Optical Imaging Group

The Brain's Processing Dynamics

Our research focuses on visual information processing and its interaction with other modalities during behavior. We investigate how manifold parameters given in a visual scene are represented in real-time across neuronal populations using wide-field optical imaging with fluorescent voltage indicators. This technique is unique in its capability of capturing electrical activity of millions of neurons at once using light (for a review see "VSDI: a new era in functional imaging of cortical dynamics" and our contribution therein). In combination with optogenetic stimulation (i.e., light stimulation of specific target neurons and neuronal subnetworks) our approach provides access to both theoretical and experimental questions dealing with the highly dynamic activity patterns ob­served across the brain.


Plasticity - Learning - Vision

Given the tremendous density of intra-cortical connections neural interactions play a major role in computing behavioral relevant information. We like to identify the streams of bottom-up and top-down information processing leading to plastic cortical changes after learning and its perceptual correlates.

Further we investigate how serotonin influences sensory and motor processing. Along these lines we investigate how spatiotemporal patterns of activity reflect short-term plastic changes and how working memory traces influence expectation and decision processes.

For more details see our lab page: jancke-lab

"I-See" - Improving intracortical visual prostheses

JOINT RESEARCH, EU funded Project, ERA-Net Neuron. Our multidisciplinary EU-funded project brings together scientists from different fields and complementary experimental and theoretical know-how. (klick on image for further infos)

Cortical Plasticity

We apply voltage-sensitive dye imaging to capture modifications of cortical maps during non-invasive interventions using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The study has practical implications for perceptual learning and rehabilitation in traumatic or neurodegenerative impairment of the brain. Funding: Project A2, DFG - Collaborative Research Center, SFB-874

Resolving and Manipulating Neuronal Networks

Sensation and motor action is influenced through emotional factors like motivation, anger, fear, or attention. Using voltage-sensitive dye imaging in combination with optogenetics we study how serotonergic action affects quantities of sensory-motor integration as anticipation, adaptation, and learning. Funding: DFG - German Priority Programme - SPP 1665

Visual Perception and Cortical Encoding

Starting in January 2012, the project is funded for five years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) with around € 1.55 million. It is financed within the funding program "German-Israeli Project Cooperation" ("Deutsch-Israelische Projektkooperation", DIP) that fosters interdisciplinary cutting-edge research in both countries.


  • Induction of excitatory brain state governs plastic functional changes in visual cortical topology
    Eysel, U. T., & Jancke, D.
    Brain Structure and Function
  • Response retention and apparent motion effect in visual cortex models
    Tiselko, V. S., Volgushev, M., Jancke, D., & Chizhov, A. V.
    PLOS ONE, 18(11), e0293725
  • Optogenetic activation of mGluR1 signaling in the cerebellum induces synaptic plasticity
    Surdin, T., Preissing, B., Rohr, L., Grömmke, M., Böke, H., Barcik, M., et al.
    iScience, 26(1), 105828
  • 2022

  • Bridging the gap between single receptor type activity and whole-brain dynamics
    Jancke, D., Herlitze, S., Kringelbach, M. L., & Deco, G.
    The FEBS Journal, 289(8), 2067–2084
  • 2021

  • Darks and Lights, the `Yin–Yang′ of Vision Depends on Luminance
    Jancke, D.
    Trends in Neurosciences, 44(5), 339–341
  • 2020

  • Perception of the difference between past and present stimulus: A rare orientation illusion may indicate incidental access to prediction error-like signals
    Staadt, R., Philipp, S. T., Cremers, J. L., Kornmeier, J., & Jancke, D.
    PLOS ONE, 15(5), e0232349
  • Separable gain control of ongoing and evoked activity in the visual cortex by serotonergic input
    Azimi, Z., Barzan, R., Spoida, K., Surdin, T., Wollenweber, P., Mark, M. D., et al.
    eLife, 9
  • 2019

