Rainer W. Friedrich

Neuronal circuits and computations

The goal of our research is to understand how neuronal circuits perform intelligent computations. Unlike most technical devices, brains learn to interpret their environment from experience and use this knowledge to inform behavior. These processes involve the recognition of behaviorally relevant regularities in the world and the generation of predictions for behavior. To explore the underlying fundamental computations we study information processing and memory in the olfactory system.

Our work takes advantage of zebrafish as a model system and combines analyses of single neurons, neuronal population activity, circuit connectivity, and behavior. We ask how high-dimensional sensory stimuli are represented and processed in the olfactory bulb and cortex, and how information processing is modified during learning. Higher brain functions depend on refinements of network connectivity that continuously modify information processing based on an individual's experience. We explore the underlying mechanisms by combining analyses of connectivity ("connectomics") with studies of circuit function and behavior. This work bridges the gap between experiment and theory.

Additional research focuses on circuit dysfunctions in genetic models of autism spectrum disorders and other diseases. The goal of this research is to obtain deeper insights into disease mechanisms at the level of neuronal circuit structure and function.

Additional information
FMI report pages for Rainer W. Friedrich

Rainer W. Friedrich
Gabi Gruber
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