|Prof. Dr. Lars Lewejohann
Freie Universität Berlin
Head of Unit
German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)
Diedersdorfer Weg 1
Lars Lewejohann (*1970 in Muenster) studied Biology and Philosophy at the University of Muenster and finished his diploma thesis in 1999. Subject of his diploma thesis was the evaluation of housing conditions of laboratory mice from an animals' point of view using preference tests. In brief: If mice have the choice, they prefer enriched housing conditions and will even work (pressing a lever up to 16 times per entry) for the access to a more entertaining housing system.
In his PhD-project "Behavioral Phenotyping of Mice: Methods, Evaluation, and Appliance" he investigated BC1-RNA knockout mice by means of a battery of behavioral tests. Tests were carried out with different knockout lines in different laboratories. The combined results indicate that although BC1 RNA does not code any protein, it seems to be involved in the modulation of explorative behavior.
In order to automate data acquisition, Lars programmed a tracking software using digital image processing techniques (for details on animal tracking, see "Digital Image Processing in Behavioral Sciences"). From 2004 to 2013 he worked at the Department of Behavioural Biology in Muenster as a researcher continuing his work with transgenic mice. From 2006 to 2010 Lars also was the managing director of the Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (OCC), an association for research and education spanning different faculties of the University of Muenster focusing on behavioral neuroscience. From May 2013 to March 2016 he was employed as an interim professor at the University of Osnabrueck acting as the head of the Department for Behavioral Biology. From September 2016 to March 2017 Lars Lewejohann worked as an interim professor at the University of Goettingen. Starting April 2017 Lars Lewejohann is professor for animal welfare and refinement at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Head of Unit "Laboratory Animal Science" at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Berlin.
In his current research he focuses on the individual differences, the interplay of cognition and emotion, and the animals' point of view with regard to better housing conditions and experimental designs.
Publications (see entry on Google scholar for metrics)
- Habedank, A; Kahnau, P; Diederich, K; Lewejohann, L (2018): Severity assessment from an animal's point of view. BMTW 18007.
- Wistuba, J; Brand, C; Werler, S; Lewejohann, L; Damm, OS (2017): Mouse models for the exploration of Klinefelter´s Syndrome. In: Conn, MJ (ed.): Animal Models for the Study of Human Disease 2nd ed.
- Penazzi, L; Lorengel, J; Sündermann, F; Golovyashkina, N; Marre, S; Mathis, CMB; Lewejohann, L; Brandt, R; Bakota, L (2017): DMSO modulates CNS function in a preclinical Alzheimer's disease model. Neuropharmacology 113: 434-444.
- Schlüns, H; Welling, H; Federici, JR; Lewejohann, L (2017): The glass is not yet half empty: Agitation but not Varroa treatment causes cognitive bias in honey bees. Animal Cognition. 20 (2): 233–241.
- Siegeler, K; Lewejohann, L; Failing, K; Sachser, N; Kaiser, S (2017): Start early! Does social instability during the pre- and early postnatal development prepare male wild cavies for social challenge later in life? Frontiers in Zoology 14:2.
- Bodden, C; Richter, SH; Schreiber, RS; Kloke, V; Gerss, J; Palme, R; Lesch, KP; Lewejohann, L; Kaiser, S; Sacher, N (2015): Benefits of adversity?! How life history affects the behavioral profile of mice varying in serotonin transporter genotype. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 9: 47.
- Brust, V; Schindler, PM; Lewejohann, L (2015): Lifetime development of behavioural phenotype in the house mouse (Mus musculus). Frontiers in Zoology 12 (Suppl 1): 17.
- Freund, J; Brandmaier, AM; Lewejohann, L; Kirste, I; Kritzler, M; Krüger, A; Sachser, N; Lindenberger, U; Kempermann, G (2015): Association between exploratory activity and social individuality in genetically identical mice living in the same enriched environment. Neuroscience 309:140-152.
- Hillje, AL; Beckmann, E; Pavlou, M; Jaeger, C; Pires Pacheco, M; Sauter, T; Schwamborn, JC; Lewejohann, L (2015): The neural stem cell fate determinant TRIM32 regulates complex behavioral traits. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 9: 75.
