Prof. Dr. Tobias Ackels

Group Leader
Sensory Dynamics and Behaviour
Institute of Experimental Epileptology and Cognition Research (IEECR)
University of Bonn Medical Center | Life & Brain Center
Venusberg-Campus 1
53175 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 228 6885 147
Email: tobias.ackels(at)

Research Focus

Sensory input across modalities is highly dynamic and continuously confronts the brain with the task of making sense of the external world. This is particularly true for sensory systems that are subjected to a high amount of information. How does the brain do this? How does it use this information to make decisions?

In our group we study olfaction as a key sense that many species depend on for survival. Olfactory cues can be especially useful in situations such as locating food sources, mating partners or avoiding predator encounters. Natural odours form temporally complex plumes that provide information over a large range of distances, in the absence of visual cues. The complex temporal dynamics of odour plumes carry spatial information about the odour landscape.
Understanding how the spatial information caried by odour plumes is used by mammals to navigate their environment on the cellular, circuit and behavioural level constitutes the primary research focus of the lab. We will use cutting-edge opto- and electrophysiological approaches and novel quantitative behavioural paradigms to learn how the dynamics of the external world are encoded in the brain and how they inform behaviour.
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