Research Focus

We investigate neural processing from single cells to networks.

In particular, we would like to understand how neurons are optimized for their computational task. Therefore, we investigate the relationship between intrinsic neuronal properties and the signaling mechanisms shaped by them, as well as their relevance for network behavior. The aim is to link the molecular level of ion channels to characteristics of neuronal firing, focusing on topics like information transfer, synchronization, energy efficiency, and temperature robustness. To identify computational principles, conductance-based and phenomenological models are used in combination with data evaluation techniques and analytical approaches. We closely cooperate with experimental groups in order to test theoretical predictions.

We are part of the Institute for Theoretical Biology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin.


  • Ph.D. Defense: Katha celebrates her thesis defense on the topic of inhibitory gating of excitatory plasticity. Congratulations, Dr. Wilmes! (November 2016). Katha will soon join the Clopath lab at Imperial College, London, UK.
  • Dispatch in Current Biology: For some background on temperature-invariant processing and its homeostasis have a look at our Dispatch on a new study by O'Leary and Marder in Current Biology (November 2016).
  • Yet another Ph.D. Defense: This time it was Fred's turn to complete his PhD on the temperature dependence in an insect auditory system. Well done, Dr. Roemschied! (September 2016). Fred now moves on to the Murthy lab at Princeton University.
  • Bernstein Workshop: Susanne and Tatjana Tchumatchenko organize the workshop "Signatures of efficient coding" at the Bernstein Conference 2016 in Berlin (September 20th 2016).
  • Ph.D. Defense: Eric successfully defended his thesis on the analysis of phase precession in the entorhinal cortex. Great job, Dr. Reifenstein! (July 2016).
  • NEW paper: Eric's analysis of phase precession in the parasubiculum and EC in collaboration with the Brecht lab has been published in Cell Reports (July 2016).
  • Ph.D. Defense: Sven successfully defended his thesis on “Theoretical mechanisms of information filtering in stochastic single neuron models”. Congratulations, Dr. Blankenburg! (July 2016).
  • Science Slam: Fred wins the BCCN Science Slam at the “Long Night of the Sciences” (Die Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften) in Berlin - Congratulations! (June 2016).
  • Conference Talk: Janina presents her work on the saddle-node-loop bifurcation and its consequences for neural coding at the 2nd International Conference on Mathematical Neuroscience in Juan les Pins, France (June 2016).