Interdisciplinary Approaches in the Neurosciences: From Mitochondria to Behaviour and Neuromorphic Engineering


12. September 2022

Akademiegebäude am Gendarmenmarkt, Leibniz-Saal, Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin

Understanding the brain remains a fascinating challenge that requires the exchange across many disciplines – from the molecular to behavioural sciences – and also involves computational and engineering approaches. In this scientific symposium we bring together researchers from diverse neuroscientific backgrounds who will share their latest insights into neural processing and engage into a lively interdisciplinary debate.

The symposium also constitutes the final meeting of the research groups in the funding line “Independent Research Groups in the Neurosciences” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, celebrating a highly successful initiative that supported many talented researchers over the course of the past 15 years.

The symposium will enlighten us on the latest techniques for optogenetical manipulation of neural activity (Peter Hegemann), on the mechanisms of insect olfaction (Silke Sachse) as well as on the molecular mechanisms of synaptic memory storage (Susanne Schoch). We will learn about a novel functional correlation between mitochondrial and neural activity (Tim Vogels) and about the mightiness of dinosaur brains compared to that of primates in terms of neuron numbers (Suzana Herculano-Houzel). We will see how fast-moving insects, like flies, determine the direction of visual motion based on computational principles that inspire the research in many other species (Alexander Borst). Finally, we will see how the biophysics of action potentials have a strong say in what neural networks do (Susanne Schreiber) and why biological insights are important for the design of neuromorphic hardware (Elisa Donati), which in the future can be expected to impact more than just the neurological aspects of our lives.

The Symposium will be held in English.

An event of the “Independent research groups in the neurosciences” (BMBF)  in cooperation with the biennial theme 2021|22 “Measuring the Living” .

To register for the symposium please send an e-mail with your contact details (including your work address and home institution) to . Please note ‘Registration Interdisciplinary Symposium’ in the subject line of your mail. Participation is free, yet we ask you to consider your reservation as binding. Registration deadline is September 5th 2022.


09.00  Welcome

  • Andreas Klein (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
  • Susanne Schreiber (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

09.15  Light-control of neuronal networks

  • Peter Hegemann (Member of BBAW, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

10.00  From brain to behaviour: neuronal mechanisms of insect olfaction

  • Silke Sachse (Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena)

10.45  Coffee Break

11.15  Deciphering mechanisms of synaptic memory storage

  • Susanne Schoch (University of Bonn Medical Center)

12.00  On the origin of spontaneous spikes: metabolic homeostasis to save the day

  • Tim Vogels (Institute for Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg)

12.45  Lunch Break

14.30  The surprising neuron numbers of dinosaur brains

  • Suzana Herculano-Houzel (Vanderbilt University, US)

15.15  How fly neurons compute the direction of visual motion

  • Alexander Borst (Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Intelligence, Munich)

16.00  Coffee Break

16.30  The underestimated role of action-potential biophysics for neural networks

  • Susanne Schreiber (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

17.15  Neuromorphic engineering for building humanmachine interfaces

  • Elisa Donati (Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich)

18.00  Closing Remarks

Franziska Urban
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Tel.: +49 (0)30 20370 529 
Jägerstraße 22/23
10117 Berlin
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