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.

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

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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