Our Team: Interdisciplinary collaboration to unravel function and dysfunction of the brain

Understanding the normal and diseased brain is one of the most formidable scientific challenges of our times. Revolutionary developments in the ability to measure brain activity and behaviour at unprecedented resolution have triggered an era of innovation that is generating a wealth of data at an ever-increasing pace. However, true understanding requires integrating these data into coherent theories of brain function and dysfunction. Such concepts can only be generated in close concert of expermentalists, mathematicians, computer scientists and clinicians.

iBehave will bring together outstanding PIs from all of these specialities and integrate them with one another in three research topics. Within intersectional projects, outstanding experimentalists will work closely with theorists and clinicians on a single, joint question.

Topic A – Setting the goal: How expectation and experience shape behavior

IP1 will focus on the integration of threat states into the economic decisions of reward approach and -avoidance. PIs: D. Bach, H. Beck, J. Gall, J. Gründemann, I. Grunwald Kadow, J. Kerr, A. Koseska, P. Malkemper, F. Mormann, M. Schwarz, T. Rose, T. Tchumatchenko

IP2 will explore the role of internal states, i.e., hunger and satiation, and of neuromodulation in foraging decisions and goal-directed behavior. PIs: S. Blaess, I. Grunwald Kadow, S. Krabbe, J. Lightfoot, F. Mormann, S. Musall, M. Nawrot, M. Scholz, J. Seelig, T. Tchumatchenko

IP3 will address how goal-directed behavior is shaped by incoming sensory information interacting with expectations derived from memory. PIs: M. Fuhrmann, C. Henneberger, B. Kampa, R. Memmesheimer, S. Poll, M. Spehr, G. Tavosanis.

Topic B –Achieving the goal: Adaptive motor behavior 

IP4 will address how movement initiation is controlled by the brain and in the spinal cord/ventral nerve cord. PIs: K. Briggman, G. Gatto, K. Ito, J. Kerr, R.M. Memmesheimer, M. Nawrot, M. Pankratz, B. Schnell

IP5 focuses on the dynamic interaction of brain, spinal and sensory microcircuits needed to drive multi-joint coordination. PIs: F. Bradke, A. Büschges, G. Gatto, R.M. Memmesheimer, D. Schmucker

Topic C – Neurological and psychiatric disorders: Regaining the goal 

In this project area, we will use computational ethology approaches to understand common neurological and psychiatric disorders, using parallel approaches in animal models and patients. In IP6, results from IP4 and 5 will be leveraged to better understand motor dysfunction in two common neurological disorders spinocerebellar ataxia and Parkinson’s disease. PIs: F. Bradke, A. Büschges, J. Faber, G.R. Fink, M. Sommerauer, G. Gatto, R.M. Memmesheimer

In IP7, computational ethology approaches will be applied to pre-seizure and seizure states to uncover key mechanisms that predict the occurrence of seizures, the cardinal symptom of epilepsies. PIs: M. Schwarz, M. Wenzel, F. Mormann, H. Beck, A. Driemel, E. Demidova, J. Gall.

In IP8, the focus lies on detecting new diagnostic behavior modules relevant for frontotemporal  dementia and improving cognition. PIs: D.R. Bach, M. Fuhrmann, J. Gründemann, S. Jonas, S. Poll, A. Schneider

IP9 focuses on understanding the diversity of ADHD using computational ethology approaches, and on dissecting the circuit basis of the key symptoms. PIs: A. Philipsen, N. Braun, D. Isbrandt, D.R. Bach, S. Jonas

Find iBehave team members here:

Intersectional Projects