In July I participated in the German science web video contest “Fast Forward Science”. In this video I explain the concept of the “brain changes” that people keep talking about in the headlines: brain states, and neuroplasticity.
The video is in German, but you can switch on English subtitles.
P.S. Unfortunately the video did not make it into the second round 🙁
When mice learn the identity of other mice, they memorize their smell. Based on findings from another lab my adviser had shown that stimulating the release of noradrenalin causes plastic changes in the Main Olfactory Bulb. I used fluorescent imaging to show that such changes already appear at the first synapse that connects the olfactory sensory neurons to the rest of the brain.
Zebra finches have a problem: their eyes are too close together for good depth perception through stereovision. The distance up to which you can estimate depth from stereovision depends on the difference between the images from the two eyes. The closer together the eyes are, the more similar the images, the shorter the range in which stereovision works for you.
For my undergraduate thesis in 2005, I studied the Oriental Firebellied Toad, Bombina orientalis. Males come around a pond to call for females, and females choose their favorite caller and move towards it. To make this possible, males have evolved a strategy to avoid calling simultaneously, which I reproduced in the lab.
In this video, I give a quick run-down of my career and research. It is the first part of four that I am making out of footage taken during my life AMA on the Instagram account of The Addictive Brain. I hope you enjoy it!