junior research group

Dr. valtcheva

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Understanding the neural circuits underlying different aspects of naturalistic behaviors is critical for elucidating motor control in mammals. We are interested in adult-infant interactions which consist of complex motor actions formed by sequences of behavioral motifs. Parental behaviors are triggered by specific sensory cues from the offspring and strongly influenced by internal states such as hormonal levels in new mothers. We study maternal infant-oriented motor actions, naturally occurring in mice, such as staying in the nest to nurse and retrieval of misplaced pups back to the nest. We are using a variety of synaptic, circuit and behavior approaches to uncover how sensory cues from mouse pups are integrated in the maternal brain to drive hormonal release and state-dependent execution of mother-infant interactions. Gaining mechanistic understanding about the mechanisms which establish this sensory-hormonal-motor coupling can provide new therapeutical avenues not only for postpartum conditions but also for motor and sensory recovery in neurodegenerative diseases.




Dr. Silvana Valtcheva

Jun.- Research – Group Leader


University of Cologne

Department of Vegetative Physiology
Robert-Koch-Str. 39
50931 Cologne

+49 (0)221-478-6954                            


Dr. Mingyu Yang




Kaya Baumert