Magdalena Anna Springer
I am interested in investigating the neural circuits that form the olfactory system in arthropods. At first glance, an arthropod brain seems to be rather simple to understand in comparison to a mammalian brain. However, a closer look raises a lot of questions regarding those actually complex and sophisticated brain structures. How are neurons connected with each other to shape behavior? Why is there structural variance in the olfactory pathways of arthropod species and what benefits could those differences have? In order to come closer to answering these questions, I build detailed computational models of the underlying brain structures. By studying the precise connectivity of single neurons and short-term plasticity at the synaptic clefts, my goal is to contribute to the understanding of the basic principles of neural coding that shape decision making and behavior.