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Movies and Podcasts

Do you want to know what computational neuroscience and neurotechnology is all about? Or perhaps you want to keep up to date with current research in this field?

On this site, you find the films and podcasts that we have produced so far to address these topics.

At the Bernstein Conference 2011, Berlin-based artist Rainer Dunkel and scientists from the BCF presented for the first time the interactive art installation sensory neuronal network. You can read more about this project here.





In portrait: The Bernstein Center FreiburgMovie Bernstein Center Freiburg

Are you interested in briefly seeing what our work is about? Then, watch our video. We wish to thank the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience, who instigated this video production and made it financially possible.

- in English (6'45'')
- in German (6'42'')



wicn-still.pngWhat is Computational Neuroscience? (4'10'' / 4'16'')

- in English
- in German
- in Norwegian
- in Portuguese
- in Finnish
- in Amharic
- in Italian


Training course for non-academics: Mould a brainMovie Bernstein Center Freiburg

Even children explore their environment primarily by grasping and touching - and in later life the connection between the sense of touch and the ability to learn remains as well. The biologist Dr. Janina Kirsch, associated member of the Bernstein Center, makes use of this fact: In her continuing education course, she allows the participants to mould different areas of the human brain made of clay. The course (in German), which is aimed at non-academics from medical professions, is intended to give the participants a low-threshold approach and a deeper understanding of the anatomy and function of the brain.

- in German (2:58)
- in English (2:58)

Information about registration here


BCF research on video



Janina Kirsch explains her model

Structural organization of neuronal networks (5'12'')

in English 

Samora Okujeni and his colleagues from the Bernstein Center Freiburg investigate how neurons organize spontaneously to produce a mix of local and global connectivity, which increases the richness of activity patterns developing in a network. This is a brief introduction into their research.



Janina Kirsch explains her model

Recap of Brain Awareness Week 2017 in Freiburg (1'56'')

in English 

Nine school classes and more than 350 visitors in three days: this is the result of the Brain Awareness Week 2017 in Freiburg, which took place in the University Library last week. Thirteen research groups from four faculties at Freiburg University and the University Hospital participated in the event. Here is our brief video recap.



Janina Kirsch explains her model

"Knet' Dir ein Gehirn" – A video about the brain modelling course developed by Janina Kirsch (3'03'')

in German

The biologist Dr. Janina Kirsch explains how a rudimentary brain model can be made out of modeling clay. This brief video was produced to promote Brain Awareness Week 2017 which took place at the University Library in Freiburg from 13 to 15 March 2017.



Neuroscience in Sports

Neuroscience in Sports at Freiburg University (4'33'')

in English

The members of the Bernstein Center Freiburg, Prof. Christian Leukel and PhD student Alexander Kurz, provide a brief introduction to neuroscience research at the Department of Sports and Sport Science





The Freiburg Seminar for mathematics and natural sciences visits the Bernstein Center Freiburg  (2'20'')

in German

Our brief video recap of a student group from the Freiburg Seminar visiting the Bernstein Center Freiburg





Das Gehirn im Rechner (4'36'')

in German

In this short video Stefan Rotter explains computational neuroscience and the BCF research. The video is part of the "surprising science" video series published by the PR department of the University of Freiburg.





NEST:: documented (12'20'')

- in English
- in German

Documentary film on the simulation software and the people behind it.
A short version has been published as an episode of "Bernstein TV".




Crippling rhythms of Parkinson (5'55'') Parkinson-still.jpg

- in English
- in German

Based on the article
Kumar A., Cardanobile S., Rotter S. and Aertsen A. (2011) The role of inhibition in generating and controlling Parkinson’s disease oscillations in the basal ganglia. Front. Syst. Neurosci. 5:86



The Neuron's Footprint - Electrical activity analysis footprint-still.png
in living nerve cells (5'05'')

- in English
- in German





 ST_en_480_still.jpgPrecise Signals - Coding in the cerebral cortex (3'54'')

- in English
- in German

Based on the article
Nawrot, M. P.; Schnepel, P.; Aertsen, A. & Boucsein, C. (2009)
Precisely timed signal transmission in neocortical networks with reliable intermediate-range projections.
Front Neural Circuits 3 : 1




NeuroVision Film Contest

At the Bernstein Conference 2011 in Freiburg, this international award for short films from the neurosciences was handed out for the first time. Read more about the contest, the participating films and the winners here.







Here, we discuss current developments in the field of theoretical neuroscience, both from members of the BCF and beyond. This podcast is an attempt to explain complex theoretical ideas and their implication in understanding brain function to an audience that reaches beyond the direct scientific community. In regular editions, the hosts Arvind Kumar and Jannis Vlachos will summarize recent publications. When possible, they will be joined by the authors of those papers. Occasionally, we will present special editions with a differing concept. The podcasts are coordinated by Gunnar Grah.


Podcast 03 (Length: 00:22:04)

This time, we look at one one of the paradigms under which the brain can be understood and explored: as a network in which neurons act as "nodes" and their connections, the synapses, act as "links". This time, we are joined by BCF director Stefan Rotter and talk about the mathematical analysis of network structures from their beginnings as random graph models (Stefan mentions the Erdős–Rényi model) to current research. In this respect, Stefan introduces us to a recent article that he co-authored, How Structure Determines Correlations in Neuronal Networks.

Right-click to download mp3


Podcast 02 (Length: 00:16:37)

In our second issue, we take a step back and tackle a few very basic questions: What is Computational Neuroscience? Why bother to create models of brains, and how does one carry this out? What kind of contribution can this field of research make to neuroscience in general? 

We hope you enjoy this new installment, and are always glad to receive feedback.

Right-click to download mp3


Podcast 01 (Length: 00:19:37)

In this very first edition, we are still struggling with the acoustics, but more importantly, we discuss two papers. The first one deals with the development of mathematical tools to study the dynamics of biological neural networks. The second looks into the stability of biological neural networks. Arvind and Jannis will talk to the authors of these two papers, fellow BCF members Stefano Cardanobile and Sarah Jarvis to find out more about the importance of these two papers in the field of theoretical neuroscience.

Stefano Cardanobile presents his article

Cardanobile, S. & Rotter, S. (2010) Multiplicatively interacting point processes and applications to neural modeling. J Comput Neurosci 28 : 267-284 [pdf] [PubMed] [DOI]

and Sarah Jarvis talks about

Jarvis, S.; Rotter, S. & Egert, U. (2010) Extending stability through hierarchical clusters in echo state networks. Front Neuroinformatics 4 : [pdf] [PubMed] [DOI]

Enjoy this first installment, and we hope that you will check in again.

Right-click to download mp3


Podcast title music: "Faster Does It" by Kevin MacLeod








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