Bochum, Germany
Bochum, Germany

Ruhr University Bochum , located on the southern hills of central Ruhr area Bochum, was founded in 1962 as the first new public university in Germany since World War II. Instruction began in 1965.The Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the largest universities in Germany and part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the most important German research funding organization.The RUB has been very successful in the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments , a competition among Germany's most prestigious universities. It was one of the few institutions left competing for the title of an "elite university", but did not succeed in the last round of the competition. There are currently nine universities in Germany that hold this title.The University of Bochum was one of the first universities in Germany to introduce international Bachelor and Master degrees, which replaced the traditional German Diplom and Magister. Except for a few special cases this process has been completed and all degrees been converted. Today, the university offers a total of 150 different study programs from all fields.Ruhr University is financed and administered by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, 38,675 students are enrolled, and the university employs over 5,500 staff , making it one of the ten largest universities in Germany . Kurt Biedenkopf, who later became prime minister of the state of Saxony, was director of the university from 1967 to 1969.Unlike a number of traditional universities, the buildings of Ruhr University are all centralized on one campus, except for the Faculty of Medicine, which also includes some hospitals in Bochum and the Ruhr area. Although the centralized university campus utilizes 1960s architecture almost exclusively, mainly consisting of 14 almost identical high-rise buildings, it is located at the edge of a green belt on high ground adjacent to the Ruhr valley. Wikipedia.

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Cheng S.,Ruhr University Bochum
Frontiers in Neural Circuits | Year: 2013

Over the past four decades, a "standard framework" has emerged to explain the neural mechanisms of episodic memory storage. This framework has been instrumental in driving hippocampal research forward and now dominates the design and interpretation of experimental and theoretical studies. It postulates that cortical inputs drive plasticity in the recurrent CA3 synapses to rapidly imprint memories as attractor states in CA3. Here we review a range of experimental studies and argue that the evidence against the standard framework is mounting, notwithstanding the considerable evidence in its support. We propose CRISP as an alternative theory to the standard framework. CRISP is based on Context Reset by dentate gyrus, Intrinsic Sequences in CA3 and Pattern completion in CA1. Compared to previous models, CRISP uses a radically different mechanism for storing episodic memories in the hippocampus. Neural sequences are intrinsic to CA3, and inputs are mapped onto these intrinsic sequences through synaptic plasticity in the feedforward projections of the hippocampus. Hence, CRISP does not require plasticity in the recurrent CA3 synapses during the storage process. Like in other theories DG and CA1 play supporting roles, however, their function in CRISP have distinct implications. For instance, CA1 performs pattern completion in the absence of CA3 and DG contributes to episodic memory retrieval, increasing the speed, precision and robustness of retrieval. We propose the conceptual theory, discuss its implications for experimental results and suggest testable predictions. It appears that CRISP not only accounts for those experimental results that are consistent with the standard framework, but also for results that are at odds with the standard framework. We therefore suggest that CRISP is a viable, and perhaps superior, theory for the hippocampal function in episodic memory. © 2013 Cheng.

Schwabe L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Wolf O.T.,Ruhr University Bochum
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2013

Although it has been known for decades that stress influences memory performance, it was only recently shown that stress may alter the contribution of multiple, anatomically and functionally distinct memory systems to behavior. Here, we review recent animal and human studies demonstrating that stress promotes a shift from flexible 'cognitive' to rather rigid 'habit' memory systems and discuss, based on recent neuroimaging data in humans, the underlying brain mechanisms. We argue that, despite being generally adaptive, this stress-induced shift towards 'habit' memory may, in vulnerable individuals, be a risk factor for psychopathology. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Schwabe L.,Ruhr University Bochum
Trends in cognitive sciences | Year: 2013

Although it has been known for decades that stress influences memory performance, it was only recently shown that stress may alter the contribution of multiple, anatomically and functionally distinct memory systems to behavior. Here, we review recent animal and human studies demonstrating that stress promotes a shift from flexible 'cognitive' to rather rigid 'habit' memory systems and discuss, based on recent neuroimaging data in humans, the underlying brain mechanisms. We argue that, despite being generally adaptive, this stress-induced shift towards 'habit' memory may, in vulnerable individuals, be a risk factor for psychopathology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gunturkun O.,Ruhr University Bochum | Bugnyar T.,University of Vienna
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2016

Assumptions on the neural basis of cognition usually focus on cortical mechanisms. Birds have no cortex, but recent studies in parrots and corvids show that their cognitive skills are on par with primates. These cognitive findings are accompanied by neurobiological discoveries that reveal avian and mammalian forebrains are homologous, and show similarities in connectivity and function down to the cellular level. But because birds have a large pallium, but no cortex, a specific cortical architecture cannot be a requirement for advanced cognitive skills. During the long parallel evolution of mammals and birds, several neural mechanisms for cognition and complex behaviors may have converged despite an overall forebrain organization that is otherwise vastly different. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Hansen N.,Ruhr University Bochum | Manahan-Vaughan D.,Ruhr University Bochum
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2014

