Colloquium Cognitive Systems

Neurodynamics in auditory cortex during learning

Prof. Dr. Frank Ohl ( LIN & University of Magdeburg )


Abstract.   The sensory neocortex is often viewed as the "final stage" in a chain of feed-forward processing steps for sensory input into the brain. Newer evidence indicates a more "constructive role" of sensory neocortex, beyond mere feed-forward filtering. In this talk I will review neurophysiological and behavioral evidence from auditory cortex and auditory learning, respectively, for this novel view of sensory neocortex. The psychophysical paradigm of category formation allowed critical testing of the hypothesis that global cortical activity states are associated with endogenous cognitive states mediating the meaning associated with an acoustic stimulus rather than with activity states that merely map physical stimulus features. We will look at how cortical neurodynamics at the circuit level in rodents can mediate such functions and how this new picture of sensory neocortex paves new ways for constructing cortical sensory neuroprostheses.

·       1991 Diploma in biology; TU Darmstadt; learning-induced receptive field plasticity
·       1995 PhD in biology; TU Darmstadt; nonlinear interactions in auditory cortex
·       1995-1997 Post-doc 1 with Henning Scheich, Magdeburg; Representational geometries of cortical representations
·       1997-1999 Post-doc 2 with Walter Freeman, Berkeley, USA; Nonlinear dynamics in cortical dynamics
·       1999-2003 Leader of the BMBF BioFuture Young Investigators' Research Group at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN) Magdeburg
·       2002 Habilitation
·       2003-2006 Group leader at the LIN, Magdeburg
·       2006-2011 W2/C3 Professor at Otto-von-Guericke University (OVGU), Magdeburg
·       Since 2010 Coordinator (Speaker) of the DFG CRC 779 (Neurobiology of motivated behavior)
·       Since 2011 W3 Professor at OVGU, Magdeburg
·       Since 2011 Director of the Department "Systems physiology of learning (SPL)" at the LIN, Magdeburg