Ph.D. Program




Members > Fred Wolf

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Fred Wolf

Professor, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience

  • Head of the Research Group ‘Theoretical Neurophysics’, Department of Nonlinear Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, since 2004

  • Visiting Scolar, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara ( USA ), 2001, 2003, 2004

  • Research Associate, Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Göttingen, 2001-2004

  • Amos de Shalit Fellow, Racah Institute of Physics and Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem (Israel), 2000

  • Dr. phil. nat., J.W.Goethe Universität, Frankfurt , 1999

Major Research Interests:

Fred Wolf

  • Theoretical neuroscience and nonlinear dynamics

  • Dynamics and synchronization in cortical neural networks

  • Function and development of the visual cortex

  • Sensory processing in the auditory system

The brains of humans and animals arguably are among the most complex systems in nature. Over the past decade, theoretical neuroscience - the use of quantitative theories, mathematical modelling and advanced quantitative data analysis methods for the study of brain function - has started to provide powerfull new approaches for understanding the neuronal basis of preception, learning, memory, and other higher brain functions. This is because, even during the neuronal processing of the most elementary sensory stimulus large ensembles of interacting nerve cells distributed throughout the brain are activated, the collective operations of which are often hard to understand by means of purely qualitative reasoning.
The primary focus of our research in theoretical neuroscience is self-organisation in the dynamics of cortical networks. In particular, we have developed novel approches to model and predict the dynamics and and neuronal plasticity of the visual cortex. To quantitatively connect theory and experiment in this system, we recently also designed methods that enable to quantify the organization of visual cortical functional architecture with high precision. Another important focus of our work is the mathematical analysis of the dynamics of large and complex networks of pulse-coupled neuron models. The concepts and tools for the representation of the dynamics of cortical circuits developed enable a rational and transparent design of models of higher cortical functions such as the processes underlying perceptual learning phenomena.

Dept. of Non-linear Dynamics
MPInstitute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Bunsenstr. 10
37073 Göttingen

phone: +49-551-5176 423
fax: +49-551-5176 409

Further Information:

Selected Recent Publications:

Schnabel M, Kaschube M, Loewel S, and Wolf F. Random Waves in the Brain: Symmetries and Defect Generation in the Visual Cortex. Europhysics Journal (in press)

Hodgkin and Huxley model - still standing? B. Naundorf, F. Wolf, and M. Volgushev. Nature, 445:E2-E3, 2007

Timme M, Geisel T, Wolf F. Speed of synchronization in complex networks of neural oscillators: analytic results based on Random Matrix Theory. Chaos. 16:015108, 2006

Unique features of action potential initiation in cortical neurons. B Naundorf, F Wolf and M Volgushev, Nature 440(7087), 2006

Symmetry, Multistability, and Long-Range Interactions in Brain Development. F Wolf, Phys. Rev. Lett., 95:208701, 2005

Action potential onset dynamics and the response speed of neuronal populations. B Naundorf, T Geisel, F Wolf. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 18(3):297-309, 2005

Long chaotic transients in complex networks. A Zumdieck, M Timme, T Geisel, F Wolf. Phys. Rev. Lett., 93:244103, 2004

Topological speed limits to network synchronization. M Timme, F Wolf, T Geisel. Phys. Rev. Lett., 92:074101, 2004

Breaking synchrony by heterogeneity in complex networks. M Denker, M Timme, M Diesmann, F Wolf, T Geisel. Phys. Rev. Lett., 92:074103, 2004