Gilles Laurent's scientific interests lie at the interfaces of cellular, systems and computational neuroscience. His laboratory has worked on a variety of animal species (insects, cuttlefish, fish, reptiles, mammals) and systems (motor, visual, olfactory). His research is now focused on cortical and hippocampal computation and evolution, and visual and olfactory perception.
After studying veterinary medicine and neuroethology in Toulouse, Gilles Laurent moved to Cambridge from 1985 to 1990, where he was a Royal Society Locke Research Fellow. In 1990, he joined the Division of Biology and the Computation and Neural Systems Program at Caltech, Pasadena, where he was a Lawrence A. Hanson Professor of Biology and CNS. He stayed on the faculty at Caltech until 2009, when he became a director at the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research in Frankfurt.