Category Archives: announcements

New Website Feature

Since I am much more active submitting links and articles on Twitter than I am writing my blog, I added a new page to my website.

Under ‘MicroBlog‘ you will now find a list of tweets that include links to interesting stuff that I posted under the hashtag #science. I might have not been too strict in adding that hashtag in the past, so I might have lost a tweet here and there.

European Neuroscience – and its Discontents – at the 2014 FENS Forum | Neuroscience Community


I travelled ones around the globe visiting Germany, Italy and Japan.

In Italy I visited FENSforum, the biannual meeting of the Federations of European Neuroscience Societies.

I was then asked to write a report on it for the new community site of PLOS:

European Neuroscience – and its Discontents – at the 2014 FENS Forum | Neuroscience Community.

My first Preprint Server Submission

This weekend I happily completed a manuscript describing my recent postdoctoral work. We took the opportunity to try a further step into what hopefully will be the future of publishing. So, next to submitting the manuscript to a well-known, peer-reviewed neuroscience journal, I made a version for bioRxiv. This is a preprint server that is supposed to be a biology version of the aRxiv which is a well-known resource for papers and other material on physics, math and related topics. The bioRxiv is run by the institution I work at, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The idea is to put out your work before it is being peer-reviewed by a journal and instead allow anybody to comment on it. The submission process is simple and it doesn’t cost a dime. It just takes a (short) while for someone to double check that the content you uploaded is actual science. My paper was released not even 24h after I submitted it.

Of course you need to be careful when deciding to put your work out there. If, for example, you are in a highly competitive field and only the peer-reviewed publications in certain journals are accepted by your peers as ‘proper publication’, you might not necessarily want to release your work this way. But I don’t consider my work to be that critical. 😉
Further, if you want to submit the same version of your manuscript to a journal, you might want to first check whether the journal allows it. On their website, bioRxiv links to some resources on this topic. Again, the specific journal I submitted the manuscript to is fine with it.

So, please read and comment on it if you so very much please. I am curious what effect this – for biologists new – way of handling scientific output will have on each of us!

The topic of my work is the impact of noradrenalin on odor learning in mice. And if you are interested in more work from the lab I am at, my adviser also submitted another manuscript earlier this week which compares the activity in neurons that process odor information in anesthetized and awake animals. This work was already accepted for publication in a quite prestigious journal.

I am quite excited!

Deleted Users


I deleted all users from the forum. If you had a real account, I apologize, but it looked like there were only spam accounts (~250).

I installed a plug in that is supposed to prevent spam registrations. Hopefully this works.


Users deleted and comments closed


due to the high spam rate I was forced to delete all registered users and close comments. Until I found out how to block spammers automatically, commenting will be open for only 5 days after a post was published.

Feel free to send comments through the contact form and I will post them for you.


update 8/8/2013 – I installed an anti-spam plugIn and hope this will solve the problem. Comments are back to being open for 21 days after the article was posted.

Not even started and already late…

I guess by announcing my plans for the blog I did a common beginner’s mistake. I am whelmed with other work right now (for a change mainly public outreach, publications, networking etc) and hope I get back to the blogging idea in a month or so.

For now I would ask you to follow me on twitter (@DennisEckmeier) or use the RSS feed for announcements of new blog posts… if still interested, that is.

Survey: The Ultimate Goal of Neuroscience

I am planning a blog post on what the Ultimate Goal of Neuroscience is. I would like to make a survey first, to hear from all you neuroscientists out there, what you think, is the big goal of neuroscience. I will present the results in this blog and write a commentary on it.

The question is: “Given unlimited ressources (infinite time – yes immortatlity, people, money, technology, everything), what would be the ultimate goal or ultimate application that would crown your neuroscientific work?”

Please write your brief(!) answer in the comments below, or twitter (don’t forget to adress me: @DennisEckmeier)! Please be creative! ‘Duh, everything.’ does not count! And spread the word!

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Starting to Fire Spikes in Bursts

Since you found your way to this blog, you probably know, who I am and what I do. If this is not the case, just feel free to roam my website. It gives you a pretty complete overview over my professional life.

I wrote my first blog entries in 2011. I used a weird pseudonym to write about topics I encountered at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (sfn). It was quite some work. Probably in part due to the fact that I am not a native English speaker. Also, hardly anybody read it. So I stopped blogging for then. However, recently – well, since I started participating on Twitter, actually – I was confronted the overall idea, that scientists should be blogging. There are a hundred good reasons to do so.

There are in fact, many topics I would like to express my opinions about or simply inform people. I will get started by revisiting my old blog posts and write about neuroscience topics. I also want to write about my PhD topic, which actually still fascinates me. From there, we will see how things go.

My goal is to make my posts informative and entertaining.

I really hope, you will enjoy my site! 🙂