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  • Biological Cybernetics

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Research topics & objectives


We are a cross-disciplinary research group striving to understand the mechanisms underlying the control of natural movement and action sequences.

To this end, we study the adaptive locomotion abilities of insects with a research focus on the function of active tactile sensing (touch) and distributed proprioception (the sense of posture). Methodologically, we combine approaches from behavioural physiology (e.g., motion capture), electrophysiology (e.g., intracellular recordings) and biomimetic modeling in software and hardware.

The Department of Biological Cybernetics was founded by Holk Cruse in 1981. In 2009, it was fundamentally restructured. It is now headed by Volker Dürr.


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09/2022 Florian Hofmann recently published an article on "When running is easier than walking: effects of experience and gait on human obstacle traversal in virtual reality" (Link:

08/2022 The recent paper of Yannick Günzel, Josef Schmitz and Volker Dürr on "Locomotor resilience through load-dependent modulation of muscle co-contraction" has been published. (Link:

08/2022 Volker Dürr recently published an article on "Behavioural function and development of body‑to‑limb proportions and active movement ranges in three stick insect species" online in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A (Link:

07/2022 Martin Strube-Bloss received a DFG research grant in the framework of the research unit (FOR 5424): “Modulation in Olfaction: How recurrent circuits govern state-dependent behavior.” See also press release DFG (Link:

04/2022 The recent paper of Martin Strube-Bloss' PhD student Fabian Schmalz on  “Categorizing Visual Information in Subpopulations of Honeybee Mushroom Body Output Neurons” has been published. (Link:

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