Brain Cafe

Brain CafÉ 2019

Please note: all lectures are held in German.

Brain Café - January to March 2019

Brain Cafés in the University Library (UB) of the RUB

The Drumming Brain – How Drumming Alters the Brain

Dr. rer. nat. Lara Schlaffke, AG Neuroplastizität, Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, BG Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil GmbH

As a rule, people can perform fine motor tasks with either the left or the right hand very well. Professional drummers however possess the extraordinary ability to play different rhythms at very high speed with both arms and legs. Neuroscientists call this ability hand decoupling. Through years of training the musicians alter their brain structure- and function. That is, why drummers are a good example to study the mechanisms of hand decoupling in the brain. The presentation will discuss which aspects of the normal brain play an important role in motor function and which changes, by contrast, are found in the brains of drummers.

Download audio podcast (19,3 MB | 26:35 min)

Repair of the nervous system: New approaches from research

Univ.-Prof. Dr Dietmar Fischer, Department of Cell Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Damage to the nervous system due to accident or illness often leads to permanent disabilities. An injury to the optic nerve, for example, can lead to permanent blindness and damage to the spinal cord can lead to life-long paraplegia. The reason for this is a regeneration weakness of the severed nerve fibres; they cannot grow together again. The Department of Cell Physiology is developing new therapies to facilitate or improve these regenerative processes. Their latest research results will be presented in the lecture.

The influence of sleep on memory and mental well-being

Dr Lorena Deuker, Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department for Neuropsychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

About one third of our adult life is spent in our sleep. During sleep, we are restricted or not at all receptive to external stimuli, so this condition poses a potential threat to attacks. Nevertheless, almost all higher-developed organisms sleep. This indicates that sleep brings an evolutionary advantage. What exactly this advantage includes has not yet been finally clarified. It is increasingly considered as an established fact that sleep is crucial for memory formation. It also plays a role in almost all psychiatric disorders as a cause or as an accompanying effect. In this lecture current insights of neuroscience regarding sleep and memory are presented and the connection with psychiatric disorders is discussed. The last section discusses how sleep quality can be improved in everyday life based on current research results.

Brain Cafés begin at 6 pm in the University Library (UB), 1st floor, room 9 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Find here a flyer for our Brain Cafés from January to March 2019
(in German).

Please register for attendance.

Brain CafÉ 2018

Brain Café - September to November 2018

Brain Cafés in the University Library (UB) of the RUB

Parkinson's disease – can new treatments offer hope of a cure?

Prof. Dr. Lars Tönges, St. Josef-Hospital – Katholisches Klinikum Bochum, Klinik für Neurologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Parkinson's disease is characterised by motor symptoms such as tremor, restricted fine motor skills and limited mobility. Moreover non-motor symptoms may arise, e.g. digestive disorders, mood swings or memory impairment. The medication available can alleviate symptoms – it cannot, however, stop the chronic course of the disease. Researchers have now developed new ways of treating Parkinson's disease and it is possible that those treatments might have a healing effect. The talk will explore the potential of and the rationale behind these new therapies.

Download audio podcast (36,2 MB | 49:23 min)

31.10.2018 - Halloween Special
Diagnosis: Zombie
What neuroplasticity and degenerative conditions can tell us about the brain

Dr. Stefanie Borowy, AG Neuroplastizität, Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, BG UK Bergmannsheil

This talk takes you on a tour through the human brain, based on the studies of Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, Harvard lecturer and science fiction author. The psychiatrist blurs the distinction between reality and fantasy and translates the idea of zombism into a fictional neurological disorder called "Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency"-syndrome. Some symptoms of this disorder may very well derive from disturbances in specific areas of the brain – zombies can therefore serve as an interesting model for a number of neurodegenerative diseases. An excursion into the field of neuroparasitology is furthermore going to demonstrate that the concept of zombism is much closer to our reality than it might seem at first glance.

Download audio podcast (21,8 MB | 32:18 min)

I don't get you – alcoholism and social cognition

PD Dr. Patrizia Thoma, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuropsychology, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Alcoholism often goes hand in hand with problems in interpersonal relationships. Some of these conflicts can be traced back to the fact that those affected by alcoholism have difficulties with processing social and emotional information and with acting appropriately. A reason for this is that chronic alcohol dependency leads to changes in those areas of the brain responsible for processing social and emotional information and behaviour control. The talk will give an overview on the latest research on this topic in the field of neuropsychology.

Download audio podcast (29,2 MB | 41:40 min)

Brain Cafés begin at 6 pm in the University Library (UB), 1st floor, room 9 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Find here a flyer for our Brain Cafés from September to November 2018
(in German).

Please register for attendance.

Registration Brain CafÉ

Please confirm your attendance via:

Ursula Heiler, MA

Phone: +49(0)234-32-26682

Fax.: +49(0)234-32-14490


Brain CafÉ 2019

Events January to March




Flyer Brain Café Jan-Mar 2019
(in German)

Brain CafÉ Podcasts





Brain Café Archive