ZiF Research Group
Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:
Situation Model Perspectives
October 2019 – July 2020
Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)
Following a Diploma in Biochemistry (1999, Ruhr-University Bochum) and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience (2002, ETH Zurich), Tobias held research positions at the University of Edinburgh (2003-2008), including a Caledonian Research Foundation Fellowship (2005-2008). In 2008, he took up a Lectureship (tenured) in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018.
Current Main Research Interests
Tobias is a behavioral and cognitive neuroscientist. He studies how a brain circuit comprising the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and connected subcortical sites mediates and integrates important cognitive functions, including everyday-type memory (e.g., for places and events), and other behavioral processes (emotional, motivational, sensorimotor). He also studies how dysfunction in this circuit causes cognitive and behavioral deficits. To address these questions, Tobias mainly combines behavioral tests with neurobiological methods in rat models. More recently, he has also begun using similar behavioral assays in human participants to facilitate translation of findings from rat models to people.
Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
- Buckley, M. G., & Bast, T. (2018). A new human delayed-matching-to-place test in a virtual environment reverse-translated from the rodent watermaze paradigm: Characterization of performance measures and sex differences. Hippocampus, 28, 796-812.
- McGarrity, S., Mason, R., Fone, K. C., Pezze, M., & Bast, T. (2016). Hippocampal neural disinhibition causes attentional and memory deficits. Cerebral Cortex, 27, 4447-4462.
- Bast, T. (2011). The hippocampal learning-behavior translation and the functional significance of hippocampal dysfunction in schizophrenia. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 21, 492-501.
- Bast, T., Wilson, I. A., Witter, M. P., & Morris, R. G. (2009). From rapid place learning to behavioral performance: a key role for the intermediate hippocampus. PLoS Biology, 7, e1000089. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000089
- Bast, T. (2007). Toward an integrative perspective on hippocampal function: from the rapid encoding of experience to adaptive behavior. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 18, 253-282.