Research Interests

 

The brain is made of large numbers of diverse neuronal cell types, which are wired up in various configurations across different brain regions. To adequately process information these neurons have to communicate with each other and work together as a circuit. Dysfunction of individual neuronal subclasses will lead to pathological information-processing and may contribute to different neurological and psychiatric disorders. We are trying to understand the relevance of individual cellular components within circumscribed neuronal circuits for neuronal network operations and behavioural performance. We are particularly interested in neuronal circuits involved in the production of spatial and emotional memory.

 

hippo

One of the key structures for the formation of episodic memories is the hippocampus. We are interested in how the different types of neurons within the hippocampus interact to produce accurate memories. However, we also investigate how the hippocampus interacts with cortical and subcortical brain structures during formation or retrieval of memories.

virus

To visualize and manipulate different types of neurons and neuronal pathways we use transgenic and viral methods that allow us to express fluorescent proteins or molecular tools in defined cell types.

trace

Using patch clamp electrophysiology we investigate how different neurons communicate with each other and how communication between neurons may change during learning.

spines

Learning induced changes do not only concern functional plasticity but also structural changes in the connectivity of neuronal circuits, which we analyze with microscopy.

in situ

Neurons that participate in the formation of particular memories can be visualized using “immediate early gene” imaging. This method allows us to analyze the structure and relation of memory traces for sequential memories.

connections

By simultaneous recordings of neuronal activity in different brain regions during behavioural tasks we investigate how these regions communicate with each other during cognitive processing.

wm

To investigate how communication bewteen particular neurons or brain regions finally affects memory perforamnce we use different behavioural tests.

 

Research Support


com

             com

                          com  

                                         DFG