Bernstein Centre for Computational Neuroscience Berlin

General Informations:

The Bernstein Centre Berlin has been established with support from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and is part of the German Network for Computational Neuroscience. It integrates research groups of the Charité, Free University Berlin, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Technical University Berlin, Fraunhofer FIRST, the Max-Delbrueck-Centre and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

The BCCN Core Facility is centrally located in a building on the Campus of the Charité and Humboldt University in Berlin Mitte. It houses the BCCN offices, laboratories, and includes a lecture hall, library and seminar rooms. BCCN offers an extensive visitor program, organizes special seminars and workshops, and provides a wide range of services for BCCN members, neuro-scientists from the Berlin-Brandenburg area, and the general public.


The Bernstein Centre addresses one of the most challenging questions in computational and cognitive neuroscience: "How is it possible that we can react to sensory stimuli with millisecond precision if intermediate processing elements on the level of single synapses, single neurons, small networks and even large neural systems - vary significantly in their response to the same repeated stimulus?" This apparent discrepancy between the reliable performance of the computing brain and the trial-to-trial variability of neural processes is also of direct clinical and biotechnological interest: Which brain signals need to be extracted if we want to infer the occurrence of a specific cognitive process, discriminate between a healthy and a diseased state, or optimize learning through EEG feedback - all on a single-trial basis and in real-time?

To address these questions, our research focusses on the relation between precisely timed computations and neural variability. In particular, the Centre studies whether neural variability is an inevitable consequence of the underlying biophysics and thus simply "noise", or whether such an interpretation reflects our limited knowledge about the fundamental principles of brain-like computations.
Using our experience from ongoing research and training programs that combine theory and experiments we will embed gifted young theoreticians in challenging experimental or clinical environments, enabling them to join individual research projects within the three closely related branches of the Centre:

Branch A: Computational & Theoretical Methods: From Microscopic to Macroscopic Scales

Branch B: Local Computation Molecules, Synapses, Neurons and Networks

Branch C: Global Computation Systemic Synthesis for Human Neuroscience.

Principal Investigators
Brecht, Michael Prof. Dr. (Details) (Computational Neuroscience)

Duration of Project
Start date: 09/2004
End date: 09/2011


Last updated on 2020-10-03 at 16:44