- Kloke, V; Schreiber, RS; Bodden, C; Moellers, J; Ruhmann, H; Kaiser, S; Lesch, KP; Sacher, N; Lewejohann, L (2014): Hope for the best or prepare for the worst? Towards a spatial cognitive bias test for mice. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105431.
- Freund, J; Brandmaier, AM; Lewejohann, L; Kirste, I; Kritzler, M; Krüger, A; Sachser, N; Lindenberger, U; Kempermann, G (2013): Emergence of individuality in genetically identical mice. Science 340(6133): 756-759.
- Hillje, A; Pavlou, M; Beckmann, E; Worlitzer, MMA; Bahnassawy, L; Lewejohann, L; Palm, T; Schwamborn, JC (2013): TRIM32 dependent transcription in adult neural progenitor cells regulates neuronal differentiation. Cell Death and Differentiation. Cell Death and Differentiation: 4, e976.
- Hohoff, C; Gorji, A; Kaiser, S; Willscher, E; Korsching, E; Ambree, O; Arolt, V; Lesch, KP; Sachser, N; Deckert, J; Lewejohann, L (2013): Effect of acute stressor and serotonin transporter genotype on amygdala first wave transcriptome in mice. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58880.
- Karabeg, MM; Grauthoff, S; Kollert, S; Weidner, M; Heiming, RS; Jansen, F; Lesch, KP; Sachser, N; Schmitt, AG; Lewejohann, L (2013): 5-HTT Deficiency Affects Neuroplasticity and Increases Stress Sensitivity Resulting in Altered Spatial Learning Performance in the Morris Water Maze but Not in the Barnes Maze. PLoS ONE 8(10): e78238.
- Kloke, V; Heiming, RS; Bölting, S; Kaiser, S; Lewejohann, L; Lesch, KP; Sachser, N (2013): Unexpected effects of early-life adversity and social enrichment on the anxiety profile of mice varying in serotonin transporter genotype. Behavioural Brain Research 247: 248-258.
- Wistuba, J; Werler, S; Lewejohann, L (2013): Mouse models for the exploration of Klinefelter´s Syndrome. In: Conn, MJ (ed.): Animal Models for the Study of Human Disease.
- Heiming, RS; Bodden, C; Jansen, F; Lewejohann, L; Kaiser, S; Lesch, KP; Palme, R; Sachser, N (2011): Living in a dangerous world decreases maternal care: a study in serotonin transporter knockout mice. Hormones and Behavior: 397-407.
- Herring, A; Lewejohann, L; Panzer, AL; Donath, A; Kröll, O; Sachser, N; Paulus, W; Keyvani, K (2011): Preventive and therapeutic types of environmental enrichment counteract beta amyloid pathology by different molecular mechanisms. Neurobiology of Disease 42: 530-538.
- Hundelt, M; Fath, T; Selle, K; Oesterwind, K; Jordan, J; Schultz, C; Götz, J; von Engelhardt, J; Monyer, H; Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N; Bakota, L; Brandt, R (2011): Altered phosphorylation but no neurodegeneration in a mouse model of tau hyperphosphorylation. Neurobiology of Aging 32: 991-1006.
- Lewejohann, L; Zipser, B; Sachser, N (2011): "Personality" in laboratory mice used for biomedical research: A way of understanding variability? Developmental Psychobiology 53: 631-640.
- Nietzer, SL; Bonn, M; Jansen, F; Heiming, RS; Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N; Asan, ES; Lesch, KP; Schmitt, AG (2011): Serotonin transporter knockout and repeated social defeat stress: impact on neuronal morphology and plasticity in limbic brain areas. Behavioural Brain Research 220: 42-54.
- Richter, SH; Garner, JP; Zipser, B; Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N; Touma, C; Schindler, B; Chourbaji, S; Brandwein, C; Gass, P; van Stipdonk, N; van der Harst, J; Spruijt, B; Voikar, V; Wolfer, DP; Würbel, H (2011): Effect of population heterogenization on the reproducibility of mouse behavior: a multi-laboratory study. PLoS one 6: e16461.
