Selective real-time monitoring of diverse neuronal types in the brain

Cognitive processes emerge from the collective activity of billions of neurons in the brain. The brain is composed of different types of neurons, defined by morphology, connectivity, and genetic expression. In particular, neurons of the mammalian cortex can be sub-divided into two broad classes: excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Alteration in the function of inhibitory cell networks can lead to debilitating neurological disorders that is observed, for example, in epilepsy. Thus, monitoring the electrical potentials (“spikes”) emitted by specific neuronal populations, possibly in real time, will open avenues in the understanding of neuronal networks in vivo and the development of new therapeutic approaches.

This project aims to detect, sort, and classify in real time the spiking activity of different types of neurons in the brain. Findings of this project will provide foundations for the understanding of neuronal dynamics in vivo and the development of closed-loop scientific and therapeutic strategies. Additionally, the project will provide a strong research environment, as well as capacity building and exchange opportunities for graduate students and researchers based in Argentina and Mexico.

The project is led in Canada by McGill University in collaboration with Tel Aviv University in Israel, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina.

This project was selected for funding through the fourth research competition of the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program. This initiative is a partnership between IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Israel Science Foundation, and the Azrieli Foundation.

Project ID


Project status



36 months

IDRC Officer

Fabiano Santos

Total funding

CA$ 669,900


Canada-Israel Health Research Program

Project Leader

Adrien Peyrache


The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University

Institution Country


Institution Website