Reaching for a glass of water: what's so complicated about that? And yet the control of movements is a big mystery to neuroscientists. To perform such a simple action, a variety of areas of the brain work together and control the exact sequence of activity and relaxation of the many hand and arm muscles. Scientists want to understand how nerve cells control movement in the brain. With the help of methods that record the electrical activity of nerve cells, the Neuronal connections between brain, spinal cord and muscles can be studied more and more precisely. In his talk Christian Leukel, junior professor for neuroscience in sport, explains how he investigats what moves us. Transcranial magnetic stimulation plays an important role in his work. This device produces strong and rapidly changing magnetic fields that stimulate nerve cells in the brain and in this way trigger movement. He will demonstrate what this looks like at this Café Scientifique.
The »Kaffeehaus« was more than a mere gastronomical institution in past centuries. It was a place for social exchange and gatherings, where people discussed ideas and opinions. Café Scientifique reconnects to this tradition: already institutionalized in various cities, this event format makes scientific topics accessible for a broad audience in a relaxed atmosphere. After a comprehensible talk, findings and topics are discussed with the audience. The cluster of excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools of the University of Freiburg and the Bernstein Center Freiburg started such a Café series in 2013 in Freiburg, Germany.