Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bernstein Award 2011: 1.25 million euros for brain researcher Henning Sprekeler

04.10.2011
HU Biologist Henning Sprekeler receives one of the world’s best endowed prizes for his research on learning and memory.

The Bernstein Award 2011 goes to Dr. Henning Sprekeler, scientist at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). He was able to convince an international jury through his scientific achievements and a sophisticated research approach.

The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) presents the Bernstein Award for Computational Neuroscience for the sixth time. The award ceremony takes place on October 4, 2011, at the annual meeting of the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience in Freiburg. The award provides ideal conditions for outstanding young scientists to establish their own research group at a German research institution.

Henning Sprekeler investigates how the brain on the one hand maintains stable activity, such as memories, and on the other hand can change through learning processes. Each nerve cell in our brain is connected with thousands of other nerve cells. Such a network consists not only of cells that excite others, but also of inhibitory ones. The activity of inhibitory and excitatory nerve cells must always be balanced. Disturbances of this balance are thought to play an important role in diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. At the same time, the brain must be able to change through learning. Recently, Sprekeler presented, in collaboration with colleagues, a model that allows an ongoing balance between activation and inhibition within complex networks. It became apparent that this balancing in turn influences the learning process itself – how exactly is still unknown.

With his approach, Sprekeler combines two major research areas of neuroscience, learning and the model of balanced neuronal networks. “I want to contribute to a future understanding of how complex networks like the brain learn,” declares the awardee. In addition, he is interested in how these learning processes can be reduced to simple principles that describe the information processing of sensory stimuli in the brain.

Henning Sprekeler studied physics in Freiburg and Berlin. In his doctoral thesis, under the supervision of Professor Laurenz Wiskott, he could follow his growing interest in theoretical questions of biology. During his two-year research stay from 2008 on in the laboratory of Professor Wulfram Gerstner at the Brain Mind Institute at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, the theoretically-oriented scientist gathered valuable experience in working with experimental researchers. In 2011, he returned to the Institute for Theoretical Biology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. There, he plans a series of collaborations with other members of the Bernstein Network.

The Bernstein Award is part of the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience (NNCN), launched by the BMBF in 2004. This network has been established to bundle, link and develop the capacities in the new research discipline of computational neuroscience. It is currently funded with a total of about 156 million euros. The network is named after the German physiologist Julius Bernstein (1835-1917).

Following the award ceremony, the awardee and 14 further scientists will be available for a press conference and individual interviews. Further information can be found at http://www.bccn-2011.uni-freiburg.de/presse (in German). After registration with johannes.faber@bcos.uni-freiburg.de, interested journalists will receive a corresponding press kit.

For further information please contact:
Dr. Henning Sprekeler
h.sprekeler@biologie.hu-berlin.de
Institute for Theoretical Biology
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Invalidenstr. 43
D-10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 2093 8630

Johannes Faber | idw
Further information:
http://www.bccn-berlin.de/
http://www.nncn.de/
http://www.hu-berlin.de/

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Innovation Award of the United Nations Environment Programme for PhD Student from ZMT
22.03.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht ERC Project set to boost application of adhesive structures
19.03.2018 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>