Vincent Breton-Provencher


Vincent Breton-Provencher,

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Université Laval

How do we acquire new skills? How do we optimize previously acquired behaviors?

Our systems neuroscience lab studies the neuronal correlates of learning and attention. We are particularly interested in understanding the roles of catecholamines – noradrenaline and dopamine – in learned behaviors. Our main objectives are to determine when catecholaminergic neurons are active during learning and task execution, what are the brain inputs that cause this activity, and how in turn the release of dopamine and noradrenaline controls the activity of target regions. Our ultimate goal is to use this mechanistic basis of the function of catecholamines in behaviors to understand the role of catecholamine dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders. We combine optogenetics, two-photon imaging, electrophysiology, and computational approaches to define encoding of task variables by neurons.

Please get in touch if you are interested in joining the lab.

Breton-Provencher, V., Drummond, G.T., & Sur, M. Locus Coeruleus Norepinephrine in Learned Behavior: Anatomical Modularity and Spatiotemporal Integration in Targets. Front. Neural Circuits, 2021 June 7; 15:638007

Breton-Provencher, V., Sur, M. Active control of arousal by a locus coeruleus GABAergic circuit. Nat. Neuroscience 2019 Feb;22(2):218-228


I have previously done my postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Mriganka Sur at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I studied the circuits regulating noradrenergic activity and their involvement in controlling arousal, behavioral execution, and active reinforcement learning. Before joining the Sur Lab, I have studied adult neurogenesis in the lab of Dr. Armen Saghatelyan at Université Laval. My undergraduate studies were in Engineering Physics, with a focus on optics and photonics.


Learning, attention, neuromodulators, cortical processing, electrophysiology, optogenetics, 2-photon functional imaging, behaviors, anatomy


2601 Chemin de la Canardière

Québec (Québec)

G1J 2G3 Canada


Recent Publications

Funding / Support / Partners

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