Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

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New building of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt

The Max Planck Institute for Brain Research is located in Frankfurt, Germany. It was founded as Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research in Berlin 1914, and moved into new buildings in Frankfurt 1962. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society (Max Planck Gesellschaft).


The human brain is a formidably complex machine, composed of about one hundred billion neurons and trillions of connections, or synapses between them. Out of such a system, as if magically, arise perception, behavior and thought. The brain is often described as the "most complex machine in the known universe". Research at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research focuses on the operation of networks of neurons in the brain. The institute hosts three scientific departments (directors Moritz Helmstaedter Helmstaedter Department, Gilles Laurent Laurent Department and Erin Schuman Schuman Department), the Emeritus Group of Wolf Singer Singer Emeritus Group, two Max Planck Research Groups led by Johannes Letzkus Neocortical Circuits Group and Tatjana Tchumatchenko Theory of Neural Dynamics Group and several additional research units. The common research goal of the Institute is a mechanistic understanding of neurons and synapses, of the structural and functional circuits which they form, of the computational rules which describe their operations, and ultimately, of their roles in driving perception and behavior. The experimental focus is on all scales required to achieve this understanding - from networks of molecules in dendritic compartments to networks of interacting brain areas. This includes interdisciplinary analyses at the molecular, cellular, multi-cellular, network and behavioral levels, often combined with theoretical approaches.

Graduate Program[edit]

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Neural Circuits is a graduate program offering a Ph.D. The school is run in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics and the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main as well as the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and the Ernst Strüngmann Institute.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°5′35″N 8°39′5″E / 50.09306°N 8.65139°E / 50.09306; 8.65139