CBBM Lecture "Cognitive ontogeny in health and mental illness: a story of right communication"

by Prof. Dr. Ileana Hanganu-Opatz, PhD,

Developmental Neurophysiology

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf


will take place on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours in CBBM Building, EG, Room 50/51.

Host: Prof. Lisa Marshall
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 
University of Lübeck


Cognitive performance relies on the entrainment of neuronal networks in oscillatory patterns of electrical activity. They ensure the spatiotemporal orchestration of neuronal activity and enable information transfer and storage, as exemplified in the case of functional interplay between the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Coupling of the neuronal networks in oscillatory rhythms is not a hallmark of the adult brain but rather emerges early during development. However, the contribution of coordinated activity for the maturation of neuronal networks accounting for cognitive processing remains largely unknown. The talk will introduce the mechanisms controlling the development of structural and functional coupling within prefrontal-hippocampal networks of rodents from birth until juvenile stage of development. In particular, the cellular interactions accounting for emergence of long-range communication in the immature brain will be highlighted. Moreover, the impaired maturation of functional communication within hippocampal-prefrontal networks, switching from hypo- to hyper-coupling, will be characterized as a possible mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders.


Ileana Hanganu-Opatz studied Biology and Biochemistry in Bucharest and received her doctoral degree from University of Düsseldorf in 2002. After two postdoctoral trainings in Mainz (2002-2005) at the Insitute of Physiology and in Marseille (2005-2006) at INMED INSERM, she became senior researcher (2007-2008) and completed her Habilitation in 2009 at the University of Mainz. Since 2008 she is BMBF Fellow in the Center of Molecular Neurobiology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). Since 2009 she is Emmy-Noether Fellow in the same Center. In 2010 she was appointed Assistant Professor of Physiology in the Center of Molecular Neurobiology at UKE.