Our research focuses on understanding the fundamental properties of information coding in the nervous system.

How do neuronal networks efficiently encode information, given the great amount of redundancy in natural statistical inputs?

How do neuronal networks predict the future?

What are the codewords composing the neural dictionary? Does the brain use spike timing to encode information?

How do priors and expectations shape the encoding of sensory inputs?

How do neural networks learn things in an unsupervised way?

How does neural processing depend on brain state?



To answer these kind of questions, we use a variety of techniques and approaches.

We employ machine learning techniques to model predictive relationships among sensory inputs - across space and time.

We develop new algorithms for unsupervised clustering of high-dimensional neural datasets.

We use information and neural network theory to understand neural coding.

We use high-density, multi-areal electrophysiological recordings of neurons, from all cortical layers.

We use optogenetics to identify subtypes of neurons - like interneurons - and modify cortical activity.

For example we are manipulating top-down pathways using new opsins and AAV viruses.

We carefully monitor the state of the organism using e.g. pupil diameter.

And we never forget about dynamics, chaos and synchronization, as the brain is an analog computing system.

Dynamics can solve computational problems in unthinkable ways.




We are always looking for talented master students, PhD candidates and postdocs to join our team.

We hire people with a variety of backgrounds such as biology and computer science.

Frankfurt is an extremely exciting neuroscience hub, with several Max Planck institutes for Neuroscience.

And, some great university research centers nearby.

Our institute is brand-new and close to the center and beautiful river area.

Also check out the IMPRS program for neural circuits if you want to do a PhD.

ESI has excellent working conditions and salaries for PhDs and postdocs.

Please contact me at martin.vinck@esi-frankfurt.de



We thank the Struengmann brothers for their continuous and generous support for research.