24 November 2009

Berlin Brain Days

9–11 December 2009 Program now available!

Link to conference website
Download Conference Abstract Book (pdf 1,85 mb)

Welcome to the Berlin Brain Days 2009!

The Berlin Brain Days are an activity of doctoral students across several independent Berlin institutions. Initiated in 2005 by faculty and students in Medical Neurosciences (a doctoral school at the Charité), it has subsequently grown year-by-year as the neuroscientific research and training environment has rapidly developed within the city.

The growth in the number and variety of new doctoral programs within Berlin is quite remarkable. Two research training groups (Graduiertenkollegs) of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, on “Learning and Memory” (GRK 1123 – Cellular Mechanisms of Learning and Memory Consolidation in the Hippocampal Formation) and on “Neuroinflammation” (GRK 1258 – The Impact of Inflammation on Nervous System Function), were established in 2005 and 2006. In this time the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience was launching its own comprehensive doctoral program in computational neuroscience. Also in 2006, as part of the Excellence Initiative for German universities, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain was established to foster transdisciplinary research at a doctoral level across the mind and brain sciences. And there have been a second and third acquisition of the Excellence Initiative: the excellence clusters “NeuroCure” and “Languages of Emotion”, both with funding for doctoral programs.

In December 2008, we very successfully joined our forces for the first time. The Berlin Brain Days 2009 are again a common activity of all these programs. Students and faculty alike are highly motivated to learn about the activities of neighboring programs, and the Berlin Brain Days have become an important forum for information exchange.

Berlin has already had a good tradition in fostering common activities in the neurosciences: the Berlin Neuroscience Forum has been organized every other year since 1997 and is a common activity of all programs and collaborative research centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche, Forschergruppen, Graduiertenkollegs, etc.). It regularly attracts over 200 neuroscientists to a small resort outside of Berlin, Liebenwalde.

The success of the Berlin Brain Days inspired a previous keynote speaker from Japan to solicit a similar activity in Fukuoka. Last year, Professor Mami Noda joined Berlin Brain Days with a group of her students from Japan, and this year she organized the first Kyushu Brain Days – and even obtained funds for Berlin students to join in the event. In 2009, we can welcome another interesting group of visitors: the Berlin School of Mind and Brain awarded a women’s travel grant to 20 neuroscience, linguistics and philosophy students from Canada, USA, Israel, France, Britain, Spain, Turkey, and Germany. We welcome them to Berlin and look forward to seeing their research as they too will attend the Berlin Brain Days and present posters.

It is in our best interest that we join forces, interact closely, and develop Berlin as a hotspot for research across the neurosciences. With this in mind, I am convinced that we will have a very interactive and successful meeting that will result in new collaborations within the Berlin neuroscience research community.

Helmut Kettenmann, Conference Chair

Program (at 12/11/2009)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Venue: Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus, Luisenstraße 58/59, 10117 Berlin

Opening Address  Helmut Kettenmann
Opening Lecture  Jörg Geiger (Charite, Berlin), Energetics and signal transmission in cortical non-myelinated axons
Chair: Dietmar Schmitz

Thursday, 10 December 2009
Venue: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin-Buch, Conference Center MDC.C, Lecture hall "Axon", Robert-Rössle-Straße 10, 13125 Berlin

09.00−09.05  Introduction: Gary Lewin
Chair: Kerstin Stock (Helmholtz International Research School Molecular Neurobiology)

09.05−10.00  Elly Tanaka (Center for Regenerative Therapies, Dresden), Cellular and Molecular Control of Axolotl Spinal Cord Regeneration
10.05–10.20  Valentina Mosienko (Molecular Biology of Peptide Hormones, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine), Growth retardation, impaired autonomic control, and altered behavior in mice lacking brain serotonin
10.20–10.35  Damir Omerbasic (Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine), Molecular dissection of sensory phenotypes using the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber)

10.35–11.00  Coffee Break

11.00−11.05  Introduction: John-Dylan Haynes
Chair: Vinzenz Schönfelder (Modelling of Cognitive Processes, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin)

