Academic Editor

Björn Brembs


- Dr. rer. nat., Dept. Genetics and Neurobiology, Universität Würzburg, 2000
- PostDoc, Dept. Neurobiology & Anatomy, University of Texas, Houston Health Science Center, 2000-2003
- Independent Researcher, Institute of Biology - Neurobiology, Freie Universität Berlin, 2003-2009
- Habilitation in Zoology, Freie Universität Berlin, 2009
- Heisenberg Fellow of the DFG, Institute of Biology - Neurobiology, Freie Universität Berlin, 2009-2012
- Adjunct professor, Department of Genetics, Universität Leipzig, Apr-Sep. 2012
- Professor of Neurogenetics, Institute of Zoology, Universität Regensburg, 2012-present

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Work details

Professor of Neurogenetics

Universität Regensburg
October 2012
Institute of Zoology - Neurogenetics
My main research topics focus around the general organization of behavior with regards to reward, punishment and decision making: How do brains accomplish adaptive behavioral choice? All animals possess a repertoire of inborn behaviors and continuously modify and adjust them to meet the requirements of the environment by learning. To study these processes, I use operant (instrumental) conditioning paradigms and contrast them with classical (Pavlovian) conditioning situations in flies (Drosophila) and snails (Aplysia). Such comparisons highlight the differences and similarities between behavioral and environmental learning, the two forms of predictive learning. After now 10 years of research in this field, I begin to have the suspicion that the main function of brains may be best described in terms of output/input systems. Brains generate spontaneous behavior and monitor the incoming sensory stream for the portion which is controlled by the behavior. Operant behavior and operant learning are the main mechanisms by which this function is accomplished. Related past research interests include the neurobiology of aggression, behavioral ecology, the evolution of cooperation and evolutionary psychology. Specialties: Methods used include a number behavioral paradigms in various invertebrate and vertebrate model systems, in vitro conditioning of isolated nervous systems, opto- and electrophysiology, mutants/transgenes, molecular biology and some pharmacology. Computer modeling of simple networks complements the experimental work.