Vivek H Sridhar (University of Konstanz): title tba
September 14, 2023, 3 PM, Old lecture Hall, German Primate Center

Jenny Tung (Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig): title tba
Jun 8, 2023, 3 PM, Michael Lankeit Lecture Hall, German Primate Center

Elad Schneidman (Weizmann Institute of Science): title tba
Jun 1, 2023, 4 PM, Old lecture Hall, German Primate Center

Brandon Munn (U Sydney): title tba
May 16, 2023, 3 PM, Michael Lankeit Lecture Hall, German Primate Center

13th Annual Primate Neurobiology Meeting
April 26-28, 2023

The meeting is organized by Melanie Wilke and SFB members Stefan Treue, Alexander Gail, Hansjörg Scherberger, Igor Kagan, Caspar Schwiedrzik and Raymundo Baez-Mendoza. Participants may present any aspect of their work at any stage – from the presentation of methods to that of concepts, from the introduction of very first results to the discussion of work that may have already been presented at other conferences. Students and postdocs working in nonhuman primate laboratories to are particularly invited to participate. The registration is open until March 31st

Insights into the neural basis of cognition from human intracranial electrophysiology
March 24, 2023, 1 PM - 3 PM; ZHG

The human brain produces complex cognitive operations and behaviors, some of which are arguably uniquely human. The primary means to investigate their neural basis have been noninvasive techniques. However, the limited spatiotemporal resolution of noninvasive imaging hampers progress in understanding health and disease. Human intracranial electrophysiology has emerged as a key technology in overcoming these difficulties. In particular, the high spatiotemporal resolution of intracranial EEG (iEEG) in epilepsy patients undergoing presurgical evaluation enables studying (sub)cortical dynamics underlying human cognition. With specialized research electrodes, it has become possible to extend these investigations across spatial scales, to the level of cortical layers and single cells. This allows unraveling the neural basis of complex behavior directly in the human brain in unprecedented detail.
This symposium, organized by SFB member Caspar Schwiedrzik aims to elucidate neural mechanisms underlying human cognitive processes using intracranial recordings. We will address different facets of cognition, taking complimentary perspectives from different recording and analysis techniques; as well as providing insight into ethical aspects and technical challenges when working with patients. Hui Zhang (Bochum) will demonstrate how the reinstatement and transformation of stimulus-specific memories can be studied using multivariate analyses to identify meso- and macroscale networks. Lucia Melloni (Frankfurt) will show how continuous input is segmented into episodic memories using tasks involving sequences and visual narratives using electrocorticography. Randolph Helfrich (Tübingen) will talk about how population dynamics of human prefrontal cortex integrate contextual cues and prior evidence to guide human goal-directed behavior. Caspar Schwiedrzik (Göttingen) )will present recordings with laminar resolution investigating neural computations underlying predictive processing in perception. Marcel Bausch (Bonn) will address the question how content and context are combined to process relevant memories using single neuron recordings in the medial temporal lobe. Together, these talks will provide an exciting overview of the burgeoning field of human intracranial electrophysiology.

Neuroscience of naturalistic navigation and foraging in non-human primates
March 23, 2023, 11 AM - 1 PM; ZHG

A core topic of the SFB 1528 will be featured in a symposium organised by SFB speaker Alexander Gail and Irene Lacal. SFB members Zurna Ahmed and Neda Shahidi will present their work, and international guest speakers Jan Zimmermann (U of Minnesota) and Dora Angelaki (NY University) will also give talks in a SFB satellite lecture on March 20 and/or 21.
A main aim of system neuroscience research in primates is to understand the neural underpinnings of goal directed behavior. With the advance in wireless technologies for neural recordings, video-based motion tracking and powerful tools for full-body behavior quantification, unprecedented opportunities arise for studying brain networks during naturalistic behaviors. In particular, ecologically highly relevant behaviors such as multi-source foraging, free exploration in complex environments and social interactions have become accessible for neurophysiological studies. This symposium brings together international researchers pioneering the field of neurophysiology in non-human primates during unrestrained behaviors in complex environments. Daniel Huber (University of Geneva) will present the latest development of EthoLoop, a novel tracking system able to follow movements and analyze complex behaviors of unrestrained mouse lemurs in real time in combination with wireless neural recordings. Dora E. Angelaki (NY University) will show how hippocampal and cortical activity in unrestrained rhesus monkeys relate to foraging behavior both in freely moving and virtual reality environments. Zurna Ahmed (German Primate Center & SFB 1528) will introduce the Exploration Room, a novel modular experimental setting encouraging unrestrained, yet repetitive full-body behaviors beyond walking in rhesus macaques while recording from the frontoparietal reach network. Irene Lacal and Neda Shahidi (German Primate Center & SFB 1528) will highlight novel paradigms in the Exploration Room for studying spatial cognition during naturalistic solo or dyadic foraging and the frontoparietal representations of dynamic evaluation of choices. Jan Zimmermann (University of Minnesota) will present how unconstrained behavior is organized across multiple spatial and temporal scales in rhesus monkeys and how electrophysiology experiments can give us a unique insight into these processes.

March 21, 2023, 3 PM Michael-Lankeit-Hörsaal, German Primate Center

Jan Zimmermann (University of Minnesota): Timescales of behavior and neural processing
Behavior is organized across multiple spatial and temporal scales, ranging from sub-second motor commands over multi-second movement plans to long term foraging patterns. Currently it is unclear how the brain solves this coordination of multiple intertwined temporal demands. While classical neuroscience experiments typically look at or engage a fixed temporal scale or horizon, ethological studies have long focused on the analysis of naturalistic behavior across freely elicited temporal scales. Here I will show some of the approaches my lab is taking to understand the organization of timescales in behavior and neural processing ranging from ultra-high field fMRI to multi-region wireless electrophysiology in freely moving rhesus macaques.

Dora Angelaki (NY University): Active sensing and flexible neural coding during visually guided navigation
Natural behavior is flexible and supported by abstracted away beliefs. To understand dynamic neural processing underlying natural behaviour, we use continuous-time foraging tasks either in virtual reality or in a freely-moving arena. Although task rules do not require any particular eye movement, we find that where subjects look is an important component of the behavior. For example, during a simple task in which macaques use a joystick to steer and catch flashing fireflies in a virtual environment lacking position cues, we find that subjects physically tracked this latent task variable with their gaze – an instance of embodied cognition. Restraining eye movements worsened task performance suggesting that embodiment plays a computational role. The above findings are well explained by a neural model with tuned bidirectional connections between oculomotor circuits and circuits that integrate sensory input. In contrast to other task optimized models, this model correctly predicted that leading principal components of the monkey posterior parietal cortex activity should encode their position relative to the goal. These results explain the computational significance of motor signals in evidence-integrating circuits and suggest that plasticity between those circuits might enable efficient learning of complex tasks via embodied cognition.