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Michael Pecka

PD Dr. Michael Pecka

Regular member MCN, Associate GSN faculty


Research group leader


Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Dept. Biology II
Division Neurobiology
Großhaderner Straße 2
D-82152 Planegg-Martinsried

Phone: +49 (0)89 / 2180-74298
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 2180-74298


Further Information

Research focus: Understanding how specific behaviors arise from neural processing is a primary goal of neuroscience. Pioneering research established a minimal-intervention approach for studying natural behavior during ethologically adequate sensory stimulation. Recent methodological and technical advances to study – and modulate – neural activity now provide previously unreachable insights into processing capabilities of neural populations. However, these techniques often required minimalistic experimental conditions, which in turn limited their ecological relevance. Thus, they are prone to underestimate the dimensionality of neuronal processing and limit our understanding of the relevant neural mechanisms. My research vision is to understand neural mechanisms of real-world hearing by combining innovative behavioral paradigms with ecologically relevant context and state-of-the-art techniques. To this end, my research addresses fundamental questions related to mechanisms in neuronal circuits and a functional approach to study sensory processing and decision making under realistic conditions.

Keywords: auditory neuroscience in context, selective listening, spatial representations, decision making, sound localization

GSN Students:

Selected publications:

Amaro D., Ferreiro D.N., Grothe B., Pecka M. Source identity shapes spatial preference in primary auditory cortex during active navigation (2021) bioRXiv, under revision,

Ferreiro D. N.*, Amaro D.*, Schmidtke D., Sobolev A., Gundi P., Belliveau L., Sirota A., Grothe B., Pecka M. Sensory Island Task (SIT): A New Behavioral Paradigm to Study Sensory Perception and Neural Processing in Freely Moving Animals (2020) Frontiers Behav. Neuroscience. *Shared first authorship,

Gleiss, H.*,Encke, J.*, Lingner, A., Jennings, T.R., Brosel, S., Kunz, L., Grothe B.*, Pecka, M*°. Cooperative population coding facilitates efficient sound source separability by adaptation to input statistics (2019) Plos Biology. *Shared authorship; °Corresponding author,

Beiderbeck B., Myoga M.H., Müller N., Callan A.R., Friauf E., Grothe B.*, Pecka M.*° Precisely timed inhibition facilitates action potential firing for spatial coding in the auditory brainstem (2018) Nature Communications 2;9(1):1771; *Shared senior authorship; °Corresponding author,

Pecka M*, Han Y, Sader E, Mrsic-Flogel TD*. Experience-Dependent Specialization of Receptive Field Surround for Selective Coding of Natural Scenes (2014) Neuron. 84:457-469 *Shared corresponding authorship,