I joined the Jösch group at IST Austria as a Postdoc in October 2017 following the completion of my Ph.D. at the TU Munich. I am investigating how neuronal networks detect important (“salient”) objects in cluttered sensory environments and subsequently shape appropriate oriented behavior. I am studying this fundamental yet complex process in the mouse model system, on a midbrain area named “superior colliculus”. To gain a mechanistic understanding of how neural circuits transform visual stimuli into salience and finally behavior, I am using a specialized microscopic technique – multiphoton calcium imaging. The technique allows observing communication signals of up to thousands of neurons at the same time, while the animal can actively interact with a virtual environment. In cooperation with colleagues focusing on computational neuroscience, we want to build our understanding of the functional circuit on solid theoretical foundations. Combining a high degree of control over the sensory input with rigorous behavioral measurements as well as parallel readout and analysis of large neuronal populations gives us a unique opportunity to disentangle sensory, internal and behavioral processes in the mammalian brain.
Example video of neuronal activity
Activity of a neuronal population