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 firstname.lastname@example.org, interested journalists will receive a corresponding press kit.For further information please contact:
Reconstructing the richness of pristine oceans funded by the ERC
28.10.2019 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
AI for Understanding and Modelling the Earth System – International Research Team wins ERC Synergy Grant
14.10.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.
Microscopy is an important investigation method, in physics, biology, medicine, and many other sciences. However, it has one disadvantage: its resolution is...
Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.
By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...
An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.
With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
15.11.2019 | Event News
15.11.2019 | Event News
05.11.2019 | Event News
20.11.2019 | Life Sciences
20.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
20.11.2019 | Health and Medicine