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 Systems Physiology of Learning

 AG Functional anatomy and plasticity of auditory cortex

Principal investigators: Eike Budinger (Ph.D.)
Ph.D. students: Julia Henschke, Katja Saldeitis
Technical assistants: Anja Gürke, Janet Stallmann

Research field:

One of the basic problems in neuroscience is the relationship between the structure and function of the brain. In course of this project, we study this issue using the mammalian auditory system, and in particular its highest level - the auditory cortex -, as the model.

Generally, we investigate (i) the cyto-, fiber-, and chemoarchitecture of this brain region, using several standard histochemical as well as sensitive immunological staining methods, and (ii) the intrinsic and extrinsic connections of the auditory cortical fields and their functional domains by means of anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques. We combine these anatomical techniques with electrophysiological, pharmacological, behavioral, lesion and imaging methods in order to disentangle the structure-function-relationships of the auditory cortex in several mammalian species.

Currently we work on:

  • hemispheric asymmetries of the auditory cortex at cellular, columnar, laminar and areal Levels (Eike Budinger)
  • the functional anatomical organization of the auditory thalamo-cortico-thalamic system (Katja Saldeitis)
  • anatomical and functional interactions between the auditory cortex and other sensory and non-sensory brain areas (Julia Henschke)

Projects:

Experimental species are:

  • Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)
  • rats (Rattus norwegicus)
  • house mouse (Mus musculus), transgenic mice
  • long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

The most frequently applied methods are:

  • histological and immunochemical staining methods
  • anterograde and retrograde tract tracing
  • light, fluorescence, laserscan, and electron microscopy
  • electrophysiological recordings
  • intracellular and juxtacellular cell staining
  • laser-induced apoptosis of projection neurons

Collaborators within the LIN:

Dept. Auditory Learning and Speech
Dept. Behavioural Neurology
Dept. Neurochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dept. Systems Physiology

Research Group Neuroplasticity
Research Group Neuralomics

Special Lab. Informatics
Special Lab. Laserscan- and Electronmicroscopy
Special Lab. Molecular Biological Techniques
Special Lab. Noninvasive Brain Imaging
Special Lab. Primate Neurobiology

Collaborators outside the LIN:

University of Erlangen // Otolaryngology / Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Magdeburg // Biochemistry / Biology / Microbiology / Neurology / Psychology
University of Munich // Neuroscience

Support:

BMBF, CBBS, DAAD, DFG (SFB TRR31), LSA, WGL

Key publications:

Link to PubMed

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