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Bernstein Network News. Find the latest news from our researchers regarding current research results, new research projects and initiatives as well as awards and prizes.

Berlin October 5, 2022

What happens in the brain during an argument? An interactive atlas shows active areas during anger, annoyance or despair

On October 6, an exhibition on the subject of quarrels opens at the Museum für Kommunikation. The brain simulation group at the Berlin Institute of Health at the Charité (BIH) is contributing a touch-controlled screen on which feelings that play a role in quarreling become visible: Anger, annoyance, envy or resignation arise in certain networks of the brain, which visitors can specifically light up.


Göttingen October 4, 2022

Neural Systems Theory

Viola Priesemann takes up professorship at the University of Göttingen


Göttingen September 29, 2022

Brain state determines what we see

The pupil size of the eyes is not only affected by light, but also by a person's inner state of the brain. An international research team consisting of neuroscientists from the Universities of Göttingen and Tübingen in Germany, and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, USA, has now been able to provide initial answers to the question of why the pupil size changes with the inner state and whether these rapid, state-dependent changes in the pupil change the way we perceive our surroundings. The results were published in the journal "Nature".


Jülich September 27, 2022

Critical point in brain information processing confirmed using quantum field theory

Scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich have used a commonly used technique from quantum field theory to study how the brain stores and processes information.


Heidelberg September 23, 2022

Information processing in standby mode: How certain neurons circumvent forced pauses

Researchers from Heidelberg, Linz and Tübingen describe a new mechanism of signal transmission in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain: Stimulus transmission past the cell body works despite inhibition by neuronal network. Their findings were published in the journal Science.


Göttingen September 20, 2022

Primate husbandry and research under one roof

The new research and husbandry building PriCaB, short for Primate Cognition and Behavior, uniquely combines aspects of animal husbandry and animal research with non-human primates. In particular, the animals' cognition abilities can be explored using the equipment for playful interaction without the animals having to leave their social group. A camera system combined with novel analysis and recognition programs will also be used to record the animals' behavior and health status individually and around the clock. Thus, the new building at the German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research (DPZ) also enables significant contributions to safeguarding and researching animal welfare in non-human primates.


Berlin September 12, 2022

How visual information travels from the retina to the midbrain – New Neuropixels technology provides evidence of mosaic-like neural connections

For the first time, neuroscientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence (currently in the process of being established) have revealed the precise connections between sensory neurons inside the retina and the superior colliculus, a structure in the midbrain. Neuropixels probes are a relatively recent development, representing the next generation of electrodes. Densely packed with recording points, Neuropixels probes are used to record the activity of nerve cells, and have facilitated these recent insights into neuronal circuits. Writing in Nature Communications*, the researchers describe a fundamental principle which is common to the visual systems of mammals and birds.


Frankfurt a.M. Germany September 1, 2022

Dragons and Brain Evolution

A molecular atlas of an Australian dragon’s brain sheds new light on over 300 million years of brain evolution


Tübingen August 30, 2022

How value shapes the fluctuations of conscious perception

What we perceive might sometimes reflect the outcome of a value-based decision-making process, a new analysis of the literature suggests.


Frankfurt a.M. August 23, 2022

Different flavors of inhibition save the day

Scientists gain insights on how deprivation-induced synaptic changes affect excitatory and inhibitory firing rates in the sensory cortex.

During development, lack of sensory experience elicits powerful plasticity mechanisms that alter brain circuitry. Many inhibitory neuron subtypes are known to influence circuit dynamics, however, how they interact with plasticity is not yet fully understood. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt have investigated how synaptic plasticity in rodents, who were deprived of vision in one eye, affects network activity in a circuit model of the sensory cortex. Their findings point to the role of different inhibitory interneuron subtypes to explain the temporal pattern of firing rate change of excitatory and inhibitory neurons during sensory deprivation.


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