We investigate multi-sensory processing and decision-making in behaving animals and humans. Thanks to new technologies, we want to provide new insights into the underlying circuit mechanisms and signal flow changes. Finally, we want to establish causal links between learning deficits or development delay and impaired brain circuit adaptation during behavior.
Learning new behaviors requires reorganization of neural circuits. In animal models, especially mice, recently developed imaging methods enable measurements of such changes during actual behavior, covering the whole range from synapses to even brain-wide circuitry. Importantly, repeated recordings are possible from the same individuals over weeks, permitting longitudinal studies of learning-related changes. In addition, normal circuit dynamics in wild-type animals can be compared to animal models of intellectual disabilities and learning deficits. Further, we want to identify genetic causes of learning deficits and intellectual disabilities and to investigate the resulting disturbance of specific or broader circuits.
In this project, we could track dendritic activity during learning in mice and have shown that the signals were relevant for learning.
Research groups: Fritjof Helmchen, Valerio Mante
We further develop the tasks from the project "dendritic adaptation for learning" for quantification of multisensory learning in mice and for comparison with measurements in humans (path 3)
Research groups: Fritjof Helmchen, Christian Ruff, Silvia Brem, Valerio Mante
We are studying the development of the prefrontal cortex in mice and the effect of perturbing environmental factors on its maturation and on multi-sensory learning.
Research groups: Theofanis Karayannis, Christopher Pryce, Benjamin Grewe
In this project, we investigate how death of a specific cell type after birth is key for development of
somatosensory processing in mice.
Research groups: Theofanis Karayannis, Fritjof Helmchen
We are improving computational models of brain development that may help simplifying comparison between species.
Research groups: Valerio Mante, Fritjof Helmchen