11.05−12.00  Andreas Bartels (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen), Colour, Motion, and Natural Vision in the Human Brain
12.05–12.20  Felix Bießmann (Machine Learning Group, Theoretical Computer Science, TU Berlin), Neurovascular coupling dynamics in primary visual cortex during spontaneous activity
12.25−12.40  Thorsten Kahnt (Theory and Analysis of Large-Scale Brain Signals, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin), The neural code of reward anticipation in human orbitofrontal cortex
12.45−13.00  Kerstin Hackmack (Theory and Analysis of Large-Scale Brain Signals, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin), Decoding Multiple Sclerosis from MRI Brain Patterns

13.00(−15.00)  Lunch Break & Coffees
13.45−15.00  Posters (odd numbers)

15.00−15.05  Introduction: Uwe Heinemann
Chair: Gürsel Caliskan (GRK 1123 Cellular Mechanisms of Learning and Memory)

15.05−16.00  Gábor Tamás (University of Szeged), Single cell driven GABAergic volume transmission in cortical circuits
16.05–16.20 Christian Barucker (Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry, FU Berlin), The ß-amyloid peptide (Aß) in processes of learning and memory: a possible role in the nucleus
16.25–16.40  Benjamin Rost (Neuroscience Research Group, NeuroCure, Charité), Mechanisms of presynaptic inhibition by GABAb receptors

Friday, 11 December 2008
Venue: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin-Buch, Conference Center MDC.C, Lecture hall "Axon", Robert-Rössle-Straße 10, 13125 Berlin

9.00−09.05  Introduction: Frank Heppner/Josef Priller
Chair: Stefanie Seifert (GRK 1258 The Impact of Inflammation on Nervous System Function)

09.05−10.00 Thomas Möller (University of Washington), Microglia in Huntington’s Disease – Good, Bad or Something Else Altogether?
10.05–10.20  Gina Dji-In Eom (Neuropathology, Charité, Berlin), Functional assessment of microglia in central nervous system homeostasis using a mouse model allowing selective ablation of microglia
10.25–10.40  Dinah Nockemann (Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care, Charité, Berlin), Characterization of GIRK channels in peripheral sensory neurons of mice and rats

10.45–11.15  Coffee Break

11.15−11.20 Introduction: Ulrich Dirnagl
Chair: Anna Maslarova (International Graduate Program Medical Neurosciences)

11.20−12.15  Wolfgang Kuschinsky (University Heidelberg), Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow: A Story of Increasing Complexity
12.20–12.35  Ana I. Oliveira-Ferreira (Department Experimental Neurology, Charité), Does Endothelin-1 induce cortical spreading depolarization (CSD) via a direct effect on the vasculature?
12.40–12.55 Martina Füchtemeier (Experimental Neurology, Neurologische Klinik, Charité), Influence of Elevated Intracranial Pressure on Neurovascular Coupling

13.00(–15.00)  Lunch Break & Coffees
13.45−15.00  Poster Sessions (even numbers)

15.00−15.05  Introduction: John-Dylan Haynes
Chair: Radoslaw M. Cichy and Holger Gerhardt (Berlin School of Mind and Brain)

15.05−16.00  Nancy Kanwisher (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Feedback of Visual Object Information to Foveal Retinotopic Cortex
16.00–16.15  Holger Gerhardt (Institute of Economic Policy, School of Business and Economics, HU Berlin), How Does Prior Probability Influence Visual Perception?
16.15–16.30  Radoslaw M. Cichy (Theory and Analysis of Large Scale Brain Signals, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience), Decoding the what and where of object exemplars and categories across the hemifields
16.30–16.45  Carsten Bogler (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig), Two modes of perceptual decision making with and without awareness

17.00  Award for “Best Poster”

BBD Party
22.00–until late  Das Edelweiss (Berlin-Kreuzberg, in Görlitzer Park)
Location: Görlitzer Straße 13, 10997 Berlin
Enter the Park at Görlitzer Straße 69 or from the corner of Skalitzer and Görlitzer Straße

22.00  Award for "Best Talk"

Saturday, 12 December 2009
Venue: Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Philippstraße 13, Haus 6, 10115 Berlin

10.00–12.00  Doctoral student meeting with Nany Kanwisher
Contact: Radoslaw M. Cichy