Daniel Dautan

Affiliated Researcher
Postdoctoral fellow


via morego 30, IIT GENOVA


Following a Msc in Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Electrophysiology in Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France) in Collaboration with Paris 6 (France) and University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), I graduated as PhD. in Neuroscience at the University of Leicester (U.K) in collaboration with the University of Oxford (U.K).

My Ph.D. work was centered on the characterization of cholinergic modulation of the basal ganglia and most specifically the dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain and the striatum. I then moved in the recent laboratory of Dr. Juan Mena-Segovia (Rutgers University), to characterize the role of glutamatergic neurons of the Pedunculopontine in movement and goal-directed behavior. Following 3 years postdoc, I recently started a senior postdoc position in the laboratory of Dr. Francesco Papaleo, at the Italian Institute of Technology, working on the role of the prefrontal cortex in emotion recognition and empathy.


parkinson glutamate acetylcholine brainstem pedunculopontine movement basal ganglia


-Role of PPN cholinergic projection to the VTA

-Role of PPN cholinergic projection to the striatum

-Role of PPN glutamatergic projection to the striatum

-Role of PPN projection to the motor structure

-Role of SST-IN PFC in emotion recognition

Selected Publications

1*. Assous M., Dautan D, Tepper JT, Mena-Segovia J. Pedunculopontine glutamatergic neurons provide a novel source of feedforward inhibition in the striatum by selectively targeting interneurons. J. Neuroscience (2019)

2*. Dautan D, Huerta-Ocampo I, Valencia M, Gerdjikov T, Mena-Segovia J. Brainstem cholinergic neurons directly modulate striatal functions. BioRXiV (doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/388223)

  1. Brimblecombe K., Threlfell S., Dautan D., Kosillo P., Mena-Segovia J., and Stephanie Cragg Cholinergic brainstem afferents do not account for modulation of dopamine by striatal nicotinic receptors and cholinergic interneurons". eNeuro (eN-NWR-0397-17R1)
  2. Saund J, Dautan D, Rostron C, Urcelay GP, Gerdjikov TV. Thalamic inputs to the dorsomedial striatum are involved in inhibitory control: evidence from the five-choice serial reaction time task in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). (2017) apr 28.
  3. Asif-Malik A, Dautan D, Young AM, Gerdjikov TV. Altered cortico-striatal crosstalk underlies object recognition memory deficits in the sub-chronic phencyclidine model of schizophrenia. Brain structure function (2017) Mar 14.

6*. Dautan D, Souza A, Huerta-Ocampo Valencia M, Assous M, Witten I.B., Deisseroth K, Tepper J, Bolam J.B, Gerdjikov and Mena-Segovia J. Segregated cholinergic transmission modulates dopamine neurons integrated in distinct functional circuits. Nature Neurosci (2016) 19(8): 1025- 33.

7*. Dautan D, Husniye Hacioğlu Bay, J. Paul Bolam, Todor V. Gerdjikov and Juan Mena-Segovia. Extrinsic sources of cholinergic innervation of the striatal complex: a whole-brain mapping analysis. Front Neuroanat (2016) 10:1.

  1. Eddine R, Valverde S, Tolu S, Dautan D, Hay A, Morel C, Cui Y, Lambolez B, Venance L, Marti F, Faure P. A concurrent excitation and inhibition of dopaminergic subpopulations in response to nicotine. Sci Rep. (2015) 5:8184.

9*. Dautan D., Huerta-Ocampo I., Witten I., Deisseroth K., Bolam J.P., Gerdjikov T. and Mena-Segovia J. A major external source of cholinergic innervation of the striatum and nucleus accumbens originates in the brainstem. Journal of Neuroscience (2014) 34: 4509-4518.



2017                      National Institutes of Health/NINDS RO1 NS100824-01

PI: Dr. Juan Mena-Segovia “Cholinergic brainstem signaling in striatal circuits” (co-applicant).

2016                      Guarantor of Brain, travel grant (Obtained in 2016, 2014)

2016                      Society for Biology, travel grant 

2016                      LASA, travel grant 

2013                      Grindley Grant, travel grant 

2012                      Erasmus, Research Studentship 

2012                      Science development, Ville de Nice, Research Studentship 

2011                      Ville de Paris, Research Studentship 

2007                      French national center for scientific research, Research Studentship (CNRS)