AC1: Neurobiology of Self and Embodiment


1. Session: Structural and functional Plasticity in neuronal networks.
2. Rhythms of the brain and their functional role in information processing
3. Imaging of memory traces in the rodent brain
4. Optogenetic manipulations of neurons and thoughts

Our daily life depends on the processing and storing of a continuous stream of information which enables us to rapidly adapt our behaviour to changes of our environment. Current theories of memory formation suggest that experience-dependent modifications in the balance between excitation and inhibition enable a selected group of neurons to form a new cell association during the learning process which represents the newly formed memory trace, the engram. The functional and structural changes at the level of synapses, single cells and cell populations that are associated with the learning process are, however, largely unknown. This is a crucial issue because impaired memory is a leading global problem implicated in various diseases including posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, and can have various causes such as stress, sleep deficit or medication. In order to be able to effectively treat memory disorders, we need first to understand how new memories are formed in the central nervous system. In the proposed course we aim to address this fundamental question on the rodent brain particularly to the hippocampus, functionally vital for the acquisition of new memories. I will highlight recent advances in neuroscience shedding light on measurements and manipulations of defined neuronal populations and obtainment of potential memory traces during behavior.


Objective 1: understand the spatial and temporal emergence of learning-related cell associations representing new memories, and,
Objective 2: delineate the nature and relevance of major functional (cellular, synaptic, plasticity) and structural changes underlying the formation of active cell associations.


Kandel, Schwartz, Jessel, ‘Principles of Neuroscience’ first 10 chapters.

Bartos M, Alle H, Vida I (2011) Role of microcircuit structure and input integration in hippocampal interneuron recruitment and plasticity. Neuropharmacol 60:730-739.

Bartos M, Vida I, Jonas P (2007) Synaptic mechanisms of synchronized gamma oscillations in inhibitory interneuron networks. Nat Rev Neurosci 8:45-56.

Course location


Course requirements


Instructor information.

Marlene Bartos


General Information
a) Bartos, Marlene, Prof. Dr. rer. nat., 29.09.1962, female
b) Institute for Physiology I, University of Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Straße 7, D-79104 Freiburg,
c) +49 761 203 5194,
d) Professor (W3) for Cellular and Systemic Neurophysiology
e) 2 children 20 and 15
f) 2002-2003 parental leave

1. Academic Education
a) Biology (08/1984 – 04/1986), Technical University of Braunschweig, Prediploma in Biology
b) Biology (04/1986 – 04/1990, Technical Universities Braunschweig and Munich, Diploma in Biology

2. Scientific degrees
a) Promotion: Biology, Technical University of Munich, 1995, Prof. Dr. H.-W. Honegger
b) Habilitation: Physiology, University of Freiburg, 2006, Prof. Dr. P. Jonas

3. Professional experience
a) 08/1995 – 09/1998, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA, Prof. Dr. M. Nusbaum, collaboration Prof. Dr. Eve Marder, Brandeis, USA
b) 09/1998 – 08/2004, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Freiburg, Prof. Dr. P. Jonas
c) 08/2004 – 09/2007, Assistant Professor (C1), University of Freiburg
d) 09/2007 – 06/2010, Full-Professor (Personal Chair) for Neuroscience, University of Aberdeen, Institute for Medical Sciences/UK
e) Since 07/2010, Lichtenbergprofessor (W3) for Cellular and Systemic Neurophysiology, University of Freiburg
f) Since 2015 Temporary Chair of the Institute for Physiology I, University of Freiburg

4. Others (Editorial work, Member of scientific councils, advisory boards, awards)
Prize for ‘Young Investigators’ of the ‘International Society for Neuroethology’
Member of the Neurex advisory and scientific boards (Neuroscience upper Rhine network)
2010 Lichtenberg Professorship Award by the VW Foundation
2011 Schram Award
FRIAS (Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies) Director for Life Sciences
Board Member of the Excellence initiative Freiburg ‘brain links brain tools’
Medical Research Council (MRC) and Royal Society program grant holder (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Reviewer for international journals such as Science, J Neuroscience, Neuron
Reviewer for international funding schemes: HFSP, Welcome Trust, NIH (USA, Canada), DFG
Editor of ‘ELife’, ‘Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience’
Since 2013 Director of the ‘European Neuroscience Institutes’ (ENINET) Freiburg Since 2013
One of the two heads of the new Excellence Initiative ‘IMBIT’, Institute for Machine-Brain Interfacing Technology

5. Five most important publications
Strüber M, Sauer JF, Jonas P, Bartos M (2017) Distance-dependent inhibition facilitates focality of gamma oscillations in the dentate gyrus. Nat Commun 8:758. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00936-3.
Strüber M, Jonas P, Bartos M (2015) Strength and duration of perisomatic GABAergic inhibition depend on distance between synaptically connected cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 112:1220-1225.
Hainmüller T, Krieglstein K, Kulik A, Bartos M (2014) Joint CP-AMPA and group I mGlu receptor activation is required for synaptic plasticity in dentate gyrus fast-spiking interneurons. PNAS USA 111:13211-13216.
Sauer J, Strüber M, Bartos M (2015) Impaired fast-spiking interneuron function in a genetic mouse model of depression. eLife 10.7554.
Strüber M, Jonas P, Bartos M (2015) Strength and duration of perisomatic GABAergic inhibition depend on distance between synaptically connected cells. PNAS USA 112:1220-1225.
Yuan M, Meyer T, Benkowitz C, Savanthrapadian S, Ansel-Bollepalli L, Foggetti A, Wulff P, Alcami P, Elgueta C, Bartos M (2017) Somatostatin-positive interneurons in the dentate gyrus of mice provide local- and long-range septal synaptic inhibition. eLife 2017;6 e21105.