A paper titled "Delayed Latency of Postural Muscles of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities" by PhD student José Walter Tolentino-Castro, OCC Member Heiko Wagner and others has been published in Frontiers in Psychology. "It was already known that the brain structures as well as the function of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) differs to typically developped individuals." José Walter Tolentino-Castro says, "We now wanted to investigate the function of the spinal cord in this population. It is complicated to study the function of the spinal cord without invasive methods. In our study, we used the so called “Wackelkiste” to observe the muscular delay following a lateral perturbation, which is computed on spinal cord level. We found no differences on muscular delay between ID participants and the control group. Our study broadens the knowledge of postural control of ID individuals and shows the necessity to develop interventions to prevent falls." The project was a cooperation between the Department of Movement Science in Münster and the School of Art, Sciences and Humanities at Universidade de São Paulo.
Neuroscience in School
The pupils in the class of teacher Silke Grabbe at the Marienschule Roxel now became early stage brain researchers when they completed the teaching unit „Wir sind Hirnforscher“ designed by the Hertie Foundation. The OCC offers the teaching material for the the 2-week project including the robot „Herr Tie“ to primary and secondary schools in Münster. The robot can move around the room, avoiding obstacles on its own, and he even can change direction at the children's command. Each project can be completed with a question-and-answer session about the brain with OCC PhD students. Interested schools and teachers can contact the OCC coordinator for further information.
PhD for Carina Bodden
We congratulate Carina Bodden on successfully defending her thesis entitled "Why we are who we are: on the effects of different life histories and serotonin transporter genotype on the behavioral and epigenetic profile of mice". The thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Norbert Sachser (Department of Behavioural Biology), Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Lesch (Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg) and Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Pape (Institute of Physiology I).