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Somatosensory Influence on Vertical Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex - new publication by Glasauer and Straka labs
The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) consists of two components, the rotational VOR (rVOR) elicited by semicircular canal signals and the translational VOR (tVOR) elicited by otolith signals. Given the relevant role of the vertical tVOR in human walking, this study aimed at measuring the time delay of eye movements in relation to whole-body vertical translations in natural standing position. Twenty (13 females and 7 males) healthy, young subjects (mean 25 years) stood upright on a motor-driven platform and were exposed to sinusoidal movements while fixating a LED, positioned at a distance of 50 cm in front of the eyes. The platform motion induced a vertical translation of 2.6 cm that provoked counteracting eye movements similar to self-paced walking. The time differences between platform and eye movements indicated that the subject’s timing of the extraocular motor reaction depended on stimulus frequency and number of repetitions. At low stimulus frequencies (<0.8 Hz) and small numbers of repetitions (<3), eye movements were phase advanced or in synchrony with platform movements. At higher stimulus frequencies or continuous stimulation, eye movements were phase lagged by ∼40 ms. Interestingly, the timing of eye movements depended on the initial platform inclination. Starting with both feet in dorsiflexion, eye movements preceded platform movements by 137 ms, whereas starting with both feet in plantar flexion eye movement precession was only 19 ms. This suggests a remarkable influence of foot proprioceptive signals on the timing of eye movements, indicating that the dynamics of the vertical tVOR is controlled by somatosensory signals.
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SnakeStrike: Low-Cost 3D Motion Capture System - new publication by Kohl and Straka labs
Current neuroethological experiments require sophisticated technologies to precisely quantify the behavior of animals. In many studies, solutions for video recording and subsequent tracking of animal behavior form a major bottleneck. Three-dimensional (3D) tracking systems have been available for a few years but are usually very expensive and rarely include very high-speed cameras; access to these systems for research is limited. Additionally, establishing custom-built software is often time consuming – especially for researchers without high-performance programming and computer vision expertise. Here, we present an open-source software framework that allows researchers to utilize low-cost high-speed cameras in their research for a fraction of the cost of commercial systems. This software handles the recording of synchronized high-speed video from multiple cameras, the offline 3D reconstruction of that video, and a viewer for the triangulated data, all functions previously also available as separate applications. It supports researchers with a performance-optimized suite of functions that encompass the entirety of data collection and decreases processing time for high-speed 3D position tracking on a variety of animals, including snakes. Motion capture in snakes can be particularly demanding since a strike can be as short as 50 ms, literally twice as fast as the blink of an eye. This is too fast for faithful recording by most commercial tracking systems and therefore represents a challenging test to our software for quantification of animal behavior. Therefore, we conducted a case study investigating snake strike speed to showcase the use and integration of the software in an existing experimental setup.
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Oxygen consumption and neuronal activity - new publication by Straka lab
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Open positions for computational neuroscience and machine learning
Senior Research Associate (E14), Postdocs/Data-Scientists (E13), and Graduate Students in the group of Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Jakob Macke
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Valentino Braitenberg Award for Computational Neuroscience - Call for Nominations
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PhD student/postdoc in Sensory and Behavioral Neuroscience
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PhD student position in Cellular Neuroenergetics
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Department Biology II, Division of Neuroscience, PD Dr. Lars Kunz
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Miniscope Workshop Munich, May 22-23 2017
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Waggle dance of the honeybee - new publication by Ai et al.
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Periodic population codes - new publication by Herz et al.
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