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Brain Machine Interfacing – Mutual Interaction Between Brain Activity Detection and Neurotechnology Development

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The mammalian brain controls complex sensory, motor and cognitive abilities by detecting and processing internal and external information in complex neuronal networks. This information is processed in dynamically changing assemblies of neurons on the level of micro- and macrocircuits. Their spatiotemporal ...

The mammalian brain controls complex sensory, motor and cognitive abilities by detecting and processing internal and external information in complex neuronal networks. This information is processed in dynamically changing assemblies of neurons on the level of micro- and macrocircuits. Their spatiotemporal activity patterns during information processing can vary independent on the brain areas and the nature of the information. However, network orchestrations are essential for cognitive processes and the control of behaviour. Indeed, changes in neuronal activity dynamics are a hallmark of behavioural and cognitive deficits. They emerge in correlation to network malfunctions including sensory processing deficits and motor control defects as well as neuropsychiatric disorders such as epilepsy and depression. A fundamental aim in systems neuroscience is therefore to detect network activity patterns, decipher the mechanisms by which sensory processing and cognitive abilities are encoded in active neuronal circuits and link neuron network activity to physiological and cognitive processes. The final goal is to modulate neuronal activity in a controlled manner to cure impaired cognitive behaviour. Recent advances in the development of electrical and optical tools have allowed us to monitor, decipher and to manipulate neuronal network dynamics on the single cell and network level in behaving animals. In particular, closing the loop allowed us to test causal interventions on neuronal network dynamics. They will provide us with information whether models on the dynamics and connectivity of inferred models are correct in vivo. New technologies have been recently designed to finally merge experimental settings in vivo with neurotechnology and analysis/modelling in a highly interdisciplinary manner.

In this research topic we highlight recent new developments on recording and imaging techniques as well as optophysiological and nanotool applications for the detection, deciphering and manipulation of neuronal network dynamics and control of behaviour of animals. We include investigations on the level of healthy animals but also mouse models of neurological diseases. The Research Topic will include studies on ‘only’ technological developments as well as combinations of both ‘experimental work plus new technological developments’.


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