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Jösch Group


Maximilian Jösch and his team study the neuronal basis of innate behaviors, i.e. the processes implemented by neuronal circuits to transform sensory information into motor commands. Using a combination of molecular and physiological approaches, they monitor brain activity during animal behavior to reveal the principles and motifs of neuronal computation.

Two different model organisms, the mouse and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), are being used in parallel to take advantage of their unique strengths and gather a general, crossphyla understanding of computational principles. Experiments in the mouse will allow the group to study the mechanisms used by the nervous system to send behaviorally relevant information from the eye to the brain, e.g., to easily detect a red apple in the green foliage. By conducting experiments in the fly, the group intends to obtain comprehensive understanding of the molecular, anatomical, and physiological instructions conveyed by a highly defined circuit involved in course control. This is possible because neuronal circuits in the fly brain are highly stereotyped, allowing high throughput screenings of the behavioral role of identified cells.

Jösch Group Website

On this site:


Image of Laura Burnett

Laura Burnett

PhD Student

Image of Divyansh Gupta

Divyansh Gupta

PhD Student

Image of Tomas Masson

Tomas Masson


Image of Victoria Pokusaeva

Victoria Pokusaeva

PhD Student

Image of Eleonora Quiroli

Eleonora Quiroli

PhD Student

Image of Roshan Satapathy

Roshan Satapathy

PhD Student

Image of Florian Schmidt

Florian Schmidt

PhD Student

Image of Olga Symonova

Olga Symonova

Research Technician

Image of Ece Sönmez

Ece Sönmez

PhD Student

Image of Tomas Vega Zuniga

Tomas Vega Zuniga


Current Projects

Comprehensive mapping of the behavioral repertoire instructed by defined neuronal circuitries | Role of electrical synapses in sensory transformations | Mechanisms of visual saliency and attention | State dependent modulation of sensory information | Sensorimotor transformation in the superior colliculus


Reyes‐Pinto R, Ferrán JL, Vega Zuniga TA, González‐Cabrera C, Luksch H, Mpodozis J, Puelles L, Marín GJ. 2022. Change in the neurochemical signature and morphological development of the parvocellular isthmic projection to the avian tectum. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 530(2), 553–573. View

Fredes Tolorza FA, Silva Sifuentes MA, Koppensteiner P, Kobayashi K, Jösch MA, Shigemoto R. 2021. Ventro-dorsal hippocampal pathway gates novelty-induced contextual memory formation. Current Biology. 31(1), P25–38.E5. View

Deichler A, Carrasco D, Lopez-Jury L, Vega Zuniga TA, Marquez N, Mpodozis J, Marin G. 2020. A specialized reciprocal connectivity suggests a link between the mechanisms by which the superior colliculus and parabigeminal nucleus produce defensive behaviors in rodents. Scientific Reports. 10, 16220. View

Salazar JE, Severin D, Vega Zuniga TA, Fernández-Aburto P, Deichler A, Sallaberry A. M, Mpodozis J. 2019. Anatomical specializations related to foraging in the visual system of a nocturnal insectivorous bird, the band-winged nightjar (Aves: Caprimulgiformes). Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 94(1–4), 27–36. View

Masís J, Mankus D, Wolff S, Guitchounts G, Jösch MA, Cox D. 2018. A micro-CT-based method for characterising lesions and locating electrodes in small animal brains. Journal of visualized experiments (JoVE). 141. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Maximilian Jösch


since 2017 Assistant Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2010 – 2016 Postdoc and Research Associate, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
2009 Postdoc, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany
2009 PhD, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany and Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany

Selected Distinctions

2017 ERC Starting Grant
2016 Article Recommendation by F1000
2014 Best Poster Award, Retina FASEB Meeting
2011 Otto Hahn Medal, Max Planck Society
2011 Best Neuroscience Article, Neuroforum
2010 HFSP Long-term Fellowship
2009 Summa Cum Laude, PhD thesis

Additional Information

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