The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) and the Research Center Neurosensory Science of Oldenburg University have created a new seminar series for young researchers in the Neurosciences and Cognitive Sciences. The goal is twofold: we would like to strengthen the scientific networks of young researchers at regional institutions, and we would also like to give them an opportunity to practice presenting their projects, share methodological knowledge, and to discuss their findings in a friendly atmosphere. 

In two-month intervals, a Fellow of the HWK or an external guest speaker will meet with young researchers from the region working on related topics. The group will be kept deliberately small to create an intense work atmosphere, including a lecture of the guest speaker, presentations of the students and discussions of their projects with the speaker and other students. Registration is required, and those students who would like to actively participate by presenting their projects would have to submit an abstract beforehand. 

The seminar will take place on the last Tuesday of each odd-numbered month with the following agenda: 

14:00 h – 15:00 h    Presentation of the Fellow/ guest speaker
15:00 h – 15:30 h    Coffee break
15:30 h – 17:30 h    Presentations of regional PhD-students

March 26, 2013


Call for Abstracts / Registration

Deadline: March 4, 2013


Lehmkuhlenbusch 4
27753 Delmenhorst

Underwater sound and sight: Sex, Behavior, Physiology and Genes perspectives

Prof. Dr. Hong Young Yan
(HWK Fellow, Taiwan National Academy of Sciences, Taiwan)


Dear students,
The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) and the Research Center Neurosensory Science of Oldenburg University cordially invite you to the upcoming “Hanse Feedback in Neurosciences” with Prof. Dr. Hong Young Yan from the Taiwan National Academy of Sciences who is currently a Fellow at the HWK.
Prof. Yan is an expert on auditory and visual sensory physiology of aquatic animals. His research interests include how acoustic and visual signals are used by aquatic animals in reproduction, mate choice and adaptations to constraints of the environments. He uses integrated approaches including behavioral, electrophysiological and genomic methods to address these questions.

As our guest speaker on March 26, 2013, he will talk about "Underwater sound and sight: Sex, Behavior, Physiology and Genes perspectives".

In the underwater world aquatic animals rely on many sensory cues for intra-specific communication purposes. My own research over the past 25 years has been focusing on how auditory and visual signals are used by aquatic animals for mate choice, mate competition, agonistic behavior and their adaptations to the constraints imposed by the environmental factors. Underwater recordings of sounds produced by the fish and its associated behaviors were analyzed in conjunction with electrophysiological recordings of acoustically evoked brainstem responses, i.e., auditory brainstem response (ABR) to correlate the role of acoustic signals in the display of various behaviors. The color perception anilities of fish are investigated with the use of microspectrophotometery (MSP), a biochemical assay, and electroretinogram (ERG), an electrophysiological recording method. These findings are used to correlate with the photic characteristics of the habitats in order to understand how natural and sexual selection shape the color perception abilities of the fish. The underlying genotypic mechanisms shaping the expression of phenotypical differences in color vision abilities are investigated by quantifying the expression levels of opsin genes during the ontogenetic processes and sequencing various opsin genes that are coded for color vision.  It is found that substitution of certain amino acids at specific sites are responsible for differences in color vision among fish species and is tightly correlated with either the environmental or biological factors. 
Students working on related topics in sensory physiology, auditory physiology, evoked potentials, psychoacoustics, visual physiology and color vision of animals are encouraged to participate at this meeting, e.g. from biology, sensory ecology, ethology, psychology and neurosciences. Up to four Graduate Students (PhD candidates and Masters Students) will be invited to present their work. The topic is deliberately kept broad so that students with diverse backgrounds could profit from this format. Presenters will receive feedback on their projects – help with questions, methodological problems, but also “soft skills” – in a friendly atmosphere.
Please submit your abstract by March 4, 2013, using the form on our webpage. Selected students will be notified immediately after the deadline so that there will be enough time to prepare the presentation. If you would like to participate as audience and discuss the presentations, please use the enclosed form to register for the event (without submitting an abstract). We encourage you to participate even without a presentation because you will profit from interesting presentations, exchanging research tips and methodological knowledge, and will be learning indirectly by the feedback to others. Participation is free of charge.


14:00h –15:00h          Presentation by Prof. Dr. Hong Young Yan (HWK Fellow)
                                       (45 min plus 15 min discussion)
15:00h –15:30h          Coffee break
15:30h –17:30h          Presentations of four regional Graduate Students (PhD or Masters)
                                       (20 min each, plus 10 min feedback per talk)


Please use the Registration Form on the internet to submit your abstract. Deadline: March 4, 2013. Maximum length of abstract: 250 words (no figures please). Abstracts are selected for scientific excellence and for relevance to the topic of the session. Acceptance notice immediately after the deadline.


Please enter your name and contact information, your supervisor’s name, and the title of your project in the Registration Form (plus the abstract if you are applying for a presentation slot). Send the form back to mdaniel[ at ] or fax it as indicated on the form.

Available technical equipment:

The HWK Lecture Hall is equipped with a high-performance light projector and a good sound system. We provide a PC with Power Point, video software, and internet connection. Presentation files can either be transferred to this PC using a USB stick, or presenters may use their own laptop. We provide a selection of MAC adapters, but recommend bringing your own adapter for VGA cables. A remote control for advancing slides and a laser pointer are also available. A flip chart is provided.


<link fileadmin dateien tagungen hanse_feedback registration_hanse-feedback_yan.doc download>registration form

Tips for preparing your talk

Timing: Make sure to keep the time of your talk – maximum of 20 minutes. Practice your talk beforehand and limit the number of slides.

Slide design: Slides should provide a sufficient background contrast and letter size to ensure that the text is legible even from the back of the lecture hall. Check the size of figures and graphs. Try to keep the information simple – e.g., using bullet point lists instead of full sentences and using simple graphs instead of complex figures. Do not overdo animation effects – sparse use for emphasizing is recommended. 

Structure of the talk: Often it is useful to start with an overview of the talk to give some orientation to the audience. Make sure to introduce terms and concepts that may be new to the listener, and take into account that not everybody in the audience is an expert in your field. Provide a short summary and/ or take home message at the end.

Copyrights and acknowledgements: Show sources of pictures/ figures and provide references. Acknowledge people who contributed to your work. 

Oral presentation: Try to communicate the content as clearly as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of the audience. Make the talk lively and interesting by modulating your voice, creating surprise effects or using humor. Convey the enthusiasm you feel for your work! Do not talk too fast or too slow. If possible, rehearse your talk in front of the mirror or live audience before the real presentation.