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Neuroscience - The Most Fascinating Organ

NeuroscienceHow do we perceive and interpret sensory signals (sight, hearing, smell, taste, feeling)? How does the brain represent the environment? How do we learn and why do we forget again? What is intelligence? Where are which decisions made?

The brain is too complicated to answer these questions from only one point of view. This is how a relatively new branch of research was created: neurosciences, which make use of various scientific disciplines in the solution of these questions. Chemists, biologists, psychologists, neuro-information scientists, physicists and medical experts jointly attempt to decode the secrets of our brain.

The RuhrUniversität with its wide range of subjects provides the best prerequisites for this. The inclusion of neuroscientific questions in interdisciplinary research projects has a long tradition here: the "Bionach" special research area (Biological Information Processing, 1972-1986) laid the foundation for an interdisciplinary neuroscientific structure which nowadays entails the entire campus and hospitals. In the 1990's, the NEUROVISION research unit and the collaborative research centre of the same name followed (1990-2007). Since mid-2010, the DFG has been subsidising collaborative research centre 874 "Integration and Representation of Sensory Processes". There are also numerous involvements in network projects, for example the Bernstein focus "Neuronal foundations of learning", supported by the Federal Education and Research Ministry (BMBF), the competence network of stem cell research in North Rhine-Westphalia and the "Stroke" and "Parkinson" competence networks.

An important focal point at the RUB is training of young neuroscientists. The KOGNET graduates' group (Cognition, Brain and Networks) created a platform for interdisciplinary neuroscientific training of doctorate students for the first time in 1991, this being continued in the "Development and Plasticity of the Nervous System" graduates' group. With the foundation of the "International Graduate School of Neuroscience" (IGSN) in 2001, an "open faculty" for neurosciences with its own doctorate right as a "PhD in Neuroscience" has established itself at the RUB, being further reinforced in 2009 with the foundation of the Bochum Research School for Medical Neuroscience (BoNeuroMed).

A further optimisation of scientific work resulted from the combining of the infrastructure in the newly created Research Department of Neuroscience, which, with the International Graduate School of Neuroscience, is both a teaching and also a researching institution. Joint teaching, joint research and joint publications are naturally a part of everyday interdisciplinary life. Success is confirmed, for example, by the publications by the neuroscientists from Bochum, which, according to the analysis by the Institute of Essential Science Indicators (ESI), have been part of the "Top 1%" of the neuroscientific work most frequently quoted since 2001.