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The Behavioural Neuroscience Unit contributes to the GMC the assessment for exploratory, motivational, emotional, locomotor, sensory gating, olfactory function, learning and memory, stress reactivity and related functional brain alteration phenotypes. Our research goal is the elucidation of the molecular and genetic basis of behavioural impairments that are relevant for human neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, schizophrenia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. We are particularly interested in relating behavioural changes to specific alterations in the brain. To this end we investigate brain volumetrics and neuronal morphology, and quantitatively assess expression of different markers for neurotransmitter systems, synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, myelination and inflammation.


Screening pipeline

We participate in the screening pipeline by assessing emotional, exploratory and spontaneous locomotor behaviour in the Open Field test, and sensorimotor gating by pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. This renders a first indication of possible anxiety-related, locomotor and schizophrenia-related endophenotyp


Hypothesis-driven pipelines

Dependent on primary results and/or additional information about the mouse model more in-depth-analysis can be performed in hypothesis-driven pipelines.


Dr. Sabine Hölter     
Tel. +49 89 3187-3674


Dr. Lillian Garrett
Tel. +49 89 3187-2371

Dr. Annemarie Zimprich    
Tel. +49 89 3187-2371

Bettina Sperling    
Tel. +49 89 3187-2949

Jan Einicke
Tel. +49 89 3187-2944

Expert partner

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wurst
Institute of Developmental Genetics
Tel. +49 89 3187-4111