The research area “Sensory Neuroscience” investigates the function of neural modules and networks and their association with perception and cognition. Molecular, cellular, physiological and evolutionary research approaches focus on the understanding of processes that control the transduction in sensory organs, and the signal pathways in and between cells, and which generate functional neural networks at different organizational levels and create behavioral patterns. Computational modeling will further deepen our understanding of these networks.
Linking these different levels of perception by multidisciplinary approaches is the challenging task of the research area “Sensory Neuroscience”.
The research area “Sensory Neuroscience” is at the core of the Research Center “Neurosensory Science” with numerous basic research projects that are funded by national and international grant giving institutions. New technologies and up-to-date equipment (e.g. STED microscopy, optogenetics, MRI, MEG) provide unique facilities and experimental options for the integration of theoretical and clinical medicine, and the combination of physics, chemistry and computer science. Along this line, new research fields will be developed by means of structured programs.
The following third-party funded joint projects currently exist with the specified timelines and plans:
- DFG Research Training Group "Molecular Basis of Sensory Biology" (GRK1885), Speaker: Prof. Karl-Wilhelm Koch, second funding phase until September 30, 2022.
- AFOSR Research Grant: "Cryptochrome-based magnetic sensing" (Speaker: Prof. Peter Hore in Oxford, sub-projects of Prof. Henrik Mouritsen and Prof. Karl-Wilhelm Koch).
The concept of the Collaborative Research Center "Magnetoreception and navigation in vertebrates: from biophysics to brain and behavior" (SFB 1372) was developed from both collaborative projects. The term of the first funding period is from 2019 to 2022. Extension applications for a second and third funding period are planned. Speaker: Prof. Henrik Mouritsen; further PIs from the field of sensory neuroscience: profs. Dedek, Gerlach, Greschner, Koch, Lienau and Winklhofer as well as Dr. Heyers.
- Great synergy effects for the above SFB are also expected from the simultaneously launched ERC Synergy Grant "Quantum Birds" of Prof. Henrik Mouritsen and Prof. Peter Hore (Oxford).
In addition, the collaboration with the newly established research center "Human Cyber-Physical Systems" is to be intensified in the coming years.