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Wulf Haubensak

Survival critically depends on recognizing what is important and initiating appropriate behavioural responses - a process modulated by emotions. Fear, for instance, associates stimuli with threats and evokes defensive behaviours, whereas reward-related emotions induce the opposite. Emotions are a central part of our mental self and linked to a variety of psychological conditions. But how are they wired in the brain? We use molecular, pharmacogenetic, and optogenetic methods to map neural circuits for emotional behaviours in mice. Combining these manipulations with electrophysiological methods, we explore how these circuits control emotional states and, in turn, how genes and psychoactive drugs modulate circuit activity, emotional states, and behaviour.



Orthofer, M., Valsesia, A., Mägi, R., Wang, QP., Kaczanowska, J., Kozieradzki, I., Leopoldi, A., Cikes, D., Zopf, LM., Tretiakov, EO., Demetz, E., Hilbe, R., Boehm, A., Ticevic, M., Nõukas, M., Jais, A., Spirk, K., Clark, T., Amann, S., Lepamets, M., Neumayr, C., Arnold, C., Dou, Z., Kuhn, V., Novatchkova, M., Cronin, SJF., Tietge, UJF., Müller, S., Pospisilik, JA., Nagy, V., Hui, CC., Lazovic, J., Esterbauer, H., Hagelkruys, A., Tancevski, I., Kiefer, FW., Harkany, T., Haubensak, W., Neely, GG., Metspalu, A., Hager, J., Gheldof, N., Penninger, JM. (2020)

Identification of ALK in Thinness.



Ganglberger, F., Swoboda, N., Frauenstein, L., Kaczanowska, J., Haubensak, W., Buehle,r K. (2019)

BrainTrawler: A visual analytics framework for iterative exploration of heterogeneous big brain data

Computer & Graphics. 82:304-320
Ganglberger, FJ., Kaczanowska, J., Haubensak, W., Bühler, K. (2019)

A Data Structure for Real-Time Aggregation Queries of Big Brain Networks.

Pfaff, D., Tabansky, I., Haubensak, W. (2019)

Tinbergen's challenge for the neuroscience of behavior.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116(20):9704-9710
Ronovsky, M., Zambon, A., Cicvaric, A., Boehm, V., Hoesel, B., Moser, BA., Yang, J., Schmid, JA., Haubensak, WE., Monje, FJ., Pollak, DD. (2019)

A role for miR-132 in learned safety.

Sci Rep. 9(1):528
Tröscher, AR., Werner, B., Kaouane, N., Haubensak, W. (2019)

Spectral recording of gene expression history by fluorescent timer protein.

Biotechniques. 67(4):154-164


Ganglberger, F., Kaczanowska, J., Penninger, JM., Hess, A., Bühler, K., Haubensak, W. (2018)

Predicting functional neuroanatomical maps from fusing brain networks with genetic information.

Neuroimage. 170:113-120
Griessner, J., Pasieka, M., Böhm, V., Grössl, F., Kaczanowska, J., Pliota, P., Kargl, D., Werner, B., Kaouane, N., Strobelt, S., Kreitz, S., Hess, A., Haubensak, W. (2018)

Central amygdala circuit dynamics underlying the benzodiazepine anxiolytic effect.

Mol Psychiatry.
Groessl, F., Munsch, T., Meis, S., Griessner, J., Kaczanowska, J., Pliota, P., Kargl, D., Badurek, S., Kraitsy, K., Rassoulpour, A., Zuber, J., Lessmann, V., Haubensak, W. (2018)

Dorsal tegmental dopamine neurons gate associative learning of fear.

Nat Neurosci. 21(7):952-962
Pliota, P., Böhm, V., Grössl, F., Griessner, J., Valenti, O., Kraitsy, K., Kaczanowska, J., Pasieka, M., Lendl, T., Deussing, JM., Haubensak, W. (2018)

Stress peptides sensitize fear circuitry to promote passive coping.

Mol Psychiatry.


Stowers, JR., Hofbauer, M., Bastien, R., Griessner, J., Higgins, P., Farooqui, S., Fischer, RM., Nowikovsky, K., Haubensak, W., Couzin, ID., Tessmar-Raible, K., Straw, AD. (2017)

Virtual reality for freely moving animals.

Nat Methods. 14(10):995-1002


Rupprecht, P., Prevedel, R., Groessl, F., Haubensak, WE., Vaziri, A. (2015)

Optimizing and extending light-sculpting microscopy for fast functional imaging in neuroscience.

Biomed Opt Express. 6(2):353-68


Cai, H., Haubensak, W., Anthony, TE., Anderson, DJ. (2014)

Central amygdala PKC-δ(+) neurons mediate the influence of multiple anorexigenic signals.

Nat Neurosci. 17(9):1240-8


Peter, M., Bathellier, B., Fontinha, B., Pliota, P., Haubensak, W., Rumpel, S. (2013)

Transgenic mouse models enabling photolabeling of individual neurons in vivo.

PLoS One. 8(4):e62132


Attardo, A., Fabel, K., Krebs, J., Haubensak, W., Huttner, WB., Kempermann, G. (2010)

Tis21 expression marks not only populations of neurogenic precursor cells but also new postmitotic neurons in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Cereb Cortex. 20(2):304-14
Haubensak, W., Kunwar, PS., Cai, H., Ciocchi, S., Wall, NR., Ponnusamy, R., Biag, J., Dong, HW., Deisseroth, K., Callaway, EM., Fanselow, MS., Lüthi, A., Anderson, DJ. (2010)

Genetic dissection of an amygdala microcircuit that gates conditioned fear.

Nature. 468(7321):270-6


Attardo, A., Calegari, F., Haubensak, W., Wilsch-Bräuninger, M., Huttner, WB. (2008)

Live imaging at the onset of cortical neurogenesis reveals differential appearance of the neuronal phenotype in apical versus basal progenitor progeny.

PLoS One. 3(6):e2388


Calegari, F., Haubensak, W., Haffner, C., Huttner, WB. (2005)

Selective lengthening of the cell cycle in the neurogenic subpopulation of neural progenitor cells during mouse brain development.

J Neurosci. 25(28):6533-8
Groll, J., Haubensak, W., Ameringer, T., Moeller, M. (2005)

Ultrathin coatings from isocyanate terminated star PEG prepolymers: patterning of proteins on the layers.

Langmuir. 21(7):3076-83


Haubensak, W., Attardo, A., Denk, W., Huttner, WB. (2004)

Neurons arise in the basal neuroepithelium of the early mammalian telencephalon: a major site of neurogenesis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101(9):3196-201
Kosodo, Y., Röper, K., Haubensak, W., Marzesco, AM., Corbeil, D., Huttner, WB. (2004)

Asymmetric distribution of the apical plasma membrane during neurogenic divisions of mammalian neuroepithelial cells.

EMBO J. 23(11):2314-24


Calegari, F., Haubensak, W., Yang, D., Huttner, WB., Buchholz, F. (2002)

Tissue-specific RNA interference in postimplantation mouse embryos with endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNA.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 99(22):14236-40


Köhrmann, M., Haubensak, W., Hemraj, I., Kaether, C., Lessmann, VJ., Kiebler, MA. (1999)

Fast, convenient, and effective method to transiently transfect primary hippocampal neurons.

J Neurosci Res. 58(6):831-5


Haubensak, W., Narz, F., Heumann, R., Lessmann, V. (1998)

BDNF-GFP containing secretory granules are localized in the vicinity of synaptic junctions of cultured cortical neurons.

J Cell Sci. 111 ( Pt 11):1483-93