Klausurnachbesprechung "Linkes Hirn - Rechtes Hirn" und "Motivation & Volition"
Am Freitag den 14. März besteht um 10:00 Uhr s.t. die Möglichkeit zur Klausureinsicht für die Klausuren "Linkes Hirn - Rechtes Hirn" und "Motivation & Volition" im Biopsychologie-Seminarraum (GAFO 05/425).
Studierende, die Einsicht in die Klausur erhalten möchten, schicken bitte eine E-mail mit Namen und Matrikelnummer an: email@example.com
Klausureinsicht Grundlagen der Neuro- und Sinnesphysiologie, erster Termin
Am Mittwoch, den 12.03.2014, besteht zwischen 11 - 13 Uhr die Möglichkeit zur Klausureinsicht für die Klausur "Grundlagen der Neuro- und Sinnesphysiologie" im Biopsychologie-Seminarraum (GAFO 05/425).
Studenten, die Einsicht in ihre Klausur erhalten möchten, schicken bitte eine E-mail mit Namen und Matrikelnummer an: Tagrid.Yousef@rub.de
Eine Teilnahme ist nur mit vorheriger Anmeldung möglich.
Fakultät für Psychologie
Phone: +49 - 234 - 32 - 28213
Fax: +49 - 234 - 32 - 14377
News & Views
Variable Evolution of Variability
Whenever we perform a movement repeatedly, we never do it exactly the same way. There is always variability. This variability in the motor output is often viewed as noise in the system. In contrast, recent findings show that variability is more than that. Motor variability plays an important role for learning of new skills and is actively produced and regulated. Part of these findings stem from research on song birds like zebra finches. During song learning – a motor skill similar to human speech – a specialized forebrain area termed lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN) conveys variability into the motor output. Interestingly, pigeons as non-song birds possess a brain region that is possibly homologous to LMAN. This region is named nidopallium intermedium medialis pars laterale (NIML). Researchers of the Biopsychology lab together with theoretical neuroscientist from the University of Bremen have devised an experiment to test the role of NIML for behavioral variability. Pigeons learned to find hidden targets that were randomly placed at different locations on a touch screen. The researchers’ results show that their experiment induces highly variably pecking behavior. However, transient pharmacological inactivation of NIML did not result in reduction of variability. Hence, the researchers argue that in contrast to LMAN the pigeon’s NIML is not associated with behavioral variability. Together with previous findings this result suggests that LMAN’s role for variability generation in song bird is an adaptation to the special demands of song that evolved from old motor pathways of a common ancestor of recent birds. In contrast, this adaptation was not necessary in the motor system of pigeons or alternatively was lost during evolution.
News & Views
Christian Beste becomes a Professor for Cognitive Neurophysiology
We all know Christian; this rare mixture of relaxed habits, boyish charm and highest profile research. He was the boss of an Emmy Noether group in the Biopsychology lab, churning out more than 40 top papers and acquiring close to 2 million euros in the few years he was leading his small research crowd. It was clear that he wouldn’t stay for long in Bochum. Not because he didn’t liked it here (in fact, he liked it a lot) but because a young scientist with such a tremendous success rate usually becomes a professor somewhere after a short while. Now this happened. Christian became a Professor for Clinical Neurophysiology at the University Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the Technical University Dresden. The amount of start-up, infrastructure, and personnel he got is truly remarkable. But hey, he’s worth it! Good luck Christian!! We will miss you a lot.
News & Views
PhD Thesis – Felix Ströckens
On Friday the 29th of November 2013 Felix Ströckens defended his PhD thesis entitled „Evolutionary and ontogenetic processes of neuronal lateralization in vertebrates”. The title already demonstrates the wide angle of research and insight that Felix is commanding. With his experiments and analyses Felix shows that brain asymmetries have a very old past and can emerge with subtle molecular left-right differences. Most astonishingly, Felix also shows that different anatomical asymmetries can produce nearly identical lateralized behavior. In his defense Felix stood the ground, despite partly inquisitorial questions. What an impressive performance! Therefore, the committee unanimously decided to award him the title Dr. rer. nat. Congratulations Felix! We are proud of you.
News & Views
Oxytocin: the monogamy hormone?
Love really does change your brain. Monogamous prairie voles are known to have higher levels of oxytocin receptors than promiscuous montane voles. However, if the latter are dosed with oxytocin, they adopt the monogamous behavior of their prairie cousins. Therefore, oxytocin seems to have an important role in social bonding. But now, researchers from the University Clinic in Bonn, the University of Chengdu in China, and Biopsychologists from Bochum have performed a new experiment that suggests oxytocin stimulates the reward center in the male brain, increasing partner attractiveness and strengthening monogamy. Their study included 40 young men, all of whom had been in a relationship for at least six months and reported being passionately in love with their partners. While in a brain scanner, they either inhaled oxytocin or placebo via nasal spray while they viewed pictures of either their partners, women they knew but were not dating or women they had never met. The pictures were matched so that comparison women had been rated by independent observers as being equally attractive as the partners. In the men who were given oxytocin, the reward system (ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens) lit up when they saw pictures of the women they loved — but not when they looked at strangers. Some of these regions were also activated by the images of the women the men knew, but not as strongly as by the pictures of their loved ones, suggesting that it made their partners more desirable. In other words, familiarity is not enough to prompt the bonding effect of oxytocin. They must be loving couples. These results suggest that oxytocin could contribute to romantic bonds in men by enhancing their partner’s attractiveness and reward value compared with other women.
Scheele, D., Wille, A., Kendrick, K.M., Stoffel-Wagner, B., Becker, B., Güntürkün, O., Maier, W., Hurlemann, R. (2013). Oxytocin enhances brain reward system responses in men viewing the face of their female partner: Proc. Natl. Soc. Sci. USA, 110: 20308-201313.
News & Views
The Neurochemistry of Aggression
People in Germany eat more than 500 million chickens every year. The living conditions of these animals are partly abysmal. Aberrant behavior occurs often and among them severe feather pecking (SFP) cause’s major problems. SFP results in loss of feathers, skin damage and cannibalism. Now, a group of Animal Scientists from the Netherlands and Biopsychologists from Bochum studied the neurochemistry of aggression in two consecutive publications. They demonstrated that chickens with a lower tendency for SFP were less anxious and had lower levels of dopamine and serotonin turnover in somatomotor areas of the forebrain. In addition, they demonstrated that brain monoamine levels in brain areas that are involved in emotional behavior or are part of the basal ganglia-thalamopallial circuit are different in SFP-birds after a short stress period. In summary, these findings indicate that especially serotonergic neurotransmission in the dorsal thalamus, somatomotor forebrain, and striatum of hens depends on differences in behavioral feather pecking phenotype. These data show that stressful living conditions alter the serotonergic system in some individuals, leading to higher levels of anxiety and aggression.
Kops, M.S., de Haas, E. N., Rodenburg, T. B., Ellend, E. D., Korte-Bouws, G. A. H., Olivier, B., Güntürkün, O., Korte, S.M., Bolhuis, J. E. (2013). Selection for low mortality in laying hens affects catecholamine levels in the arcopallium, a brain area involved in fear and motor regulation: Behav. Brain Res., 257: 54-61
Kops, M.S., de Haas, E.N., Rodenburg, T.B., Ellend, E.D., Korte-Bouws, G.A.H., Olivier, B., Güntürkün, O., Bolhuis, J. E., Korte, E.M. (2013). Effects of feather pecking phenotype (severe feather peckers, victims and non-peckers) on serotonergic and dopaminergic activity in four brain areas of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus): Physiol. Behav., 120: 77-82