How does the brain generate function? What are the underlying structure-function interrelations and how do they develop? Answers are based on an understanding of phylogenetic and ontogenetic processes and organization principles sculpting the functional architecture of the brain.
One fundamental organization principle is neuronal lateralization what means structural and functional differences between the two to brain halves. Processing differences between the left and right brain halves are widespread in the animal kingdom and hence, presumably provide important evolutionary advantages. Using primarily the visual system of pigeons as a model system, we try to understand the evolutionary advantages of a lateralized brain, the underlying functional organization and its ontogenetic development. To this end, we mainly combine neuroanatomical and behavioral approaches.
Currently, we conduct behavioral experiments investigating light-dependent visual lateralization pattern, hemispheric dominance in conflict choices and combination of interhemispheric information.