- Jansen, F; Heiming, RS; Lewejohann, L; Touma, C; Palme, R; Schmitt, A; Lesch, KP; Sachser, N (2010): Modulation of Behavioural Profile and Stress Response by 5-HTT Genotype and Social Experience in Adulthood. Behavioural Brain Research 207: 21-29.
- Lewejohann, L; Kloke, V; Heiming, RS; Jansen, F; Kaiser, S; Schmitt, A; Lesch, KP; Sachser, N (2010): Social status and day-to-day behaviour of male serotonin transporter knockout mice. Behavioural Brain Research 211: 80-88.
- Lewejohann, L; Pickel, T; Sachser, N; Kaiser, S (2010): Wild genius - domestic fool? Spatial learning abilities of wild and domestic guinea pigs. Frontiers in Zoology: 7-9.
- Ambrée, O; Richter, SH; Sachser, N; Lewejohann, L; Dere, E; de Souza Silva, MA; Herring, A; Keyvani, K; Paulus, W; Schäbitz, WR (2009): Levodopa ameliorates learning and memory deficits in a murine model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging 30: 1192-1207.
- Diederich, K; Sevimli, S; Dörr, H; Kösters, E; Hoppen, M; Lewejohann, L; Klocke, R; Minnerup, J; Knecht, S; Nikol, S; Sachser, N; Schneider, A; Gorji, A; Sommer, C; Schäbitz, WR (2009): The role of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the healthy brain: A characterization of G-CSF deficient mice. The Journal of Neuroscience 29: 11672-11581.
- Heiming, RS; Jansen, F; Lewejohann, L; Kaiser, S; Schmitt, A; Lesch, KP; Sachser, N (2009): Living in a dangerous world: the shaping of behavioral profile by early environment and 5-HTT genotype. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 3: 26.
- Lewejohann, L; Damm, OS; Luetjens, CM; Hämäläinen, T; Simoni, M; Nieschlag, E; Gromoll, J; Wistuba, J (2009): Impaired recognition memory in male mice with a supernumerary X chromosome. Physiology & Behavior 96: 22-29.
- Lewejohann, L; Hoppmann, AM; Kegel, P; Kritzler, M; Krüger, T; Sachser, N (2009): Behavioral phenotyping of a murine model of Alzheimer's disease in a semi-naturalistic environment using RFID tracking. Behavior Research Methods 41: 850-856.
- Lewejohann, L; Reefmann, N; Widmann, P; Ambrée, O; Herring, A; Keyvani, K; Paulus, W; Sachser, N (2009): Transgenic Alzheimer mice in a semi-naturalistic environment: More plaques, yet not compromised in daily life. Behavioural Brain Research 201: 99-102.
- Bacher, M; Dodel, R; Aljabari, B; Keyvani, K; Marambaud, P; Kayed, R; Glabe, C; Görtz, N; Hoppmann, A; Sachser, N; Klotsche, J; Schnell, S; Lewejohann, L; Al-Abed, Y (2008): CNI-1493 inhibits Aß production, plaque formation, and cognitive deterioration in an aimal model of Alzheimer's disease. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 205 (7): 1593-1599.
- Görtz, N; Lewejohann, L; Tomm, M; Ambrée, O; Keyvani, K; Paulus, W; Sachser, N (2008): Effects of environmental enrichment on exploration, anxiety, and memory in female TgCRND8 Alzheimer mice. Behavioural Brain Research 191: 43-48.
- Lewejohann, L (2008): Fill My Datebook: A Software Tool to Generate and Handle Lists of Events. Behavior Research Methods 40 (2): 391-393.
- Pallerla, SR; Lawrence, R; Lewejohann, L; Pan, Y; Fischer, T; Schlomann, U; Zhang, X; Esko, JD; Grobe, K (2008): Altered heparan sulfate structure in mice with deleted NDST3 gene function. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 283: 16885-16894.
- Richter, SH; Ambrée, O; Lewejohann, L; Herring, A; Keyvani, K; Paulus, W; Palme, R; Touma, C; Schäbitz, WR; Sachser, N (2008): Wheel-running in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease: protection or symptom? Behavioural Brain Research 190: 74-84.
