Modelling perceptual deficits in neurological and psychiatric disorders

Project Description

Over the last decades a large amount of cellular/molecular level abnormalities have been identified in the brain of patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia). However, this neurobiological knowledge has not translated into effective medical treatments. This is mainly due to the fact that we cannot convincingly link these abnormalities to behavioural/sensory deficits or symptoms. Computational modelling is a powerful tool to bridge this gap.

Typical neuronal network

We build computational models of sensory information processing in the human brain and its impairments in disorders. The detailed nature of these allows for an incorporation of cellular/molecular level abnormalities as found in patients and, therefore, enables us to investigate the underlying neuronal mechanisms. Furthermore, these computational models can be used to develop and test possible medical treatments.

We focus on two sensory phenomena: centre-surround suppression (i.e. the mutual inhibition of a central stimulus and its surround) and oscillatory activity (i.e. organised rhythmic behaviour of populations of neurons).

Centre Surround Suppression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NCRF_redone.png)

Collaborations

Furthermore, we are actively involved in the collaborative development and sharing of computational models of neural systems (see www.opensourcebrain.org), where we serve as contributors and scientific coordinators on the following projects:

Publications

Contact Person

Former project members
  • Christoph Metzner

2014

Christoph Metzner, Coding in the olfactory system: linking realistic and abstract models, in: Flavour, pages P10, 2014
[Bib|RIS]

2013

Christoph Metzner, Achim Schweikard and B. Zurowski, Center-Surround Interactions in a Network Model of Layer 4Cα of Primary Visual Cortex, in: BMC Neuroscience, 2013
[Bib|RIS]
B. Zurowski, F. Hamm, Christoph Metzner, H. Scholand-Engler, A. Wells and F. Hohagen, Cortical levels of GABA in patients with panic disorder are associated with the strength of metacognitive beliefs, in: Proceedings of 2nd International Conference of Metacognitive Therapy, 2013
[Bib|RIS]

2012

Christoph Metzner, Fabian Guth, Achim Schweikard and B. Zurowski, Spike-timing Dependent Plasticity Facilitates Excitatory/Inhibitory Disbalances in Early Phases of Tinnitus Manifestation, in: BMC Neuroscience, 2012
[Bib|RIS]

2011

Christoph Metzner, M. Menzinger, Achim Schweikard and B. Zurowski, Early Signs of Tinnitus in a Simulation of the Mammalian Primary Auditory Cortex, in: BMC Neuroscience, pages P383, 2011
[Bib|RIS]
Christoph Metzner, Achim Schweikard and B. Zurowski, Neurochemical Mechanisms of Perceptual Deficits in Schizophrenic Patients – A Spiking Neural Network Approach, in: Front. Comput. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: BC11 : Computational Neuroscience & Neurotechnology Bernstein Conference & Neurex Annual Meeting, 2011
[Bib|RIS]
Christoph Metzner, Achim Schweikard and B. Zurowski, Towards Realistic Receptive Field Properties in a Biologically Inspired Spiking Network Model of the Mammalian Primary Visual Cortex, in: Front. Comput. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: BC11 : Computational Neuroscience & Neurotechnology Bernstein Conference & Neurex Annual Meeting, 2011
[Bib|RIS]

2010

Christoph Metzner, Achim Schweikard and B. Zurowski, Context Integration in Visual Processing: A Computational Model of Center-Surround Suppression in the Visual System, in: BMC Neuroscience, pages P100, 2010
[Bib|RIS]