Dopamine (DA) plays an essential role in the enablement of cognition. It adds color to experience-dependent information storage, conferring salience to the memories that result. At the synaptic level, experience-dependent information storage is enabled by synaptic plasticity, and given its importance for memory formation, it is not surprising that DA comprises a key neuromodulator in the enablement of synaptic plasticity, and particularly of plasticity that persists for longer periods of time: Analogous to long-term memory. The hippocampus, that is a critical structure for the synaptic processing of semantic, episodic, spatial, and declarative memories, is specifically affected by DA, with the D1/D5 receptor proving crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Furthermore, D1/D5 receptors are pivotal in conferring the properties of novelty and reward to information being processed by the hippocampus. They also facilitate the expression of persistent forms of synaptic plasticity, and given reports that both long-term potentiation and long-term depression encode different aspects of spatial representations, this suggests that D1/D5 receptors can drive the nature and qualitative content of stored information in the hippocampus. In light of these observations, we propose that D1/D5 receptors gate hippocampal long-term plasticity and memory and are pivotal in conferring the properties of novelty and reward to information being processed by the hippocampus. © 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Sandamirskaya Y.,Ruhr University Bochum
Frontiers in Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Dynamic Field Theory (DFT) is an established framework for modeling embodied cognition. In DFT, elementary cognitive functions such as memory formation, formation of grounded representations, attentional processes, decision making, adaptation, and learning emerge from neuronal dynamics. The basic computational element of this framework is a Dynamic Neural Field (DNF). Under constraints on the time-scale of the dynamics, the DNF is computationally equivalent to a soft winner-take-all (WTA) network, which is considered one of the basic computational units in neuronal processing. Recently, it has been shown how a WTA network may be implemented in neuromorphic hardware, such as analog Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) device. This paper leverages the relationship between DFT and soft WTA networks to systematically revise and integrate established DFT mechanisms that have previously been spread among different architectures. In addition, I also identify some novel computational and architectural mechanisms of DFT which may be implemented in neuromorphic VLSI devices using WTA networks as an intermediate computational layer. These specific mechanisms include the stabilization of working memory, the coupling of sensory systems to motor dynamics, intentionality, and autonomous learning. I further demonstrate how all these elements may be integrated into a unified architecture to generate behavior and autonomous learning. © 2014 Sandamirskaya.

Shukla P.K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Eliasson B.,Ruhr University Bochum
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2011

The current understanding of some important nonlinear collective processes in quantum plasmas with degenerate electrons is presented. After reviewing the basic properties of quantum plasmas, model equations (e.g., the quantum hydrodynamic and effective nonlinear Schrödinger-Poisson equations) are presented that describe collective nonlinear phenomena at nanoscales. The effects of the electron degeneracy arise due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and Pauli's exclusion principle for overlapping electron wave functions that result in tunneling of electrons and the electron degeneracy pressure. Since electrons are Fermions (spin-1/2 quantum particles), there also appears an electron spin current and a spin force acting on electrons due to the Bohr magnetization. The quantum effects produce new aspects of electrostatic (ES) and electromagnetic (EM) waves in a quantum plasma that are summarized in here. Furthermore, nonlinear features of ES ion waves and electron plasma oscillations are discussed, as well as the trapping of intense EM waves in quantum electron-density cavities. Specifically, simulation studies of the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger and Poisson equations reveal the formation and dynamics of localized ES structures at nanoscales in a quantum plasma. The effect of an external magnetic field on the plasma wave spectra and develop quantum magnetohydrodynamic equations are also discussed. The results are useful for understanding numerous collective phenomena in quantum plasmas, such as those in compact astrophysical objects (e.g., the cores of white dwarf stars and giant planets), as well as in plasma-assisted nanotechnology (e.g., quantum diodes, quantum free-electron lasers, nanophotonics and nanoplasmonics, metallic nanostructures, thin metal films, semiconductor quantum wells, and quantum dots, etc.), and in the next generation of intense laser-solid density plasma interaction experiments relevant for fast ignition in inertial confinement fusion schemes. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Betard A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Fischer R.A.,Ruhr University Bochum
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

A systematic and comprehensive treatment of metal-organic framework (MOF) thin films is presented and the existing collection of processing methods from various perspectives are rationaized. A method developed by H. Kitagawa, R. Makiura, and co-workers relies on MOF layers made in a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) apparatus that are transferred one after another onto a silicon substrate with intermediate rinsing steps. Carbonell et al. produced arrays of HKUST-1 single crystals, in which the substrates were homogeneously covered with various SAMs. Sanchez, Serre, and co-workers prepared well-defined MOF particles and transfer them onto a surface by dip coating. Surface modifications of MOF single crystals were pioneered by Gadzikwa et al., who were inspired by postsynthetic modification strategies. A reactive group was incorporated into the ligand and protected so as to allow synthesis of MOF single crystals.

Steinbach I.,Ruhr University Bochum
Annual Review of Materials Research | Year: 2013

This review presents a phase-field model that is generally applicable to homogeneous and heterogeneous systems at the mesoscopic scale. Reviewed first are general aspects about first- and second-order phase transitions that need to be considered to understand the theoretical background of a phase field. The mesoscopic model equations are defined by a coarse-graining procedure from a microscopic model in the continuum limit on the atomic scale. Special emphasis is given to the question of how to separate the interface and bulk contributions to the generalized thermodynamic functional, which forms the basis of all phase-field models. Numerical aspects of the discretization are discussed at the lower scale of applicability. The model is applied to spinodal decomposition and ripening in Ag-Cu with realistic thermodynamic and kinetic data from a database. © Copyright © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Kramer U.,Ruhr University Bochum
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2010

During the history of life on Earth, tectonic and climatic change repeatedly generated large territories that were virtually devoid of life and exhibited harsh environmental conditions. The ability of a few specialist pioneer plants to colonize such hostile environments was thus of paramount ecological importance for the continuous maintenance of primary production over time. Yet, we know very little about how extreme traits evolve and function in plants. Recent breakthroughs have given first insights into the molecular basis underlying the complex extreme model trait of metal hyperaccumulation and associated metal hypertolerance. This review gives an introduction into the hyperaccumulator research field and its history; provides an overview of hyperaccumulator germplasm; describes the state of the art of our understanding of the physiological, molecular, and genetic basis underlying metal hyperaccumulation and its evolution; and highlights future research needs and opportunities. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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