Opendata, web and dolomites


Development of synaptic networks in songbirds

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 DESYNE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the DESYNE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "DESYNE" about.

takes    tool    avian    map    risk    multiple    cat    valuable    projection    mechanisms    electron    area    synaptic    afferent    physical    language    prior    types    light    vocal    workflow    projectomics    time    origin    neural    fluorescently    promise    biological    efferent    expansion    human    dependence    microscopic    speech    name    staining    efficient    feasible    parallels    imaging    neuroanatomy    birdsong    plan    correlating    neuron    extremely    topographic    tissue    underlying    scanning    explore    premotor    resolve    songbird    em    tissues    cell    combining    memorization    combination    densely    technique    postsynaptic    exm    labeled    stereotyped    microscopy    tutor    correlative    sensorimotor    holds    abbe    emergence    datasets    peripheral    understand    tomography    adult    replace    proper    unexplored    limit    song    labeling    brain    synapses    feasibility    central    plays    consuming    networks    ultra    hvc    certain    array    perception    songbirds    detecting    connections    visualizing    structure    diffraction    learning   

Project "DESYNE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Raemistrasse 101
postcode: 8092

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 175˙419 €
 EC max contribution 175˙419 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Vocal learning in songbirds is a complex sensorimotor behaviour with many established parallels to human speech and language learning. Here we aim to resolve the neural ultra-structure of a key premotor area in the songbird brain, HVC (proper name). HVC plays a major role in song learning and takes part in both song perception and production. To understand the neural mechanisms of tutor song memorization and emergence of stereotyped adult song, we plan to map the networks of HVC’s afferent and efferent synaptic connections and to explore the experience dependence of these connections during tutor-based song learning. Electron microscopy (EM) is a valuable approach for detecting synapses in densely labeled brain tissues. However, one of the main challenges of EM is to identify topographic origin of synapses as well as pre- and postsynaptic cell types. I plan to address this problem by combining EM and light microscopy using correlative array tomography (CAT), a technique for visualizing projection neuron networks (projectomics). CAT involves multiple steps of labeling, staining, scanning, and correlating datasets, which is a feasible but time consuming workflow. As high-risk addition to my plan of using CAT, I will also apply expansion microscopy (ExM) to this projectomics problem. The ExM approach is based on physical expansion of fluorescently labeled biological tissue prior to light microscopic imaging. ExM holds the promise of extremely efficient imaging beyond Abbe’s diffraction limit, which may allow it to replace EM for certain applications such as visualizing synaptic connections. ExM is a promising yet unexplored new tool for projectomics research and avian neuroanatomy in general. We will use ExM, CAT, or a combination, to resolve central and peripheral networks involved in tutor based song learning. Our work will contribute to visualizing the synaptic changes underlying birdsong learning and will explore the feasibility of ExM for projectomics research.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Daniel Normen Düring, Mariana Diales Rocha, Falk Dittrich, Manfred Gahr, Richard Hans Robert Hahnloser
Expansion Light Sheet Microscopy Resolves Subcellular Structures in Large Portions of the Songbird Brain
published pages: all, ISSN: 1662-5129, DOI: 10.3389/fnana.2019.00002
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 13 2019-08-30
2019 German Koestinger, Daniel During, Simone Rickauer, Vanessa Leite, Homare Yamahachi, Gabor Csucs, Richard HR Hahnloser
Magnetic Ultrathin Tissue Sections for Ease of Light and Electron Microscopy
published pages: 8-11, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/532549
bioRxiv 2019-08-30
2019 Mariana Diales Rocha, Daniel Normen Düring, Philipp Bethge, Fabian F. Voigt, Staffan Hildebrand, Fritjof Helmchen, Alexander Pfeifer, Richard Hans Robert Hahnloser, Manfred Gahr
Tissue Clearing and Light Sheet Microscopy: Imaging the Unsectioned Adult Zebra Finch Brain at Cellular Resolution
published pages: all, ISSN: 1662-5129, DOI: 10.3389/fnana.2019.00013
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 13 2019-08-30
2018 *D. N. DÃœRING1,2,3,4, M. ROCHA3, F. DITTRICH3, M. L. GAHR3, R. H. HAHNLOSER4,2;
Combining light sheet and expansion microscopy for large scale, high resolution projectomics of the zebra finch brain
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting yearly 2019-08-30

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