Neurocognition

Neurocognition

We have an overarching research interest in neuronal integration and the function of neuronal networks in the intact brain using state-of-the-art techniques. We also have a strong track record of investigating basic mechanisms of epilepsy in animal models and tissue obtained from epilepsy surgery. In our pathophysiological projects, we have also made advances in understanding the mechanisms underlying pharmacoresistance to anticonvulsant drugs, and how to overcome them. This puts us in a unique position to quantitatively understand drug actions in complex animal and human brain structures.

In our scientific projects, the group examines neuronal input-output integration using high-resolution state-of-the-art techniques including somatodendritic patch-clamp recordings, multiphoton glutamate uncaging and multiphoton imaging to precisely understand the principles of neuronal excitatory signal integration, and how it is controlled by inhibition. Our knowledge of these principles in different types of neurons in the normal brain has now led to a number of studies investigating changes in integration in CNS disorders, such as epilepsy. We are also actively pursuing how CNS drugs act on dendritic integration, a topic about which almost nothing is known.

On the level of neuronal motifs, we have used in vivo and in vitro physiology coupled with optogenetics to understand the functional anatomy of cortical circuits. We are also addressing quantitative changes in the function of canonical hippocampal microcircuits in chronic epilepsy models, and have begun to address how CNS drugs act at the microcircuit level.

Finally, our desire to understand the function of cortical circuits in behaving animals has led us to establish in vivo patch-clamp and imaging techniques in awake animals. Such approaches combined with the manipulation of different inhibitory, excitatory and modulatory neuron types will yield novel insights into how hippocampal circuitry is used and regulated in vivo.

Research Consortia

  • Program Chair SFB 1089 ‘Synaptic Micro Networks in Health and Disease’ of the German Research Foundation, 2013-2021.
  • EU Integrated Project LSH-CT-2006-037315. Pharmacogenetics of Refractory Epilepsy, Mechanisms of Drug Resistance and New Therapeutic Strategies. H. Beck, PI.
  • German-French Collaborative Projects of ANR/DFG, with R. Cossart, Marseille, BE 1822/6-1, ebGLUNet: Network Function of Early-born Glutamatergic Neurons, 2013-2016.
  • ERA-NET Neuron ‘DeCipher ‘Deciphering hyperexcitable networks associated with neurodevelopmental lesions’. Speaker Professor A. Becker.
  • German Research Foundation Research Group ‘Epileptogenesis of Genetic Epilepsies’ Tübingen-Bonn, Germany.

Neuroeconomics

Implicit Measurements

The applied neurosciences are opening up many possibilities for companies and these are developing rapidly. We work constantly to continue developing measuring and analysis methodology to guarantee the best possible results for our clients using state-of-the-art international research.

Multisensory Stimulation and Marketing Placebo Effects

Visual and acoustic stimulation are now standard in investigations using magnetic resonance imaging. We are developing the possibilities of stimulation further to facilitate direct product experiences, in particular in the food sector.

Pricing

It is vital for companies to discover the optimum level of pricing at which they can offer their products and services. Here too, neuroscience provides a solution, by enabling us to investigate the maximum a potential customer is willing to pay. With the aid of neuroscientific methods, we are working on developing standardised processes for determining the threshold price to support our customers with this complex issue.