  • CaMello-XR enables visualization and optogenetic control of Gq/11 signals and receptor trafficking in GPCR-specific domains
    Eickelbeck, D., Karapinar, R., Jack, A., Suess, S. T., Barzan, R., Azimi, Z., et al.
    Communications Biology, 2(1)
  • 2018

  • Subtraction and division of visual cortical population responses by the serotonergic system
    Azimi, Z., Spoida, K., Barzan, R., Wollenweber, P., Mark, M. D., Herlitze, S., & Jancke, D.
    Preprint at bioRxiv
  • TMS-induced neuronal plasticity enables targeted remodeling of visual cortical maps
    Kozyrev, V., Staadt, R., Eysel, U. T., & Jancke, D.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(25), 6476–6481
  • Optical Imaging With Voltage Sensors—Capturing TMS-Induced Neuronal Signals Using Light
    Jancke, D.
    In Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience (pp. 223–234) Elsevier
  • 2017

  • Catching the voltage gradient—asymmetric boost of cortical spread generates motion signals across visual cortex: a brief review with special thanks to Amiram Grinvald
    Jancke, D.
    Neurophoton., 4(3), 031206
  • 2016

  • Melanopsin Variants as Intrinsic Optogenetic On and Off Switches for Transient versus Sustained Activation of G Protein Pathways
    Spoida, K., Eickelbeck, D., Karapinar, R., Eckhardt, T., Mark, M. D., Jancke, D., et al.
    Current Biology, 26(9), 1206–1212
  • Temporal Asymmetry in Dark–Bright Processing Initiates Propagating Activity across Primary Visual Cortex
    Rekauzke, S., Nortmann, N., Staadt, R., Hock, H. S., Schöner, G., & Jancke, D.
    The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(6), 1902–1913
  • 2015

  • Visual homeostatic processing in V1: when probability meets dynamics
    Nortmann, N., Rekauzke, S., Azimi, Z., Onat, S., König, P., & Jancke, D.
    Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9
  • 2014

  • Voltage-sensitive dye imaging of transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced intracortical dynamics
    Kozyrev, V., Eysel, U. T., & Jancke, D.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(37), 13553–13558
  • Optogenetic Assessment of Horizontal Interactions in Primary Visual Cortex (pg 4976, 2014)
    Chavane, F., Sharon, D., Jancke, D., Marre, O., Fregnac, Y., & Grinvald, A.
    J Neurosci, 34(26), 8930–8930
  • Synergistic effects of noradrenergic modulation with atomoxetine and 10 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on motor learning in healthy humans
    Sczesny-Kaiser, M., Bauknecht, A., Höffken, O., Tegenthoff, M., Dinse, H. R., Jancke, D., et al.
    BMC neuroscience, 15(1), 46
  • 2013

  • Primary Visual Cortex Represents the Difference Between Past and Present
    Nortmann, N., Rekauzke, S., Onat, S., König, P., & Jancke, D.
    Cerebral Cortex, 25(6), 1427–1440
  • Cortical long-range interactions embed statistical knowledge of natural sensory input: a voltage-sensitive dye imaging study
    Onat, S., Jancke, D., & König, P.
    F1000Research, 2, 51
  • Modeling correlations in spontaneous activity of visual cortex with centered Gaussian-binary deep Boltzmann machines
    Wang, N., Jancke, D., & Wiskott, L.
    arXiv preprint arXiv:1312.6108
  • 2012

  • Orientation selective or not?–Measuring significance of tuning to a circular parameter
    Grabska-Barwińska, A., Ng, B. S. W., & Jancke, D.
    Journal of neuroscience methods, 203(1), 1–9
  • 2011

