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Successfully defended their theses of the PhD program „Systems Neuroscience“ 7 April 2017

ZSN Seminar

Time: Thursdays, 17:15 h

Location: INI Hannover, Rudolf-Pichlmayr-Str. 4, 30625 Hannover

Unless otherwise noted.


Programme soon for download.

Summer term 2017 ZSN Seminar
27.04.2017 Prof. Dr. Tiago Fleming Outeiro
Department of Neurodegeneration and Restorative Research, Center for Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, University Medical Center Göttingen
From the baker to the bedside: deciphering the molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease
08.06.2017 Prof. Dr. Abel Viejo-Borbolla
Institute of Virology, MHH
Generation of human neurons to study varicella zoster virus pathogenesis
06.07.2017 Prof. Franciscó Barcelo, PhD
University of Illes Balears
Title to be announced
20.07.2017 PD Dr. Arthur Liesz
Institut für Schlaganfall- und Demenzforschung, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Title to be announced

Neuroscience Meets School 2016

Every second year the PhD students of the Center for Systems Neuroscience Hannover offer a workshop for pupils from Hannover who are interested in science.


The PhD students work at the Hannover Medical School, the University of Veterinary Medicine, the Leibniz University and the Academy of Music, Theatre and Media. Altogether, these universities form the virtual cooperative Center for Systems Neuroscience (Zentrum für Systemische Neurowissenschaften Hannover – ZSN) in Hanover, providing the PhD program “Systems Neuroscience” for students of biology, veterinary medicine, human medicine, biochemistry, and affiliated natural sciences. Further key objectives of the ZSN are to encourage the overlap between basic research and clinical research in neuroscience, to establish coordinated areas of research specialization in neuroscience, to concentrate research in the field of systems neuroscience and to optimize synergies.



In the course of this year’s educational project “Neuroscience Meets School” the PhD students invited pupils from Hannover’s Sophienschule to the Department of Pathology on June, 15th 2016. Pupils from the tenth and eleventh grade were given a basic understanding of neuroscience and got wide-ranging insights into how the scientific community works. Furthermore, they were given the opportunity to talk to the postgraduates about starting academic studies and writing a scientific thesis.


The program started with a 30-minute introductory session. The ZSN itself as well as the PhD students and their field of work within the ZSN were briefly introduced. Moreover, the pupils were given an insight on how many fields of expertise exist within neuroscience. Afterwards, the group of approximately 60 pupils was divided into 5 groups, rotating over time on 5 different workshops to expand their knowledge about the central nervous system. Workshop 1 to 3 placed special focus on the basics of neuroscience. In the first workshop “cells of the nervous system” pupils were introduced to the cell types in brain and spinal cord. Moreover, they were shown how histologic slides are produced from native tissues. Afterwards they had the opportunity to microscope brain slices stained with different methods. In the workshop "neuroanatomy" the structure of the central nervous system was demonstrated with the aid of anatomical models and formalin fixed specimen obtained from different species. The third workshop “clinical neurology” came along with the advantage to try out some basic neurological examination steps on each other, including the knee jerk reflex, the reaction of eyes to a strong light and the Rinne & Weber-test to check on the hearing with a tuning fork. Furthermore, pupils were given the opportunity to examine the menace reflex and the patella reflex in a dog, which was performed with great enthusiasm.

Workshops 4 and 5 placed special emphasis on problems of and with the central nervous system. Within the workshop “alcohol and development of addiction“ the students had the chance to experience what it feels like when brain functions change under the influence of alcohol by wearing alcohol impairment simulation goggles. Even the task of throwing a ball into the right direction or driving a bobby car turned out to be a huge challenge. The last workshop focused on “cognitive neuroscience – perception and illusion”. Here, the pupils were allowed to check on their own brain and cognition. Based on different illusions within a digital presentation the participants were shown how easily their brains can be fooled. The final highlight was the “rubber hand illusion” where your brain tricks you into thinking that an artificial hand belongs to your own body.


From the perspective of the PhD students, the planning and implementing of this event gave them an opportunity to train their organizational, team-working and presentation skills as well as the ability to explain complex scientific phenomena in a comprehensible way to a non-professional audience.

In summary, it was an exciting and instructive day for both sides, the pupils of the Sophienschule as well as the PhD students from the ZSN.


Eva Leitzen



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