Optical Imaging Lab

at Ruhr University Bochum

Our research focuses on processing dynamics within the brain.

Specifically, we investigate its capacities for plastic reorganization (i.e., synaptic re-wiring and learning). Using optical imaging techniques combined with modelling, we aim at deciphering the brain‘s computational strategies that lead to perception and behavior. Optical imaging is unique in its capability of capturing the activity of millions of neurons at once using light. In combination with optogenetics (i.e., light stimulation and recordings of specific target neurons and neuronal subnetworks) our approach provides access to both theoretical and experimental questions dealing with the highly dynamic activity patterns ob­served across the brain.

TMS-induced neuronal plasticity enables targeted remodeling of visual cortical maps

The procedure facilitates reorganisation of connections between neurones which could be useful for therapies.

Press release (englishgerman)

Press & Media

Bernstein Newsletter 2018/1

Enhancing brain plasticity through strong magnetic waves

At early stages of cortical processing, specific stimulus characteristics are topographically arranged within so-called feature maps. Yet, these maps are not fixed, but alterable.

Let thoughts shine

Voltage-sensitive dyes let thoughts light researcher examines movement in brain.

How does the brain perceive movements? This question is being studied by PD Dr. Dirk Jancke at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum with a special optical process.

Neuroscience: Darks are conveyed faster than lights

Luminance change creates “motion” through activity waves in the brain RUB scientists publish in The Journal of Neuroscience

RUB scientists have investigated how we perceive movement. They show that contrasts between object and background lead to activity waves in the brain that aid perception.


Jancke D (2017).

Catching the voltage gradient — Asymmetric boost of cortical spread generates motion signals across visual cortex: a brief review with special thanks to Amiram Grinvald.

Neurophoton. 4(3): 031206. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.3.031206.

Spoida K, Eickelbeck D, Karapinar R, Eckhardt T, Mark MD, Jancke D, Ehinger BV, König P, Dalkara D, Herlitze S, Masseck OA (2016).

Melanopsin variants as intrinsic optogenetic On and Off switches for transient versus sustained activation of G protein pathways.

Curr Biol. 26: 1206-1212.

Rekauzke S, Nortmann N, Staadt R, Hock HS, Schöner G, Jancke D (2016).

Temporal asymmetry in dark-bright processing initiates propagating activity across primary visual cortex.

J Neuroscience 36: 1902-1913. doi: 10.1523/NEUROSCI.3235-15.2016 (Open Access)

Publication archive

PD Dr. Dirk Jancke

Institut für Neuroinformatik
Ruhr University Bochum
44780 Bochum

Phone Office: +49(0)234-32-28967
Phone: +49(0)234-32-27845
E-Mail: dirk.jancke@rub.de

Vice Speaker - CRC 874, Board - Research Dept. of Neuroscience, PhD Committee & Study Commission - IGSN, Directorate - INI

The Institut für Neuroinformatik (INI) is a central research unit of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. We aim to understand the fundamental principles through which organisms generate behavior and cognition while linked to their environments.

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