Social interaction is commonplace in a vast number of species, forming the basis for mating and selection. Vocal communication is often an important part in social interaction. In rodents, the most common laboratory animal in neuroscience, vocal communication is hard to study because many vocalizations are ultrasonic, and it is hard to assign each vocalization to one of the interaction partners. Dr. Bernhard Englitz and his lab developed a novel sound localization system which achieves a landmark improvement of accuracy, down to just a few millimetres.
Lisa Genzel is joining the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence, a dynamic and prestigious network of 30 outstanding early to mid-career European neuroscientists. The network was established in 2014 through a collaboration by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and The Kavli Foundation. The network aims to improve Neuroscience in Europe and beyond through scientific exchange, providing opportunities for young scientists, and facilitating dialogue between scientists, policymakers, and society.
The NWO has awarded funding to OtoControl-2.0, led by John van Opstal, under the Open Technology Programme. OtoControl-2.0 is one of seven projects selected to receive a total funding of 5.4 million Euros from NWO, and an additional 1.4 million Euros from investing organizations. The primary objective of this project is to develop improved algorithms for cochlear implants.
Uta Noppeney has won an ERC Advanced Grant for her project entitled ‘Making Sense of the Senses: causal inference in a complex dynamic multisensory world’. Within this interdisciplinary project, Noppeney and her colleagues combine behavioural, computational and neuroscience research to determine how and how well our brains convert the daily crossfire of signals into a coherent picture of the world.
Cracking the Synaptic Memory Code Anne-Sophie Hafner, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourSynapses play an important role in long-term information storage in the brain. They are highly dynamic: in the adult mouse brain, it takes a few days for dendritic spines to be replaced. Similarly at the molecular level, most synaptic proteins have half-lives in the order of a week, meaning they constantly need to be replaced by freshly produced ones. Understanding how long-term memory can arise from unstable elements is one of today’s great neuroscience challenges.Anne-Sophie Hafner discovered that most synapses produce their own proteins locally. She will combine multiple research methods to unravel how local production of new proteins contributes to information storage at synapses. Such a fundamental understanding of brain function is needed to provide new avenues of defense against neurodegenerative diseases.
RNA Sequencing of the neuromuscular junction to evaluate the role of skeletal muscle gene expression in FUS-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequent adult-onset motor neurodegenerative disease, resulting in paralysis and death due to respiratory failure. ALS is an incurable disease, with only two FDA-approved drugs which only marginally extend survival without affecting disease progression. In order to develop future therapeutic approaches that could block the onset or the progression of ALS we must identify the molecular derailments leading to the pathology. In the project, we will investigate the role of skeletal muscle in the pathogenesis of ALS and by using cutting-edge subcellular RNA sequencing approaches, identify potential therapeutic targets in this tissue. The project will resolve an ongoing debate in the field: does skeletal muscle contribute to ALS pathogenesis? Main applicant: Anne WienandResearch institutes involved: DCN, RIMLS