Jean-Pierre Changeux


2001 Balzan Prize for Cognitive Neurosciences

Research Project 

Neuronal Organization of the Brain and Cognitive Functions

In his research, 2001 Balzan Prizewinner in Cognitive Neurosciences Jean-Pierre Changeux was mainly concerned with the study of the correlation of cognitive functions and the molecular aspects of cerebral activity. His laboratory was the first to activate the genes of neuronal nicotinic receptors and to study the consequences they might have on human behaviour. Jean-Pierre Changeux used the second half of his Balzan Prize to con­tinue and diversify this research at the Récepteurs et Cognition unit of the Institut Pas­teur. General overviews of this research are contained in a book (Jean-Pierre Changeux and Stuart J. Edelstein, Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: From Molecular Biology to Cognition, Editions Odile Jacob, Paris-New York, 2005) and in a recently published ar­ticle by (Changeux, J.-P., Nicotine addiction and nicotinic receptors: lessons from ge­netically modified mice, “Nature Reviews Neuroscience”, 11th June 2010). In this article Professor Changeux reviews studies in transgenic mice that have started to reveal which nicotine receptor subunits mediate the effects of nicotine on behavior, cognition and ad­diction, thus forming therapeutic targets for nicotine addiction.


Nicolas Champtiaux
Stanislav Dehaene
Philippe Faure
Thomas Gisiger
Sylvie Granon
Zhi-Yan Han
Corentin Le Magueresse
Nicolas Le Novère
Jérôme Sallette

Main Publications:

Changeux J-P, Edelstein SJ. 2005. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: From Molecular Biology to Cognition. Paris-New York: Editions Odile Jacob.

Changeux J-P. 2010. Nicotine addiction and nicotinic receptors: lessons from genetically modified mice. Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

Other Publications (in chronological order):

Le Novère N, Grutter T, Changeux J-P. 2002. Models of the extracellular domain of the nicotinic receptors and of agonist-and Ca2+ binding sites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99 (5).

Champtiaux N, Gotti C, Cordero-Erausquin M, David DJ, Przybylski C, Léna C, Clementi F, Moretti M, Rossi F, Le Novère N, McIntosh JM, Gardier AM, Changeux J-P. 2003. Subunit Composition of Functional Nicotinic Receptors in Dopaminergic Neurons Investigated with Knock-Out Mice, The Journal of Neuroscience. 23 (21).

Dehaene S, Sergent C, Changeux, J-P. 2003. A neuronal network model linking subjective reports and objective physiological data during conscious perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (14).

Han Z-Y, Zoli M, Cardona A, Bourgeois J-P, Changeux J-P, Le Novère N. 2003. Localization of [3H]-nicotine, [3H]-cytisine, [3H]-epibatidine and [125I]abungarotoxin binding sites in the brain of Macaca Mulatta. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 461 (1).

Maggi L, Le Magueresse C, Changeux J-P, Cherubini E. 2003. Nicotine activates immature “silent” connections in the developing hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (4).

Changeux J-P, Clarifying consciousness. 2004. Nature. 428 (8 April 2004).

Schütz B, Mauer D, Salmon A-M, Changeux J-P, Zimmer A. Analysis of the cellular expression pattern of beta-CGRP in alpha-CGR-deficient mice. 2004. Journal of Comparative Neurolology. 476 (1).

Strochlic L, Cartaud A, Mejat A, Grailhe R, Schaeffer L, Changeux J-P, Cartaud J. 14-3-3 γ associates with muscle specific kinase and regulates synaptic gene transcription at vertebrate neuromuscular synapse. 2004. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101 (52).

Changeux J-P. 2005. Genes, Brains and Culture from Monkey to Human; in From Monkey Brain to Human Brain: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium. Dehaene S, Duhamel J-R, editors. A Bradford Book. Cambridge (MA) and London: MIT Press.

Changeux J-P, Edelstein SJ. 2005. Allosteric Mechanisms of Signal Transduction. Science. Vol. 308, No. 5727.

Cohen G, Roux I-C, Grailhe R, Malcolm G, Changeux J-P, Lagercrantz H. 2005. Perinatal exposure to nicotine causes deficits associated with a loss of nicotinic receptor function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (10).

Dehaene S, Changeux J-P. 2005. Ongoing Spontaneous Activity Controls Access to Consciousness: a Neuronal Model for Inattentional Blindness. PLoS Biology. Vol. 3, Issue 5.

Gisiger T, Kerszberg M, Changeux J-P. 2005. Acquisition and Performance of Delayed-response Tasks: a Neural Network Model. Cerebral Cortex. 15 (5).

Gotti C, Moretti M, Zanardi A, Gaimarri A, Champtiaux N, Changeux J-P, Whitaker P, Clementi F Zoli M. 2005. Heterogeneity and Selective Targeting of Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Subtypes Expressed on Retinal Afferents of the Superior Colliculus and Lateral Geniculate Nucleus: Identification of a New Native nAChR Subtype α3β2(α5 or β3) Enriched in Retinocollicular Afferents. Molecular Pharmacology. 68:1162-1171.

Grutter T, Prado de Carvalho L, Dufresne V, Taly A, Fischer M, Changeux J-P. A chimera encoding the fusion of an acetylcholine-binding protein to an ion channel is stabilized in a state close to the desensitized form of ligand-gated ion channels. 2005. Comptes Rendu Biologie. Vol. 328, Issue 3.

Mrsic-Flogel TD, Hofer SB, Creutzfeldt C, Cloëz-Tayarani I, Changeux J-P, Bonhoeffer T, Hübener M. 2005. Altered map of visual space in the superior colliculus of mice lacking early retinal waves. The Journal of Neuroscience. 25 (29).

Paas Y, Gibor G, Grailhe R, Savatier-Duclert N, Dufresne V, Prado de Carvalho L, Changeux J-P, Attali, B. 2005. Pore conformations and gating mechanism of a Cysloop receptor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (44).

Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2014