Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jointly understanding the Brain: 2. Transatlantic Collaborations round in Computational Neuroscience

21.12.2011
Collaborations between Germany and the United States in the field of Computational Neuroscience are being expanded. Six new projects will be funded in the coming three years by a total of 2.6 million Euros.

The projects are characterized by close links between experimental and theoretical approaches in exploring the brain. This is the second funding round of a joint German-American funding initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The funded projects investigate the following topics:

Abnormal long-lasting neuronal discharges in the cerebral cortex are suspected to be responsible for migraine attacks. Dr. Markus Dahlem from the Technische Universität Berlin wants to find out together with colleagues at Pennsylvania State University, State College, whether these discharges can be controlled by the influence of electric fields in a closed loop. This will be investigated in computer as well as in animal models.

Patterns of brain activity that are measured with imaging techniques differ between individuals, even for identical stimulations. In collaboration with colleagues from Dartmouth College, Hanover, and Princeton University, Princeton, Dr. Michael Hanke of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg wants to develop new methods to improve comparability. These methods would allow analysis of individual patterns and transformation between these patterns. Thus, even intrinsic processes such as social cognition should become comparable.

How does the brain perfectly accomplish the task of reconstructing the three-dimensional world from a two-dimensional image on our retina? Prof. Roland Fleming, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, and his colleagues at Yale University, New Haven, examine whether cells that recognize the intensity patterns of images enable us to experience a three-dimensional perception of the world. This will be investigated using psychophysical experiments and computer models.

Sensory systems must highly efficiently filter complex characteristics and patterns from a huge amount of information. How this takes place in the olfactory bulb, Dr. Andreas Schaefer of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, wants to examine jointly with researchers from Cornell University, Ithaca. Among other things, they will investigate the functional role of inhibitory cells during contrast enhancement of information, using optogenetic methods.

How are the function and the dendritic structure of a nerve cell coupled? This is what Prof. Stefan Remy from the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, wants to find out in collaboration with scientists from Northwestern University, Evanston, Stanford University, Stanford, and the Janelia Farm Research Campus HHMI, Ashburn. Using a combination of new microscopic techniques, they will study cells from the hippocampus that play an important role in memory and other cognitive processes.

How is the brain able to successfully perform many different tasks with the same neurons? Prof. Cornelius Schwarz of the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tübingen, will examine this question in collaboration with scientists at Georgia Tech and Emory University, Atlanta, using the example of the rat’s whisker system. Neuronal coding will be described with the help of statistical models and the researchers will try to show how sensory tasks can be adapted to current perceptional requirements.

In 2010, five projects were chosen for the first funding round, in which a total of 3.4 million Euros was invested. In Germany, the projects are integrated into the National Bernstein Network for Computational Neuroscience (NNCN).The NNCN was established by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with the aim of structurally interconnecting and developing German capacities in the new scientific discipline of Computational Neuroscience. The network is named after the German physiologist Julius Bernstein (1835–1917).

Johannes Faber | idw
Further information:
http://www.nncn.de/

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Advanced Grant for Grain Boundary Phase Transformations
06.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

nachricht Driving on bark, building with nutshells
02.08.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

Im Focus: A molecular switch may serve as new target point for cancer and diabetes therapies

If certain signaling cascades are misregulated, diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes may occur. A mechanism recently discovered by scientists at the Leibniz- Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and at the University of Geneva has a crucial influence on such signaling cascades and may be an important key for the future development of therapies against these diseases. The results of the study have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal 'Molecular Cell'.

Cell growth and cell differentiation as well as the release and efficacy of hormones such as insulin depend on the presence of lipids. Lipids are small...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NRL's sun imaging telescopes fly on NASA Parker Solar Probe

13.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

UT-ORNL team makes first particle accelerator beam measurement in six dimensions

13.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

ASU astrophysicist helps discover that ultrahot planets have starlike atmospheres

13.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>