Brain Cafe

Brain CafÉ 2017

Please note: all lectures are held in German.

Brain CafÉ - September to November 2017

ATTENTION PLEASE – Changing the date!
The Brain cafÉ takes place on 21st of March, 2018.


Prof. Dr. Nikol Rummel, Pädagogische Psychologie, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Ruhr University Bochum

Many instructional approaches start from the premise that mistakes in learning should be avoided. The students are supposed to perform flawlessly as soon as possible and to acquire only correct knowledge. A number of studies on the "Productive Failure" paradigm are taking a different direction. They show - in accordance with the phrase "from errors one learns"- that incorrect approaches to a problem without immediate correction can be fruitful for learning. The talk will address empirical results and theoretical aspects for both sides in order to enable a differentiated evaluation of the topic.


PD Dr. Kerstin Hellwig, Klinik für Neurologie, St. Josef-Hospital Bochum, Clinic of Ruhr University Bochum

Two thirds of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients are women and the disease is diagnosed most often between the age of 20 and 40. New findings suggest that the number of MS-diagnoses increases in women, while the prevalence in men remains constant. The reasons for that are fully understood. It is assumed that environmental factors cause the disorder. Important questions will be addressed, regarding e.g. the short- and long-term influence of a pregnancy on MS or the right hormone management. The talk will give an overview over the specifics of MS in women.

Download audio podcast (29,2 MB | 34:22 min)


Prof. Dr. Georg Juckel, Ärztlicher Direktor des LWL-Universitätsklinikum Bochum, Direktor der Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Präventivmedizin

Inflammatory factors and the activation of our immune system can play a crucial role in neurological and psychiatric disorders. Psychoneuroimmunology researchers examine the interplay of stress and the release of cytonkines as well as the activation of immune competent cells with mental disorders. It is known that illnesses like burnout and depression or schizophrenic diseases can be regarded as autoimmune diseases as well. This realization is important for the development of new treatments for these severe illnesses.

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

Find here a flyer for our Brain Cafés from September to November 2017.

Please register for attendance.

Brain CafÉ - April to June 2017

Brain Café in der Universitätsbibliothek der RUB

To the brain and back again:
A journey through theoretical neuroscience

Dr. Fabian Schönfeld, Theory of Neural Systems, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Ruhr University Bochum

Neuroscience has many faces: Anatomy, psychology and biology – concepts that everyone has a grasp of. We would like to invite you to unknown waters and join us on our journey through the theoretical neuroscience: Virtual rats, learning machines and computer clusters are our tools to explore the brain. They help us to understand how the brain turns the chaos of sensory impressions it is faced with into the highly developed performance we accept as a given.

Download audio podcast (20 MB | 30:20 min)

Challenges for the auditory system
Echo cancellation in the auditory system as a crucial component for sensory perception

Dr. Ida Siveke, General Zoology and Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr University Bochum

An exhilarating conversation at a cocktail party is a huge challenge for our auditory system: The ear receives a lot of varying auditory information from different sources. All acoustic sources need to be processed at once to locate their origin. Reflections from the walls create additional illusions and echoes. The brain needs to separate all the sound impressions to recognize the echoes as such. Neuronal studies have shown that a complex circuit in the brainstem, consisting of inhibitory and excitatory neurons, suppress the echoes and filter out the relevant signals. This process provides us with our precise perception and enables us to understand our conversation partner at the next party.

Download audio podcast (82 MB | 35:59 min)

Living (brain-) dead?
Philosophical questions about the brain death criterion and the transplantation medicine

Alexa Nossek, Institute of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr University Bochum

Many people decide to donate their organs after their death. But how do you decide when a person is really dead? The brain death criterion has been a matter of debate for some years. Some people feel skeptical about it. The first part of this talk deals with the medical and legal issues of the brain death criterion. The second part discusses the definition of death (What does someone's death mean?) and the death criterion (How can we determine someone's death?). The question whether the brain death criterion is a viable death criterion will also be addressed. The last part highlights the ethical dimension and deals with the practical consequences for organ transplantations.

Download audio podcast (24,9 MB | 34:36 min)

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

Find here a flyer for our Brain Cafés from April to June 2017.

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 2017

Events Sep to Nov




Flyer Brain Café Sep-Nov 2017

Brain CafÉ Podcasts




Brain Café Archive