Ann Clemens

Ann Clemens


ann.clemens (at) bccn-berlin (dot) de


I completed my PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in the laboratory of Daniel Johnston, where I examined age-dependent and somato-dendritic transformations of intrinsic plasticity in neurons of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus. With an interest in relating cellular physiology and intrinsic plasticity to behavior, I moved to Germany to join the Brecht lab. My research is focused on uncovering the cellular basis of social behaviors using in vivo electrophysiological, anatomical, imaging and behavioral analysis techniques. In my first post-doctoral project, I examined sexual dimorphisms of cortical sensory processing in a social-facial-touch behavioral paradigm. In female rats, we discovered that cortical inhibition is especially responsive to social touch and ongoing activity cycles according to the estrus cycle. We further identified the molecular and hormonal pathways responsible and suggest that these finding support a cyclical nature to cortical processing in the female brain (see Clemens et al. 2019, Current Biology). In my current and ongoing research, I am further exploring the neural basis of social sensory and memory representations, with a focus on behaviors that are natural and ethologically relevant for animals.

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