PEOPLE – Aliće Weiglein, Dr. rer. nat.



How does the brain generate an appropriate behavioral output matching an ever changing environment? Neuroscientists have been driven by this question ever since and it also sparked my interest early on. During my studies in biology (focus neurobiology & behavior) as well as during my PhD in neuroscience, I investigated mechanisms of reinforcement learning in a small insect model using various behavioral paradigms and techniques such as optogenetics, high-speed video tracking, microscopy, as well as pharmacological and genetic manipulations. Notably, basic circuit motives underlying learning and memory are often conserved across species and thus of translational value. Currently, I investigate the hippocampal circuitry of reinforcement learning in mice, especially in relation to stress and other maladaptions / neuropathologies such as PTSD.

In addition, I am training medical students in macroscopic anatomy and neuroanatomy.


Since 2020PostDoc in neuroanatomy at the Institute of Anatmoy, OvGU, Magdeburg
2016-2020PhD in neuroscience at the Leibniz-Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg
2013Student researcher in neuroscience at the NeuRA, Sydney
2011-2016BA/MA studies in biology at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg

List of Publications

Thoener J, König C, Weiglein A, Toshima N, Mancini N, Fatima A, Schleyer M. 2020. Associative learning in larval and adult Drosophila is impaired by the dopamine-synthesis inhibitor 3-Iodo-L-tyrosine. bioRxiv.

Weiglein A, Thoener J, Feldbruegge I, Warzog L, Mancini N, Schleyer M, Gerber B. 2020. Aversive teaching signals from individual dopamine neurons in larval Drosophila show qualitative differences in their temporal ‘fingerprint’. J Comp Neurol.

Michels B, Franke K, Weiglein A, Sultani H, Gerber B, Wessjohann L. 2020. Rewarding compounds identified from the medicinal plant Rhodiola rosea. J Exp Biol 223. Doi:10.1242/jeb.223982

Schleyer M, Weiglein A, Thoener J, Strauch M, Hartenstein V, Kantar Weigelt M, Schuller S, Saumweber T, Eichler K, Rohwedder A, Merhof D, Zlatic M, Truman JW, Thum AS, Gerber B. 2020. Identification of dopaminergic neurons that can both establish associative memory and acutely terminate its behavioral expression. J Neurosci 40: 5990-6006.

Toshima N, Kantar M, Weiglein A, Boetzl FA, Gerber B. 2019. An amino-acid mixture can be both rewarding and punishing to larval Drosophila. J Exp Biol 222. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.209486

Mancini N, Hranova S, Weber J, Weiglein A, Michael S, Weber D, Thum AS, Gerber B. 2019. Reversal learning in Drosophila larvae. Lern Mem 26: 424 – 435. DOI: 10.1101/lm.049106.118

Weiglein A, Gerstner F, Mancini N, Schleyer M, Gerber B. 2019. One-trial learning in larval Drosophila. Learn Mem 26: 109 – 120. DOI: 10.1101/lm.049510.119