Tetzlaff Research Group

Dr. Christian Tetzlaff

Dr. Christian Tetzlaff was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1984. In 2009, he received his Diploma in Physics with minor subjects Biophysics and Nonlinear Dynamics from the Georg-August University, Göttingen in Germany. As member of the group of Prof. Marc Timme at the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization, in 2013, he received his Ph.D. degree in Science with “summa cum laude” at the GGNB-IMPRS Göttingen. In 2015, he worked together with Prof. Misha Tsodyks at the Weizmann Institute for Science, Rehovot in Israel, and at the Columbia University, New York in the USA. Since 2015/2016, he is a young research group leader (Bernstein Fellow) at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Göttingen and at the Faculty of Physics, Georg-August University of Göttingen, working on his independent research together with his own group.

Research Interests

The ability to learn and to create memories enables humans and animals to survive in complex and changing environments. Sensing our environment causes neural activity resulting in synaptic adaptation by various plasticity processes. Little is known about how neuronal and synaptic processes interact to select some specific input signals to remember while disregarding others. In particular, it is unclear how the neuronal network stabilizes a memory and maintains it for longer periods of time, especially given that the neuronal substrate does not remain constant but changes substantially during the lifetime of a memory.

The central goal of our research is to understand the interactions of these neuronal and synaptic processes across different time scales on the level of individual neurons as well as on the level of neuronal networks and the related emergence of complex behaviors in closed-loop scenarios. In more detail, we analyze with analytical and numerical tools the molecular dynamics underlying the emergence of different well-known plasticity processes. These results are transferred to the level of neuronal networks to analyze the interactions of these plasticity mechanisms depending on environmental stimuli and their relations to cognitive processes as learning, computation, and memory formation, which serve as the basis of complex behaviors. Thereby, two important parts of our research are, on the one hand, to assess experimentally testable predictions and, on the other hand, to transfer the analyzed mechanisms and behaviors to robotic platforms for testing hypothesized functions in complex, real-world, closed-loop scenarios.


Areas of Research

Memory Formation and Dynamics

Memory Consolidation

Structural Plasticity

Robotic Application

Molecular Dynamics



Dr. Christian Tetzlaff

Third Institute of Physics - Biophysics

Faculty of Physics

Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1

37077 Göttingen



+49 551 3920258


tetzlaff [at] phys.uni-goettingen.de