  • Lateral spread of orientation selectivity in V1 is controlled by intracortical cooperativity
    Chavane, F., Sharon, D., Jancke, D., Marre, O., Frégnac, Y., & Grinvald, A.
    Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 5
  • Natural scene evoked population dynamics across cat primary visual cortex captured with voltage-sensitive dye imaging
    Onat, S., König, P., & Jancke, D.
    Cerebral cortex, 21(11), 2542–2554
  • Independent encoding of grating motion across stationary feature maps in primary visual cortex visualized with voltage-sensitive dye imaging
    Onat, S., Nortmann, N., Rekauzke, S., König, P., & Jancke, D.
    Neuroimage, 55(4), 1763–1770
  • Nasal chemosensory-stimulation evoked activity patterns in the rat trigeminal ganglion visualized by in vivo voltage-sensitive dye imaging
    Rothermel, M., Ng, B. S. W., Grabska-Barwińska, A., Hatt, H., & Jancke, D.
    PloS one, 6(10), e26158
  • 2010

  • Stimulus Localization by Neuronal Populations in Early Visual Cortex: Linking Functional Architecture to Perception
    Jancke, D., Chavane, F., & Grinvald, A.
    In Dynamics of Visual Motion Processing (pp. 95–116) Springer
  • Bridging the Gap: A Model of Common Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Fröhlich Effect, the Flash-Lag Effect, and the Representational Momentum Effect
    Jancke, D., & Erlhagen, W.
    In Space and Time in Perception and Action (pp. 422–440) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • A dynamic neural field model of mesoscopic cortical activity captured with voltage-sensitive dye imaging
    Markounikau, V., Igel, C., Grinvald, A., & Jancke, D.
    PLoS computational biology, 6(9), e1000919
  • Dominant vertical orientation processing without clustered maps: early visual brain dynamics imaged with voltage-sensitive dye in the pigeon visual Wulst
    Ng, B. S. W., Grabska-Barwińska, A., Güntürkün, O., & Jancke, D.
    J Neurosci, 30(19), 6713–6725
  • 2009

  • Contrast independence of cardinal preference: stable oblique effect in orientation maps of ferret visual cortex
    Grabska-Barwińska, A., Distler, C., Hoffmann, K. -P., & Jancke, D.
    European Journal of Neuroscience, 29(6), 1258–1270
  • A Mesoscopic Model of VSD Dynamics Observed in Visual Cortex Induced by Flashed and Moving Stimuli
    Markounikau, V., Igel, C., & Jancke, D.
    In Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience (p. 64) Frontiers
  • Strengthening of lateral activation in adult rat visual cortex after retinal lesions captured with voltage-sensitive dye imaging in vivo
    Palagina, G., Eysel, U. T., & Jancke, D.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(21), 8743–8747
  • Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging of Odor Evoked Activity Patterns in the Trigeminal Ganglion in vivo
    Rothermel, M., Ng, B., Hatt, H., & Jancke, D.
  • 2007

  • Cortical response field dynamics in cat visual cortex
    Sharon, D., Jancke, D., Chavane, F., Na′aman, S., & Grinvald, A.
    Cerebral Cortex, 17(12), 2866–2877
  • 2004

  • The role of action plans and other cognitive factors in motion extrapolation: A modelling study
    Erlhagen, W., & Jancke, D.
    Visual Cognition, 11(2-3), 315–340
  • Imaging cortical correlates of illusion in early visual cortex
    Jancke, D., Chavane, F., Naaman, S., & Grinvald, A.
    Nature, 428(6981), 423–426
  • Shorter latencies for motion trajectories than for flashes in population responses of cat primary visual cortex
    Jancke, D., Erlhagen, W., Schöner, G., & Dinse, H. R.
    The Journal of Physiology, 556(3), 971–982
  • 2002

  • Evolving field models for inhibition effects in early vision
    Igel, C., von Seelen, W., Erlhagen, W., & Jancke, D.
    Neurocomputing, 44, 467–472
  • 2001

