Research Overview

Our main research interest focuses on a better insight into how neuronal networks support cognitive control in both health and disease. How do we make decisions and how do the outcome and interpretation thereof affect our future goals, contextual interpretations, and decisions? Our aim is to improve the neurobiological understanding of those processes and develop better model systems for stringent and efficient testing of potential rescue options of psychiatric disorders.

With colleagues and collaborators, we pursue an integrated approach by applying novel and state-of-the-art techniques to solve the scientific questions underlying psychiatric maladaptation of our brains. Our techniques involve Head-fixed and freely moving in-vivo Electrophysiology & Behaviour, Optogenetics, Genetic Model Lines, RNA-analysis, Immunohistochemistry, Behavioural testing combined with advanced statistical modelling, machine learning and Deep-learning assisted analysis.

A glimpse into some of our current ongoing research projects

Digital Neuroscience Education

Ebrains2.0 will further the development and provision of the digital neuroscience infrastructure’s research technologies to the scientific community. It aims to establish a new standard for brain atlases, gather and connect multimodal neuroscientific and clinical data, and push forward the development of digital twin approaches. 

The project involves 59 partner institutions from 16 European countries. It is coordinated by the EBRAINS AISBL, a non-profit organisation founded in Brussels during the Human Brain Project, and started in January 2024.

Prefrontal - Striatal Communication

In this FWF funded project we explore how the Prefrontal Cortex communicates with the Striatum on a function level for value guided decision-making. While we have a good understanding of the anatomical connections between both heavily interconnected structures, we lack critical information on what information the prefrontal cortex forwards to drive striatal processing for optimal decision-making.

New Tools and Tasks for Translational Psychiatry

A critical barrier for new innovative therapies against mental illnesses is grounded in our lack of translational success from preclinical to clinical research. We believe preclinical research has tremendous potential to improve its accuracy of linking cause and effects on a systemic and behavioral level. For this reason we develop a number of open-source tools and translational tasks that utilize state-of-the art concepts, models and ML principles to provide new impulses for translational psychiatry research.