March 11, 2016

Young Scientist Award

Bonhoeffer Lab Member Fiona Müllner was presented with the Young Scientist Award for her Neuron publication in 2015.

June 09, 2016

Stable perception in the adult Brain

The adult brain has learned to calculate an image of its environment from sensory information. If the input signals change, however, even the adult brain is able to adapt − and, ideally, to return to its original activity patterns once the perturbation has ceased. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have now shown in mice that this ability is due to the properties of individual neurons. Their findings demonstrate that individual cells adjust strongly to changes in the environment but after the environment returns to its original state it is again the individual neurons which reassume their initial response properties. This could explain why despite substantial plasticity the perception in the adult brain is rather stable and why the brain does not have to continuously relearn everything.

July 19, 2016

Neurons form synapse clusters

The cerebral cortex resembles a vast switchboard. Countless lines carrying information about the environment, for example from the sensory organs, converge in the cerebral cortex. In order to direct the flow of data into meaningful pathways, the individual pyramidal cells of the cerebral cortex act like miniature switchboard operators. Each cell receives information from several thousand lines. If the signals make sense, the line is opened, and the information is relayed onward. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have now shown for the first time that contact points between specific neuron types are clustered in groups on the target neuron. It is probable that signals are coordinated with each other in this way to make them more “convincing”.

September 21, 2016

Tobias Bonhoeffer appointed scientific advisor of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

In December 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced their plan to put 99% percent of their Facebook shares, worth about 45 billion dollars, into a new project focusing on the improvement of human potential and the promotion of equality. After an initial focus on education, the initiative has now announced its second focal point: the promotion of basic science research with the goal of curing, preventing or managing all disease by the end of this century. This new project, led by neuroscientist Cori Bargmann, was announced in San Francisco yesterday. In addition to the President, the two founders also introduced the scientists who will help build this initiative in the future. The panel of experts also includes one German researcher: Tobias Bonhoeffer, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Neubiology.

October 26, 2016

New Neurons for the Brain

When it comes to recovering from insult, the adult human brain has very little ability to compensate for nerve-cell loss. Biomedical researchers and clinicians are therefore exploring the possibility of using transplanted nerve cells to replace neurons that have been irreparably damaged as a result of trauma or disease. However, it is not clear whether transplanted neurons can be integrated sufficiently, to result in restored function of the lesioned network. Now researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have demonstrated that, in mice, transplanted embryonic nerve cells can indeed be incorporated into an existing network and correctly carry out the tasks of damaged cells originally found in that region.

April 28, 2017

Young Scientist Award

Bonhoeffer Lab Member Tobias Rose was presented with the Young Scientist Award for his Science publication in 2016.

November 13, 2017

Thalamus helps with Learning

The cerebral cortex is where we learn and think, form impressions of our environment, control conscious behaviour, and store memories. According to the textbooks, the upstream regions of the brain like the thalamus only contribute to these processes by forwarding information from the sensory organs to the corresponding regions of the cerebral cortex and filtering the information, if necessary. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have now shown that the textbook account will have to be revised in part. In the mouse brain, at least, the thalamus appears to play a considerably more active role in visual processing in the context of learning than was previously assumed.

January 8, 2018

"The Science Bridge"

The paper "Building Bridges through Sciences" was published by "The Science Bridge" initiative.

April 28, 2018

Young Scientist Award

Bonhoeffer Lab Alumna Susanne Falkner was presented with the Young Scientist Award for her Nature publication in 2016.

April 30, 2020

Tobias Bonhoeffer becomes a member of the National Academy of Sciences

Tobias Bonhoeffer, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, was elected as member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. The Academy, founded in 1863, provides advice to the US government on matters of science and technology. The election as a NAS member is considered one of the highest recognitions that a scientist can receive.

April 21, 2021

Simplifying our world: Mice master complex thinking with a remarkable capacity for abstraction

Categorization is the brain’s tool to organize nearly everything we encounter in our daily lives. Grouping information into categories simplifies our complex world and helps us to react quickly and effectively to new experiences. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have now shown that also mice categorize surprisingly well. The researchers identified neurons encoding learned categories and thereby demonstrated how abstract information is represented at the neuronal level.

January 1, 2022

New Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence

The Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology will merge to form a new institute as of January 1st, 2022.

Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology

Am Klopferspitz 18
82152 Munich-Martinsried