After studying Biological sciences at the Goethe University in Frankfurt which I finished with writing my Bachelor thesis in the AC lab, I decided to focus on neuroscience entirely. Since I am quite in love with Frankfurt the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Master Program of the Goethe University was the next logical step for me that allowed me to gather new experiences in a variety of topics while working for several different labs. However, in the end I decided to come back to Prof. Kössl’s group for my Master thesis and this is where I am now studying those fascinating and cute bats again.


The ability of an animal to detect unexpected acoustic cues in an environment of repetitive inputs is crucial for its survival in nature. The neural mechanisms underlying this ability have been strongly investigated in both humans and animal models at a variety of different levels of the brain. In humans, the mismatch negativity (MMN), a component of the event-related potential (ERP), is a long-ago established mean to study deviance detection by EEG recordings. On the other hand, deviance detection mechanisms could also be shown on single-unit level when it is called stimulus specific adaptation (SSA). However, until today the lowest brain structure that any form of deviance detection (both on single- and multi-unit level) could be shown for is the inferior colliculus (IC). In my master thesis I am tackling this issue by investigating possible low-structure deviance detection mechanisms in bats by an almost non-invasive differential recoding technique.


©2020 by Julio Hechavarria.