, we investigated the different functions of the mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) involved in locomotion. In addition to exploring the neurobiology of its classically described role in controlling the intensity of locomotor function, we demonstrated and decyphered a novel role of the MLR in filtering sensory inputs that impact on brainstem command neurons during locomotion.
  • Le Ray D., Fernández de Sevilla D., Porto A.B. Fuenzalida M. et Buño W. (2004) Heterosynaptic metaplastic regulation of synaptic efficacy in CA1 pyramidal neurons of rat hippocampus. Hippocampus.
    - This work, conducted during my first post-doc in Madrid, allowed me to ‘play’ with the cellular properties of central neurons and analyze their role in the control of synaptic plasticity induction. This paper shows how, via plasticity of the slow afterhyperpolarization in postsynaptic CA1 pyramidal cells, a previous LTP induced at a given CA3-CA1 synapse was able to transiently inhibit the induction of LTP at other CA1 input synapses. At the time this work was carried out (1998), it was the first demonstration of a physiological metaplastic phenomenon at the cellular level.
  • Beyeler A., Métais C., Combes D., Simmers J. et Le Ray D. (2008) Metamorphosis-induced changes in the coupling of thoraco-lumbar motor outputs during swimming in Xenopus laevis. J. Neurophysiol. Beyeler A., Rao G., Ladépêche L., Jacques A., Simmers J. et Le Ray D. (2013) Post-lesional plasticity of spinal posturo-locomotor networks in the metamorphosing Xenopus laevis. PLoS One. 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. Olechowski A, Grandemange R, Cardoit L, Courty E , Lambert FM & Le Ray D (2020) Functional organization of vestibulospinal inputs on thoracic motoneurons responsible for trunk postural control in Xenopus. J. Physiol. (Lond.)
    - These papers correspond to my renewal as a researcher in Neurobiology, with the arrival of the metamorphosing and juvenile Xenopus as experimental models and the rise of totally new questions. This incredible model offers the oportunity to investigate in a vertebrate many points that remain unclear, such as the functional roles of propriospinal connectivity, and the physiological determinants of motor network design during development.

A complete list of publications is available at
ORCID link: