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.

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

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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