Bernstein Focus Neurotechnology (BFNT) Göttingen

Neuro-Bionic Closed-Loop System - Coordinator Prof. Dr. Florentin Wörgötter

The Bernstein Focus Neurotechnology (BFNT) in Göttingen was funded by the BMBF for a period of 5 years from 2008 to 2013. It focused on the investigation and design of Neuro-Bionic Closed-Loop Systems. In a Neuro-Bionic Closed-Loop System biological and technical components are functionally tightly linked to form a control loop where a neuronal system influences a technical device, which in turn provides feedback to the neuronal system. Such systems require the extraction and analysis of neuronal activity, by which the device is adaptively controlled, and the generation of appropriate stimulation signals for neural control.

In the Bernstein Focus Neurotechnology (BFNT) Göttingen, engineers and theoreticians with a long-standing involvement in neuroscience collaborated with advanced experimental groups in order to investigate and design complete Neuro-Bionic Closed-Loop Systems, neuro-sensing and neuro-stimulation strategies.

This scientific configuration found the recognition of an international board of referees upon whose vote the BFNT was equipped with a BMBF-grant for 5 years, allowing it e.g. to create two new chairs, one for neuroinformatics and one for systemic neurobiology. The BFNT Göttingen includes theoretical research groups based in the faculty of Physics (T. Geisel, F. Wörgötter) of the Georg-August-University Göttingen, and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (A. Biess, T. Geisel, M. Herrmann, A. Neef, F. Wolf), as well as experimental groups from the faculties of Medicine (T. Moser, W. Paulus, D. Schild) and Biology (S. Treue) of the Georg-August-University Göttingen, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (A. Egner, J. Frahm), the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine (W. Stühmer), the German Primate Center (A. Gail, S. Treue), Hannover Medical School (T. Lenarz), and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt (E. Bamberg).

Moreover, active collaboration with the following industrial partners further defined the scientific and technological core of the BFNT Göttingen: Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH, Cochlear Gmbh, LEICA Microsystems GmbH, MED-EL GmbH, and Thomas Recording GmbH.

The coordinator of the BFNT Göttingen was Prof. Dr. Wörgötter, head of the Department of Computational Neuroscience at the Georg-August-University Göttingen.