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Susanne Schreiber

Bernstein Award for Computational Neuroscience, 2008

"From single neurons to neural networks: uncovering computational principles based on intrinsic neuronal properties"

Biological behavior emerges from the coordinated activity of neurons. For the functioning of the nervous system both the architecture of the local network as well as the unique intrinsic properties of the cells comprising the network are important. The intrinsic properties are largely shaped by the dynamics of ion channels and determine how a cell translates input signals into responses consisting of electrical pulses. It can therefore be assumed that mechanisms arising from ion-channel dynamics are critical for neural information processing.

The project aims to investigate the influence of these cellular dynamics on neural computation. To that end, mathematical simulations of neuronal responses will be combined with electrophysiological recordings in the entorhinal cortex and the hippocampus of rats. Neural computation will be analyzed from the level of ion channels and the single neuron to the level of neural networks.  The results of this project will contribute to a better understanding of neural information processing. In the long term, linking specic ion channel dynamics to pathological network behavior promises deeper insight into mechanisms of neural diseases, such as epilepsy.

Portrait of Susanne Schreiber