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Trinity College Dublin


Natalie Steinemann

Contact Information

Trinity Centre for Bioengineering
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute
Trinity College
152-160 Pearse Street
Dublin 2
Email: []

Biographical Information

Natalie is participating in the Common European Masters Course in Biomedical Engineering (CEMACUBE) and has previously studied at the University of Ghent in Belgium. She is currently investigating the head-direction sense of rodents during episodes of sleep under the supervision of Prof. Richard Reilly, Dr. Marian Zsanov and Prof. Shane O'Mara.

Before she joined the CEMACUBE programme, Natalie worked at the Airbus Operations GmbH and received Bachelor's degreen in Mechanical Engineering from the Jade Hochschule, Germany and in Economics and Business from the FernUniversitaet in Hagen, Germany.

Research Interests

General research interests
  • Learning and memory
  • Sleep
  • Sense of orientation, navigation

Master's Thesis
Navigation is based on two informational inputs: a subjectís current location and its orientation. In the brain the location and orientation of a subject within a certain environment are represented by the firing rate of so-called Place Cells or Head-Direction Cells, respectively. Head-direction cells have been located in several brain areas in the limbic system including the postsubiculum and the anterior dorsal nucleus of the anterior thalamus. Based on these findings, several attempts have been made to mathematically model the representation of head-direction.
In cooperation with the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience we are currently investigating what influence sleep has on the representation of orientation in the thalamus.
Within the scope of my Masterís Thesis I am hoping to contribute to the understanding of the sense of orientation in two ways:

  • Testing existing mathematical models of the representation of head-direction during waking against results of our own recordings
  • Creating an attractor model simulating the sustained sense of head-direction during theta sleep
Page last modified on January 26, 2012
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