Cognitive processes, such as perception, memory, attentional control, emotion, reward processing, action planning and execution, or conscious awareness, are based on the activation of highly distributed networks in the brain involving numerous interacting modules and brain regions. Neurological and psychiatric disorders causing disturbances in any of these cognitive domains, accordingly, also involve malfunctions in distributed networks.
The overarching hypothesis pursued by the Collaborative Research Centre 936 is that perceptions and actions emerge from multi-site communication, defined as temporally coordinated brain activities at multiple sites. Investigation of coupling of multi-site activity at multiple spatiotemporal scales is a central methodological principle of this Collaborative Research Centre.
A multi-level approach combining state-of-the-art techniques is used to address three key issues regarding the processing and dynamics in distributed networks. The Centre aims, first, at characterising multi-site neuronal communication that underlies cognitive functions; second, at studying changes of multi-site interactions during development, plasticity and learning; and third, at investigating alterations of multi-site communication in brain disorders.
The Centre involves 24 scientists from theoretical and clinical departments at the UKE and the University of Hamburg, as well as 3 scientists from the Universities of Lübeck and Osnabrück.The SFB 936 awarded funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a second period of four years, starting July 1, 2015. The first funding period ran from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2015. Funding for up to a total lifetime of 12 years is possible.