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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 29 | 1. Juni 2012
Priority Programme “Resolving and Manipulating Neuronal Networks in the Mammalian Brain – from Correlative to Causal Analysis” (SPP 1665)

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has established a new Priority Programme entitled “Resolving and Manipulating Neuronal Networks in the Mammalian Brain – from Correlative to Causal Analysis” (SPP 1665). The programme will run for an initial period of three years and is extendable to six years.

The mammalian brain accounts for complex sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities by processing environmental and internal information within neuronal networks. Their patterns of activity, such as oscillatory rhythms, create a precise temporal order within the brain by timing the neuronal firing. It is thought that the spatiotemporal orchestration of neuronal activity in neuronal networks is essential for generating defined behavioural outputs.

The Priority Programme aims at identifying causal relationships between the activity of single neurons within networks and behaviour by taking advantage of recently developed new recording and imaging techniques as well as neurotechnology and optogenetic tools. Emphasis will be laid on sensory motor and cognitive processing. Investigations shall be performed at different levels of network complexity, ranging from single neurons and microcircuits to large-scale cortico-subcortical neuronal networks. Both adult and developmental aspects will be covered. Specifically, applications are invited for studies that monitor and manipulate behaviourally-relevant neuronal activity using new experimental and analysis tools, which will be developed and validated in collaborative efforts. As a general rule, projects should be of collaborative nature (“troika collaborations”) and include “experimenters”, i. e. groups resolving or manipulating neuronal activity, “toolmakers”, i. e. groups developing and validating the recording and manipulation methods, and “analysts”, i. e. groups analysing and modelling network dynamics or dissecting the functional readout. Justified exceptions may be granted (please contact the coordinator for advice).

The following areas are explicitly excluded: merely descriptive and correlative investigation, clinical studies without a basic research focus, neuroprosthetics, neuronal processing in peripheral nervous system, synapse and ion channel physiology, studies in non-mammalian species.

Applications for the first three-years funding period should be written in English. Deadline is 31 October 2012. Applicants should follow the DFG Proposal Preparation Instructions 54.01 and the English DFG forms 54.011 “Proposal Data and Obligations” and 54.012 “Project Description”. Please submit applications (one complete copy on CD-ROM, a signed copy on paper including only the DFG forms 54.011 and 54.012) directly to the DFG, codeword “SPP 1665”, postal address: DFG, 53170 Bonn, and an electronic pdf version to the coordinator (see below).

Applicants will be invited to present their proposal to a review panel at a symposium to be held in Bonn in February/March 2013.

Further information

For further information please refer to the Priority Programme’s website:

Please note the general information and guidelines for proposals at:

Contact person for questions related to the SPP 1665 is the scientific coordinator:

Contact person for questions related to the application or review process: