The main focus of the neuroethology lab is on general principles of neural information processing. In our in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology experiments we measure cellular properties of single neurons in response to sensory stimuli and/or injected currents. With methods from Computational Neuroscience we analyze the recordings and create, simulate, and analyze models in order to generalize our experimental results. We quantify animal behavior and natural sensory stimuli in the lab as well as in natural habitats to better understand the design and operating regimes of neural systems. Consequently we are also interested in the evolution and ecology of our model animals.

We focus on the electrosensory system of neotropical electric fish. In this system we can easily access cellular properties of neurons, we can precisely stimulate, and we know a range of interesting behaviors like prey detection, navigation, and communication this system is specialized to.

In a collaboration with Prof. Holger Lerche we analyse the effects of sodium-channel mutations on the firing properties of neurons in the context of epilepsies using our expertise in experimental and in particular theoretical neurophysiology.

Selected Publications

  • Jörg Henninger, Rüdiger Krahe, Fabian Sinz, Jan Benda (2020) JEB.
    Tracking activity patterns of a multispecies community of gymnotiform weakly electric fish in their neotropical habitat without tagging.
  • Till Raab, Laura Linhart, Anna Wurm, Jan Benda (2019) Front. Integr. Neurosci.
    Dominance in habitat preference and diurnal explorative behavior of the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus.
  • Jörg Henninger, Rüdiger Krahe, Frank Kirschbaum, Jan Grewe, Jan Benda (2018) J. Neurosci.
    Statistics of natural communication signals observed in the wild identify important yet neglected stimulus regimes in weakly electric fish.
  • Jan Grewe, Alexandra Kruscha, Benjamin Lindner, Jan Benda (2017) PNAS.
    Synchronous spikes are necessary but not sufficient for a synchrony code in populations of spiking neurons.



Group Leader and Further Information

Jan Benda
Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience
Otfried-Mueller-Str. 25
72076 Tübingen

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29 74573
Write an E-Mail