The UNIC department was created in 1999, under the direction of Yves Frégnac, to attract and unite in the same department specialists in Systems Neuroscience (with a strong emphasis on intracellular recording techniques in vivo), Computational neuroscientists and Physicists. This was achieved through the targeted recruitment of scientific experts in the fields of Physics and Computational Neuroscience and the formation of an “ATIP” work group. Other interdisciplinary researchers were recruited through the CNRS interdisciplinary section 45. This has resulted in an international department of 30-35 people, including up to 13 nationalities, a rare occurrence in France. Recognition of the scientific quality of the Unit has come through the award of the Médaille de Cristal CNRS to Gérard Sadoc (IR, UNIC) in 2001, the Médaille d’Argent du CNRS to Alain Destexhe (computational neuroscience team leader, UNIC) in 2008 and the Grand Prix de l’Institut de France Louis D. to Yves Frégnac (Director, UNIC) in 2008.