• Electrophysiology
    Electro- physiology
    Measuring how neurons communicate with each other
  • Histology
    Tissue sections reveal the cellular structure of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    Anatomical imaging using tissue contrast
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
    Watching the brain as while works
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
    Measuring specific chemicals in the brain
  • Surgical procedures in laboratory animals
    Surgical procedures
    Operations are always carried out under general anesthesia
  • Implant technology
    Only biocompatible implants made of titanium or special plastics are used
  • Alternative methods
    Potential and limits of alternatives to animal experiments
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The Methodology of Brain Research

A broad spectrum of different invasive and non-invasive methods are used in the cognitive neurosciences.Each of these methods is used to study a different aspect of the brain, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.  

Imaging techniques are very well suited to studying the activity in networks of brain regions, while electrophysiology can provide very accurate information about the actual local activity of neurons. Which method is actually used always depends on the topic being studied. Often, very complicated problems can only be answered with a combination of experiments using multiple research methods.  

On the following pages we will take a closer look at the methods employed at our institute. At the same time, we will examine some of the alternatives that have been proposed by animal research opponents.