Optical Imaging Lab

@ Ruhr University Bochum

Our research focuses on processing dynamics within the brain

We investigate the brain's capacities for plastic reorganization and learning. We use optical imaging techniques combined with modelling to decipher computational strategies of neural networks leading to perception and behavior. Optical imaging is unique in its capability of capturing 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 theoretical and experimental questions dealing with the highly dynamic activity patterns across the brain.

How serotonin balances internal brain activity and external visual input

By combining state-of-the-art optogenetics, wide-field optical imaging, electrophysiology and pharmacological manipulations in vivo, we show that serotonergic neurons modulate both spontaneous and visually evoked responses by two separable cellular mechanisms. This study highlights an important, yet less examined role of serotonin in sensory processing.

Press release, Pressemitteilung (english, deutsch)

Published online in eLife

Press & Media

Bernstein Newsletter

Press Release - 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.


link to publication (open access)

Let thoughts shine

Voltage imaging reveals how motion is represented in the 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 imaging approach.

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.

Selected Publications

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.

Vladislav Kozyrev, Robert Staadt, Ulf T. Eysel, Dirk Jancke (2018).

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

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115: 6476-6481. (open access)

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)

All Peer-reviewed Publications

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 Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 874
  • Board - Research Dept. of Neuroscience (RDN) Ruhr University Bochum
  • PhD Committee & Study Commission - International Graduate School of Neuroscience (IGSN)
  • International School of Biosciences, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology
  • Directorate - Institute of Neural Computation (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.

Read more about INI