Julia Schiemann | Systems Neurophysiology | ZHMB Lab


The aim of my research is to understand how neuromodulatory neurotransmitters – mainly dopamine and noradrenaline – shape neuronal activity in networks that control motor behaviour. In a systems neurophysiology approach we aim to explain how genes (e.g. ion channels) control single neurons and how the activity of single neurons controls neuronal networks and behaviour.


 The ability to perform appropriate and well-coordinated movements in different contexts and environments is a crucial prerequisite for all aspects of our daily life – with dramatic consequences when motor systems fail in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. To better understand the disease mechanisms and to develop effective therapies, we must decipher the cellular and circuit functions that underlie modulation of neuronal activity within motor networks. In my lab we address the following questions using state-of-the-art system neuroscience strategies:


How are motor movements modulated in changing contexts?

How is movement control disturbed when key neuromodulatory systems degenerate?




Schematic illustration of the key motor control centres in the brain and the neuromodulatory dopamine and noradrenaline systems.

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