Neuroplasticity and Rhythms

Group Members

Prof. Dr. Lisa Marshall, Esther Akinola, Nesa Ahmadi, Zhu Shang, Dr. Ping Chai Koo-Pöggel, Tanja Hausdorf, Aaron Ferdinand, Chiara La Place, Julia Helm, Tobias Hoesel, Tom Hoefer, Charlotte Jeschina, Anh Son Tran, Kathrin Dehn, Franziska Schlarmann, Sarah Hélène Berthé, Diana Campos-Beltrán, Sonat Aksamaz, Janina Mischke.

Research Interests

Our research group "Neuroplasticity and Rhythms" is interested in the interaction between brain electric rhythms and cognition, in particular sleep-associated memory processes. We have focused mostly on macroscopic brain rhythms such the sleep slow oscillation, sleep spindles and also theta activity in the EEG in humans and rodents, and their contribution to memory consolidation, learning and working memory. An important aspect of our research is to develop and use behavioral protocols which are closely comparable between humans and rodents.

The interaction between brain electric activity and behavior is bi-directional we investigate both the impact of manipulating brain rhythms (via weak electric currents/fields, optogenetics, sensory stimulation or pharmacologically) on cognitive activity, as well as the effect of cognitive events on the expression of oscillatory network activity.  

We use use non-invasive brain stimulation protocols to investigate the role of endogenous brain electric activity (reflected in EEG and local field potentials) for neuroplasticity and behavioral performance. We employ optogenetics to investigate the functional relevance of neuroanatmical pathways involved in memory consolidation.

Our current research projects investigate

  1. dissociate the relevance of neocortical, hippocampal and thalamic interactions on memory consolidation      
  2. elucidate the impact of inter-individual confounds on sleep-associated memory consolidation

For these projects we combine measurements of brain electric activity, optogenetics, weak electric stimulation (t-DCS, o-tDCS) and closed-loop acoustic stimulation in behaving humans and rodents.

Ongoing Funding & Collaborations

DFG Research unit „Information Abstraction During Sleep” (MA 2053/12-1) (Garaschuk/Marshall)

BMBF (CRCNS US-German; Thomas Martinetz, INB; Lisa Marshall;  Maxim Bazhenov, UCSD)

DFG MA 2053/9-1 (Garaschuk/Marshall) The contribution of the cortical neuron-glia network to memory formation during sleep

DFG Investigating the functional role of long-duration sleep spindles in memory consolidation via non-invasive brain stimulation (MA 2053/11-1) (Marshall, Ghorbani)

Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences (University of Lübeck)

Dr. Manuela Friederich, Humboldt Universität Berlin


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