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University of Basel
Neuroscience Network Basel
  • Neuroscience Network Basel

    A center of competence and excellence in neuroscience

  • Neuroscience Network Basel

    Explore function - Understand dysfunction - Improve diagnosis and treatment



"Brain state" behind social interaction uncovered
The brain’s emotion-processing center — the amygdala — is one of several brain regions involved in social behavior. But the exact role that this almond-shaped structure plays in the so-called ‘social brain’ remains mysterious. Now, the Lüthi group has found that the activity of different populations of neurons in the amygdala reflects whether mice interact with their peers, or whether they focus on self-centered behaviors such as grooming. The findings could help to understand how the activity pattern of groups of neurons sets an overall ‘brain state’, and how that influences behavior — including social interaction and other behaviors that are impaired in neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism and social anxiety. More

Aging muscles – uncovering the causes of sarcopenia
Age-related muscle loss has a huge impact on autonomy and life quality of the elderly. Animal models help us to better understand the ageing process and discover new treatments. The extrapolation of these findings to humans, however, has its limitations. For this reason, researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel investigated the suitability of established rodent models for studying muscle aging in humans. Along with identifying similar mechanisms, they also uncovered new therapeutic targets. More

Regular caffeine consumption affects brain structure
Coffee, cola or an energy drink: caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance. Researchers from the University of Basel have now shown in a study that regular caffeine intake can change the gray matter of the brain. However, the effect appears to be temporary. More

Neuronal circuits for fine motor skills
Writing, driving a screw or throwing darts are only some of the activities that demand a high level of skill. How the brain masters such exquisite movements has now been described in “Nature” by Prof. Silvia Arber’s team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research. A map of brainstem circuits reveals which neurons control the fine motor skills of the arm and hand. More

Molecular mechanism of long-term memory discovered
Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a molecular mechanism that plays a central role in intact long-term memory. This mechanism is also involved in physiological memory loss in old age. More

Researchers discover protective factor against psychological trauma
The endogenous regulation of a specific gene is associated with a reduced risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder following a terrifying experience. In particular, traumatic memories of the experience are less severe. More

Autism: How a gene alteration modifies social behavior
A team of researchers at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has discovered a new connection between a genetic alteration and social difficulties related to autism: A mutation in the neuroligin-3 gene reduces the effect of the hormone oxytocin. More

Fiona Doetsch newly elected EMBO member
Professor Fiona Doetsch from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has been elected as a new member of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). With this life-long EMBO membership, the neuroscientist and stem cell biologist joins a group of more than 1,800 of the best researchers in Life Sciences in Europe and around the world. More

Botond Roska receives Körber Prize
Botond Roska, Professor at the University of Basel and Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), will receive the Körber European Science Prize for 2020. The award, worth EUR 1 million, is one of the most prestigious science prizes for researchers in Europe. More


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Upcoming events


Montagskolloquium 1. Halbjahr 2021, 18.1.2021 - 21.6.2021
Psychiatrische Forschung im transfakultären Fokus

On the need of capacity building in post-conflict settings: strong and accountable local partners as a hidden but fundamental resource in transcultural trauma research
Prof. Dr. Roland Weierstall-Pust

Flyer download

Das Montagskolloquium ist eine Seminarreihe der UPK Basel.


The young Swiss Society of Neuroscience (ySSN), a junior affiliate of the SSN is organizing an Zoom event (details in the flyer), NeuroRoutes,
"Personal and academic growth in science"

on the 25th June 2021 at 2.00 pm.
They invited three talented group leaders based in Switzerland, Dr. Johannes Felsenberg, Dr. Marlen Knobloch, and Dr. Sami El-Boustani, to come discuss their scientific journey, how they got here, and their vision for the future. A round table discussion after the three talks is organised at 5.30 pm.

Everyone interested to join is welcomed, especially those interested in pursuing a career in academia. Flyer PDF-download

SSN annual meeting 2021 postponed to 2022 due to COVID19

The next SSN meeting, organized by Universities Fribourg and Lugano, will take place on 28.1.2022 in Fribourg. The organizers and SSN council look forward very much to seeing you at this meeting! More