In cooperation with the labs of Prof. H. Bleckmann and Prof. Leo van Hemmen we investigate basic physical properties of the mechanosensory lateral line. Biophysical modelling in the lab of Leo van Hemmen (Julie Goulet) has lead to a simple algorithm that we propose could be employed by fish to orient to hydrodynamic stimuli. The proposed algorithm could be confirmed based on recordings of the lateral line fibres in response to artificial dipole stimuli.

Based on this modelling work we since have concentrated on the encoding of hydrodynamic stimuli by the afferent of the superficial neuromast system. Surprisingly, we find a high temporal precision in the encoding of noise-stimuli.

At present Vanessa Hollmann is investigating how the crudely ordered topographic projection of the lateral line enrve fibres to the first relay nucleus (MON) is structured, in order to better understand the process of sensory topographic map formation in the ascending lateral line system. This work is corroborated through a theoretical modelling study by Dr. Julie Goulet.


Animated 3D brain reconstruction showing the reation between medullary and midbrain nuclei that are currently being investigated for their connectivity/topographic representation: