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Dr. Martha Havenith

Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience
Deutschordenstraße 46
60528 Frankfurt/Main


+49 (0)69 96769-361




Scientific Focus

Unlike in, say, C. Elegans, in mammals the conversion from sensory input to motor output follows a complex and flexible path, shaped by a multitude of interacting cognitive processes. As such, most neuronal and even behavioural responses are in fact not directly linked to external events, but internally generated and referenced. I have studied such internally driven cognitive and neuronal dynamics combining a range of techniques from acute and chronic electrophysiology to two-photon imaging and optogenetics, mouse behaviour and extensive data mining of neuronal and behavioural data. In the Zero-Noise Lab, my Co-PI Marieke Schölvinck and me explore how fundamental cognitive processes such as perception, attention and learning are superimposed in the same neuronal population at each moment on time, and how such superimposed coding is implemented across species – specifically monkeys and mice.


Mouse behaviour

Virtual reality



Data mining

Two-photon imaging





Selected Publications

Tlaie-Boria A, Abd El Hay M, Mert B, Taylor R, Ferracci PA, Shapcott K, Glukhova M, Pillow JW, Havenith MN, Schölvinck ML  (biorxiv) Thoughtful faces: inferring internal states across species using facial features.

 Tlaie-Boria A, Shapcott K, van der Plas T, Rowland J, Lees R, Keeling J, Packer A, Tiesinga P, Schölvinck ML, Havenith MN‡ (biorxiv; under review at PLoS Computational Biology) What does the mean mean? A simple test for neuroscience.

van Heukelum S, Tulva K, Geers F, van Dulm S, Ruisch IH, Mill J, Viana JG, Beckmann CF, Buitelaar JK, Poelmans G, Glennon JC, Vogt BA, Havenith MN‡, Franca ASC‡ (2021) A central role for anterior cingulate cortex in the control of pathological aggressionCurrent Biology31: 2321–2333

van Heukelum S, Mars RB, Guthrie M, Tiesinga P, Buitelaar JK, Beckmann CF, Vogt BA, Glennon JC‡, Havenith MN‡ (2020) Where is Cingulate Cortex? A Cross-Species View, Trends in Neurosciences, 43(5): 285-299

Havenith MN, Zijderveld PM, van Heukelum S, Abghari S, Glennon JC, Tiesinga P (2019) The Virtual-Environment-Foraging Task enables rapid training and single-trial metrics of rule acquisition and reversal in head-fixed mice, Nature Scientific Reports, 9(1): 4790

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