Neuronal organization in brain areas possibly involved in animal cognition
Germany (bvmd) - Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet, Heidelberg
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, D-60129 Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. med. A. Kirsch
Dr. med. H.-P. Koest, guest scientist
8 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
According to Koch et al. (2016), the anatomical neural correlates of consciousness are primarily localized to a posterior cortical hot zone that includes sensory areas, rather than to a fronto-parietal network involved in task monitoring and reporting. It thus seems important to gain further knowledge by a more specific characterization of these areas using available animal brain specimen. In this project we are going to use this specimen in order to apply different methods and techniques mentioned below in order to learn more about neuronal reorganisation in recognition processes.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to find a specific organization principle in brain regions possibly representing the anatomic substrate for animal cognition.
What techniques and methods are used?
Techniques: preparation of microscopic slides from animal brain specimen: cutting, staining by applying different staining techniques (plain dye stain, different immunostains, silver stain, microscopy, recording of pictures, evaluation, building of different models; if there will be sufficient time: cell culture of eg. rat hippocampus neurons with subsequent evaluation.
What is the role of the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be responsible for his/her lab notebook notes on his/ her own. He/she will do literature reviews and will write a scientific report about the search. Under supervision: any practical lab work: preparation of buffers and solutions based on concentrations, “chemical” calculations (molarities etc.), analytical working, use of all sorts of lab instruments (eg. spectrophotometer), electrophoresis, determination of pH- values, workup of specimen material, cutting, preparation of microscopic slides, staining, microscopy, building of molecular models, characterization of types of neurons, statistics.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
yes: Regular weekly Progress Report, readings of scientific background of work in progress, scientific writing, molecular modeling, use of diverse computer programs: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and others
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
The student should be interested in practical lab work. Computer knowledge preferred. Practical lab experience preferred A conference call or Email exchange beforehand would be nice
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
No pregnancy because of labwork required
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Students in biomedical fields
- Koch C et al; Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17; May 2016 307-321: Neural correlates of consciousness; progress and problems