Opendata, web and dolomites


The Neurological Basis of the Magnetic Sense

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 NeuroMag project word cloud

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

vivo    detection    migratory    crystals    physical    each    electromagnetic    existence    locate    employ    sensors    dynamic    ear    intensity    assay    sheet    infrastructure    hemispheres    hidden    photon    kept    remedy    anticipate    demonstrating    secret    components    methodology    remarkable    detect    situation    mapping    induction    inclination    stimuli    circuits    complement    inner    microscopy    earth    utilising    millions    neurological    model    unequivocal    light    sensory    restricted    sense    neuronal    brain    molecular    magnetosensors    journeys    activation    explore    experiments    nature    magnetic    pigeons    pigeon    questions    underpinnings    anatomically    ensembles    encode    reveal    processed    least    magnetosensitive    faculties    coupled    molecularly    magnetite    electroreceptors    magnetically    clearing    primary    behavioural    neurons    millennia    guided    depends    hair    putative    oceans    opaque    cellular    encoded    picture    polarity    biophysical    cells    animals    transcriptomic   

Project "NeuroMag" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: WIEN
postcode: 1030

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 Austria [AT]
 Total cost 1˙990˙376 €
 EC max contribution 1˙990˙376 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-10-01   to  2024-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Each year millions of animals undertake remarkable migratory journeys, across oceans and through hemispheres, guided by the Earth’s magnetic field. While there is unequivocal behavioural evidence demonstrating the existence of the magnetic sense, it is the least understood of all sensory faculties. The biophysical, molecular, cellular, and neurological underpinnings of the sense remain opaque. In this application we aim to remedy this situation, exploiting an established assay, our unique infrastructure, and state-of-the-art methodology, using pigeons as a model system. The proposal will address three questions:

1) Where are the primary magnetosensors? 2) Where is magnetic information processed in the brain? 3) How is magnetic information encoded in the brain?

In Aim 1 we will explore whether inner ear hair cells are the primary sensors, and if the detection of magnetic stimuli depends on the presence of magnetic crystals or electromagnetic induction. We will employ a range of physical methods to locate magnetite, and a molecular approach to identify putative electroreceptors. In Aim 2 we will use light sheet microscopy coupled with clearing methods to undertake whole brain mapping of magnetically-induced neuronal activation in the pigeon. We will complement these studies with transcriptomic methods to molecularly and anatomically define magnetosensitive circuits within the pigeon brain. We will build on this work in Aim 3 utilising in vivo 2-photon microscopy to investigate how cells within the pigeon brain encode magnetic information. We will determine whether neurons encode for specific components of the magnetic field (i.e. inclination, intensity, and polarity) and explore whether there are spatially restricted ensembles, providing a dynamic picture of magnetically induced neuronal activity. We anticipate that these experiments will reveal a secret that nature has kept hidden for millennia; How do animals detect magnetic fields?

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The information about "NEUROMAG" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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