Nervous systems are of utter inordinate complexity. It is astonishing to see the rich behaviour of animals, how reliably and efficiently they maneuver through their environments, implemented in their neural architectures and dynamics. The idea that such complexity can itself arise out of the simple rules of evolution is fabulous, extraordinary and easy to forget. Alas, eons of bricolage appear as design today.
The evolution of nervous systems is a multidisciplinary field, encompassing, i. a., comparative physiology, behavioural ecology and genetics. Mathematical and computational methods are relatively recent additions. One aspect that theoretical models can contribute, is to establish a quantitative link between genotype, molecular phenotype and computational phenotype. The latter is the rigging, the evolutionary molding of brain-like structures is supposed hoist its adaptations on.
In the face of changing environments neuronal reaction norms may play a decisive role in ability of organisms to adapt 1.
The work also encompasses reviewing for Phys. Rev. E, IOP, PloS One and J Comput Neurosci.
Biophysical models of intrinsic homeostasis: Firing rates and beyond, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 70, p. 81–88, [online].
Neural Optimization: Understanding Trade-offs with Pareto Theory. [arXiv].
Clusters of cooperative ion channels 2 enable a membrane potential-based 3 mechanism for short-term memory.10.7554/eLife.49974.
There is always the exciting ITB seminar, Tue at 14:00, with a crossover of different topics in theoretical biology. Any suggestions to improve and expand the ITB’s curriculum, as well as feedback to individual courses, is most welcome.
Conditional on availability, analytical, modelling and data analysis projects are offered for
Master and Bachelor thesis
Please contact Susanne Schreiber or me via email. All students of quantitative sciences from HU and other universities are welcome to apply.
Some of the most exciting question defy getting ones head around them, luckily multiple heads often stand a better chance!
We support Rüdiger Krahe in his studies of the impact of hypoxia and temperature on the electric organ discharges of electric fish. Due to their high energy consumption these fish are more susceptible to the influence of climatic changes.
With Carsten Duch at Johanes Gutenberg University in Mainz on action selection in Drosophila’s flight motor circuit.
Investigation of temperature robustness on behavioural and physiological level with the group of Bernd Ronacher’s Behavioural physiology group at Humboldt.
Noise and variability in small nervous systems with Monika Eberhard at the University Greifswald.
The relation between filtering properties of neurons and their dynamical systems properties Martin Stemmler at LMU Munich.