- To define the structure of natural flexible behaviors and their neuronal implementation.
- To improve our understanding of common neurological and psychiatric disorders through a computational ethology approach.
Behavior is the ultimate expression of a decision that is based on sensory inputs, but also internal states such as motivation, or memories of past events. Be it a fly scrambling for food, a mouse fleeing from a predator, or a human playing soccer – all species adjust their motor output in response to sensory input and current motivation state to maximize resource acquisition and minimize energy expenditure or risk of predation. Thus, all species need to make sensory-guided decisions that weigh benefits against costs based on expectations from previous experience. Choices are constantly evaluated against internal states like hunger and fatigue, leading to appropriate responses based on immediate and long-term needs. Tragically, neural networks underpinning the ability to adapt decisions and behavior to a situation and a need are targets of frequent neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, depression, ADHD, epilepsy).
The first goal of this network of scientists and clinicians is to define the structure of natural, flexible behaviors and their neuronal implementation. Our second goal is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of disturbed behavior in common neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, with the aim of driving innovation and development in diagnosis and therapy.
We aim to reach these goals through nine highly collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches (i.e., intersectional projects, IPs) and joint platforms for technology development and dissemination.
How do we measure neuronal activity? DISCOVER
How do we quantify behaviour? DISCOVER
Intersectional Projects: DISCOVER
Technology Platforms: DISCOVER
Our Board: DISCOVER