Research focus "Sleep and Plasticity"
Learning, memory and underlying neural plasticity are fundamental characteristics of animals and humans allowing for the adaptation of brain function and behavior in a changing environment. The aims of our research group are to 1.) further elucidate the impact of sleep on learning and neural plasticity, and 2.) to further test a neuroplasticity hypothesis of major depression positing that changes in synaptic plasticity might represent a final common pathway in the pathophysiology of the disorder. Findings from this research might help to better understand the function of sleep and provide novel insights into the pathomechanisms of depression.
Ultimately, the results might be informative for the development of new treatment strategies for patients with disrupted sleep and depression - two major health problems worldwide.
1. The reorganisation of memory during sleep
2. The impact of sleep and waking on memory consolidation
3. Models of neural plasticity in humans: Studies on the pathophysiology of depression
4. The modulation of sleep by transcranial direct current stimulation