  • Chapter 10: Comparative population analysis of cortical representations in parametric spaces of visual field and skin : a unifying role for nonlinear interactions as a basis for active information processing across modalities
    Dinse, H. R., & Jancke, D.
    In M. A. L. Nicolelis (Ed.), Advances in neural population coding (pp. 155–173) Elsevier
  • Comparative population analysis of cortical representations in parametric spaces of visual field and skin: A unifying role for nonlinear interactions as a basis for active information processing across modalities
    Dinse, H. R., & Jancke, D.
    Progress in brain research, 130, 155–173
  • Time-variant processing in V1: From microscopic (single cell) to mesoscopic (population) levels
    Dinse, H. R., & Jancke, D.
    Trends in neurosciences, 24(4), 203–205
  • Optimization of dynamic neural fields
    Igel, C., Erlhagen, W., & Jancke, D.
    Neurocomputing, 36(1), 225–233
  • 2000

  • Orientation formed by a spot’s trajectory: A two-dimensional population approach in primary visual cortex
    Jancke, D.
    J Neurosci, 20(14), U13–U18
  • 1999

  • The distribution of neuronal population activation (DPA) as a tool to study interaction and integration in cortical representations
    Erlhagen, W., Bastian, A., Jancke, D., Riehle, A., & Schöner, G.
    Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 94(1), 53–66
  • Parametric population representation of retinal location: Neuronal interaction dynamics in cat primary visual cortex
    Jancke, D., Erlhagen, W., Dinse, H. R., Akhavan, A. C., Giese, M., Steinhage, A., & Schöner, G.
    J Neurosci, 19(20), 9016–9028
  • 1996

  • Population coding in cat visual cortex reveals nonlinear interactions as predicted by a neural field model
    Jancke, D., Akhavan, A. C., Erlhagen, W., Giese, M., Steinhage, A., Schöner, G., & Dinse, H. R.
    In Artificial Neural Networks — ICANN 96 (pp. 641–648) Springer Berlin Heidelberg


  • Purification of fluorescence signals derived from widefield optical brain imaging using genetically encoded voltage indicators
    Weißbrodt, D. S.
  • 2020

  • Effekte serotonerger Rezeptoren auf die kortikale Aktivität der Maus durch Benutzung optogenetischer Techniken
    Novosad, A.
    Master’s thesis, Fakultät für Biologie und Biotechnologie, Univ. of Bochum, Germany
  • 2018

  • Programmierung eines Arduino Controllers zur Steuerung und Organisation von Verhaltensexperimenten
    Studenyak, V.
    Bachelor's thesis, Applied Informatics, Univ. of Bochum, Germany

PhD position - JOINT RESEARCH, EU funded Project, ERA-Net Neuron

"I-See" - Improving intracortical visual prostheses. Our multidisciplinary EU-funded project brings together scientists from different fields and complementary experimental and theoretical know-how. The project part of the PhD position comprises electrical stimulation in the mouse brain combined with cutting-edge (optogenetic) voltage imaging techniques (Knöpfel Lab, Imperial College London). The aim of our international consortium (Switzerland, Canada, UK, and Germany) is to improve the ability of cortical prostheses to 'mimic' the language of the brain and increase the safety and longevity of visual prosthetic devices.

PhD position - RUB-China Scholarship Council (CSC)

Our lab participates in a new call offered by the RUB to attract students from China. This is also to strengthen existing education and research cooperation with Chinese universities and research institutions. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) offers scholarships to highly qualified Chinese candidates who wish to study and/or carry out research at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.

The Institut für Neuroinformatik (INI) is a central research unit of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. We aim to understand the fundamental principles through which organisms generate behavior and cognition while linked to their environments through sensory systems and while acting in those environments through effector systems. Inspired by our insights into such natural cognitive systems, we seek new solutions to problems of information processing in artificial cognitive systems. We draw from a variety of disciplines that include experimental approaches from psychology and neurophysiology as well as theoretical approaches from physics, mathematics, electrical engineering and applied computer science, in particular machine learning, artificial intelligence, and computer vision.

Universitätsstr. 150, Building NB, Room 3/32
D-44801 Bochum, Germany

Tel: (+49) 234 32-28967
Fax: (+49) 234 32-14210