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The Organisation

The LIN is a member of the Leibniz Association. Research within LIN is dedicated to learning and memory mechanisms and to disorders associated with these brain functions. The research concept is based on the assumption that learning as a psychological construct can be observed exclusively at the organism level, but correlates of learning and memory can be detected and studied at all levels of brain organization. Accordingly, research topics of the LIN include molecular mechanisms of communication between neural cells, morphological and functional plasticity within neuronal networks and the systemic analysis of the brain's cognitive functions. In addition to basic research on these questions, investigations on pathological disturbances of brain functions (in particular during childhood and in the aging brain) as well as neurobiological concepts and their applications for the educational sciences and for engineering are in the focus of interest.

Research at LIN is performed in three research programs: 

  • The research program “Molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuroplasticity and neuromodulation” is focused on the investigation of synapses as central elements for communication between nerve cells, and on signaling processes that contribute to neural plasticity and to the formation of memory traces in small neuronal networks.
  • The program “Learning at the systems level” combines projects to discover the functional architecture of learning relevant brain systems utilizing electrophysiological and imaging techniques combined with behavioral assessment. This program also includes translational aspects of early age learning and education as well as of human-machine interaction.
  • The program “Learning disorders” is dedicated to the investigation of pathomechanisms underlying brain disease. This includes research, e.g., on neural correlates of cognitive functions like perception, attention, memory, or action, and related disorders as well as synaptic dysfunctions (synaptopathies). Furthermore, it aims at the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to combat these disorders. 

The Team

Department of Neurochemistry and Molecular Biology

In the brain neurons communicate via highly specialized contacts called chemical synapses. The flexibility and plasticity of trillions of these synaptic contacts are responsible for the powerful performance of the brain. 

Research in department is aimed at understanding molecular mechanisms of synaptic function and plasticity and how they contribute to memory formation in the brain and its pathological disturbance. 

Major research topics in the department are:

  • Molecular functions and plasticity of the perisynaptic extracellular matrix
  • Molecular organization and functional plasticity of the presynaptic nerve terminal
  • Functional genetics of the synapse in flies, mice and humans
  • Changes of the synaptic proteome during learning and processes of synaptic plasticity

Contact Us

PD Dr. Constanze Seidenbecher
Scientific Management 
Dr. Renato Frischknecht
Group Leader, Dept. Neurochemistry & Molecular Biology
Prof. Eckart D. Gungelfinger
Scientific Director


Page last modified on 05 may 15 16:17