The research group optophysiology is headed by Prof. Björn Kampa. The focus of the working group acts at RWTH Aachen University (https://brain.rwth-aachen.de/).

In the context of the JARA Institute Brain Structure Function Relationships, the focus is on electrophysiology and optophysiology.

Prof. Björn Kampa

Phone:   +49 (0)241 80-24840

Email:    kampa(at)brain.rwth-aachen.de

ORCID: 0000-0002-4343-2634

Research Topics

The research group “Optophysiology” applies novel optical and electrophysiological technicques to reveal the neural circuits of decision making in virtual reality in mice.

Research Focus

How do we decide to turn left or right? Our brain constantly needs to integrate prior experience with current sensory evidence to decide about our next move. This complex behavior involves many brain regions and also many different strategies. To understand the underlying neural circuits it is therefore important to focus on a well-defined task and question. 

The Optophysiology Laboratory investigates the neural circuits of decision-making in mice navigating in virtual reality. The approach of our team involves combinations of electrophysiology, two-photon imaging and optogenetics in behaving animals.

Methods and Infrastructures used

· Multiphoton imaging and Optogenetics in vitro & in vivo

· Whole Cell Patch-Clamp in vitro & in vivo

· Visual, tactile and auditory multisensory processing

· Behavior essays in touchscreen chambers and virtual reality


RTG2416 Multisenses-Multiscales: PI on Project about Multisensory Integration in Mouse Cortex

RTG2610 Innoretvision: PI on Project about Colorvision in Mouse

NRW-Netzwerk ibehave: PI on Project about Novelty Detection in Mice, Flies and Humans


Ciganok-Hückels N, Jehasse K, Kricsfalussy-Hrabár L, Ritter M, Rüland T, Kampa BM (2022) Postnatal development of electrophysiological and morphological properties in layer 2/3 and layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex (in print)

Musall S, Sun XR, Mohan H, An X, Gluf S, Li S, Drewes R, Cravo E, Lenzi I, Yin C, Kampa BM, Churchland AK (2022) Pyramidal cell types drive functionally distinct cortical activity patterns during decision-making. Nature Neuroscience (in print). https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.27.461599

Wiesbrock, C, Musall, S, Kampa, BM (2022) A flexible python-based touchscreen chamber for operant conditioning reveals improved visual perception of cardinal orientations in mice. Front. Cell. Neurosci. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2022.866109.

Srikantharajah, K, Medinaceli Quintela, R, Doerenkamp, K. Kampa, BM, Musall, S, Rothermel, M, & Offenhäusser, A (2021) Minimally-invasive insertion strategy and in vivo evaluation of multi-shank flexible intracortical probes. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-11.

Keller AJ, Houlton R, Kampa BM, Lesica NA, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Keller GB, Helmchen F (2017) Stimulus relevance modulates contrast adaptation in visual cortex. Elife 6, 151.

Research Software or other Community Services

A flexible python-based touchscreen chamber for operant conditioning in mice

MazeMaster: an open-source Python-based software package for controlling virtual reality experiments

Code and information available on our website www.brain.rwth-aachen.de


Prof. Dr. Björn Kampa

JARA Institute Brain structure-function relationships (INM-10)

+49 (0)241 80-24840

Last Modified: 15.11.2022