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CBBS Best Paper of The Year 2017


CBBS spokesmen Prof. Dr. Eckart Gundelfinger and Prof. Dr. Toemme Noesselt, together with OVGU rector Prof. Dr. Jens Strackeljan and Mr. Peter Hinrichs from the ministry for Economics, Science and Digitization present the certificates and checks to the awardees.



Fischer, Bourgeois-Gironde and Ullsperger Nature Communications, PMID: 29167430




Short-term reward experience biases inference despite dissociable neural correlates 

Humans generally try to make good decisions. Sometimes, these decisions are based on experience, but sometimes we have to rely on abstract information because we have not experienced the long-term consequences of a decision before. For example, many people try to avoid fast-food, yet not because they have experienced weight-gain after eating, but because of information provided about its negative long-term consequences.

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, Fischer and colleagues from the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg and the Sorbonne Paris demonstrate that short-term reward experience biases our estimates of what is good or bad in the long-term – despite knowing that these short-term experiences are irrelevant to the long-term outcome. A positive experience, for example the taste of fast-food, makes us believe that this decision is better even on the long-term, despite knowing that this is not the case. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers additionally found out that that short-term experience and long-term information are processed in separate regions of the human brain. However, they found overlapping processing in the medial striatum, an evolutionary old structure that controls and selects actions, and the frontal cortex, a brain region closely associated with higher cognitive functions and behavioural control.

Surprisingly, especially participants of the study that were best able to estimate the true long-term consequences of decisions, showed a stronger influence of short-term experiences on the activity of control-regions in the brain and those regions that showed overlapping activity. This suggests that in order to make optimal decisions in the long-term, it is better to intensively reflect upon one's own immediate rewarding experiences rather than trying to ignore them.



Raza, Albrecht, Çalışkan, Müller, Demiray, Ludewig, Meis, Faber, Hartig, Schraven, Lessmann, Schwegler and Stork, Nature Communications, PMID: 28775269




HIPP neurons in the dentate gyrus mediate the cholinergic modulation of background context memory salience

All of us remember special events and moments of our live much better than dull common day experiences. In our study we investigated mechanisms that allow our brain to compute this discrimination. To this end we inactivated a local circuit in the mouse brain that is controlled by so-called HIPP cells during learning. We could show that HIPP cells determine the relevance of stored information by controlling how many other cells are recruited to their circuit. We could further identify the neuropeptide Y as the neuronal transmitter that is used by HIPP cells during the memory formation. Our results suggest that supporting HIPP cell functions may help to prevent traumatic memories in various neuropsychiatric disorders.


Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

LIN Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology Magdeburg

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