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Dr André Ferreira Castro

Dr André Ferreira Castro

Research Associate

Research Interests

So far my research has been driven by a deep fascination for the shape–function relationship in neuroscience. I have been particularly interested in understanding how neuronal structural patterns combined with rich neuronal dynamics provide the background for complex manipulations of signals representing internal and external worlds. Recently, neuroscience entered a post-connectome stage. At this new exciting phase whole-circuit modelling and comparative connectomics are a reality, with numerous fascinating questions becoming amenable for scientific probing for the first time. Discovering the mechanisms underlying whole circuit function is fundamental to understand learning, memory, and dissecting how abnormalities in neuronal patterning arise in neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, analysing the design principles of the wiring diagram of the nervous system may suggest a path toward new Artificial Neural Networks.


Key Publications

Achieving functional neuronal dendrite structure through sequential stochastic growth and retraction , Castro, A.F., Baltruschat, L., Bahrami, A., Stuerner, T., Jedlicka, P., Tavosanis, G., Cuntz, H. elife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.60920

The branching code: a model of actin-driven dendrite arborisation. Stürner, T., Castro, A.F., Philipps, M., Cuntz, H., Tavosanis,G. bioRxiv. doi:

Plain English

I use the connectivity map of the Drosophila larva nervous system to crack the function of various neuronal circuits in a mechanistic way. I develop tools to quantify structural changes in circuits during development, learning or after mutations, and computational models to formalise the functional role of those circuits.