Professor of Pharmacology, em. University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich and Collegium Helveticum, Zurich, Switzerland
The therapeutic science of brain disorders with a focus on anxiety states, schizophrenia, memory deficits and epilepsy in conjunction with research programs on a new pharmacology of benzodiazepines, on stem cell biology and genetic engineering. The work is carried out at the Institute of Pharmacology, University of Zurich and the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich.
Swiss National Center of Neuroscience Research, NCCR "Neural Plasticity and Repair" (Director 2001-2005)
Institute of Pharmacology, University of Zurich, Switzerland (Director 1988-2005)
Professor of Pharmacology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich (1988-2005)
Fellow, Collegium Helveticum, University and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich (since 2004)
Presentation of Hanns Möhler (PDF) Hanns_Mohler_Presentation.pdf
The 1990s have been named the decade of the brain, but there will never be a decade of the pancreas. The brain's special status comes from the special things the brain does, which makes us see, think, feel, choose and act. The special thing is information processing.
Neuroscientists point out that all parts of the brain's operation center, the cerebral cortex, look pretty much alike - not only the different parts of the cerebral cortex but the brains of different animals. The nerve cells, at first sight, are rather stereotypic operators. The tangle of nerve cells in the brain may all look alike when examined strand by strand. Nevertheless, the same basic neural tissue embodies all sorts of behavior. The content of the brain's activity lies in the pattern of connections and patterns of activity among the neurons. Minute differences in the details of the connection may cause similar-looking brain patches to implement very different programs. The mind - such as general intelligence, cognitive abilities, learning strategies, the capacity to form culture - is thought to be the product of a very complicated system of programs born out from an evolutionary process.
Humans are equipped with the desire to live in a society. By communicating with the environment, the brain learns from experience, adapts, rebuilds itself and is a personal diary of an individual's life. But how are perceptions, memories, thoughts represented in the distributive architecture of the brain? How does behavior arise from the neuronal interactions? How does a particular pattern of neuronal activity turn into a conscious experience? The mind may pose such questions but it is unclear whether it is equipped to answer them.
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