- Kritzler, M; Lewejohann, L; Krüger, A (2007): Analysing Movement and Behavioural Patterns of Laboratory Mice in a Semi Natural Environment Based on Data collected via RFID-Technology. In: Gottfried, B (ed.): Workshop on Behaviour Monitoring and Interpretation. Osnabrück.
- Kritzler, M; Lewejohann, L; Krüger, A; Raubal, M; Sachser, N (2006): An RFID-based tracking system for laboratory mice in a semi-natural environment. In: A. Schmidt, S. Spiekermann, A. Gershman, F. Michahelles (ed.): PTA2006 Workshop, PERVASIVE - pervasive technology applied real-world experiences with RFID and sensor networks. Dublin, Ireland.
- Lewejohann, L; Reinhard, C; Schrewe, A; Brandewiede, J; Haemisch, A; Görtz, N; Schachner, M; Sachser, N (2006): Environmental Bias? Effects of Housing Conditions, Laboratory Environment, and Experimenter on Behavioral Tests. Genes Brain and Behavior 5: 64-72.
- Lewejohann, L; Skryabin, BV; Sachser, N; Prehn, C; Heiduschka, P; Thanos, S; Jordan, U; Dell'Omo, G; Vyssotski, AL; Pleskacheva, MG; Lipp, HP; Tiedge, H; Brosius, J; Prior, H (2004): Role of a neuronal small non-messenger RNA: behavioural alterations in BC1 RNA-deleted mice. Behavioural Brain Research 154: 273-289.
- Touma, C; Ambrée, O; Görtz, N; Keyvani, K; Lewejohann, L; Palme, R; Paulus, W; Schwarze-Eicker, K; Sachser, N (2004): Age- and sex-dependent development of adrenocortical hyperactivity in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging 25: 893-904.
- Skryabin, BV; Sukonina, V; Jordan, U; Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N; Muslimov, I; Tiedge, H; Brosius, J (2003): Neuronal untranslated BC1 RNA: targeted gene elimination in mice. Molecular and Cellular Biology 23: 6435-6441.
- Böckels, C; Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N (2002): Applying elo-rating to assess dominance hierarchiy in male mice. Zoology 105, Supplement V (DZG 95.1): 3.
- Lewejohann, L (2002): Buchrezension zu Sapolsky, R.M. 'Mein Leben als Pavian'. Spektrum der Wissenschaft 8: 102.
- Lewejohann, L; Prior, H; Brosius, J; Sachser, N; Skryabin, BV (2002): Behavioural phenotyping of mice lacking BC1, a non-protein coding gene. Zoology 105, Supplement V (DZG 95.1): 3.
- Lewejohann, L (2001): Was für ein Haus will die Maus? Rodentia 1: 73-75.
- Lewejohann, L; Edich, I; Sachser, N (2001): Rhythm of activity in closely related inbred strains of mice. Contributions to the XXVII International Ethological Conference, Tübingen, Advances in Ethology 36. Supplements to Ethology: 204.
- Lewejohann, L; Edich, I; Sachser, N (2001): Circadian rhythm of three closely related inbred strains of mice differing in aggressive behaviour. Zoology 104, Supplement IV (DZG 94.1): 7.
- Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N (2000): Evaluation of different housing conditions for male laboratory mice. Zoology 103, Supplement III (DZG 93.1): 31.
- Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N (2000): Präferenztests zur Beurteilung unterschiedlicher Haltungsbedingungen von männlichen Labormäusen. In: Aktuelle Arbeiten zur artgemäßen Tierhaltung 1999. KTBL Schrift 391. Darmstadt: 170-177.
- Lewejohann, L; Wistuba, J (1999): Mimicry, disappearing acts and imposters. Reptilia (GB) 8: 70-75.
- Lewejohann, L; Wistuba, J (1997): Guck mal wer da rasselt - 'Geräuschmimikry' bei Schlangen. Reptilia 6: 28-29.
- Lewejohann, L; Wistuba, J (1997): Mimikry - Tarnkappen und Hochstapler. Reptilia 6: 16-21.
Imprint & GDPR
Responsible for the content of this website:
Prof. Dr. Lars Lewejohann
General Data Protection Regulation:
This is a private homepage. While surfing the WWW, you should be aware that usually user data is collected by those who provide the contents of the sites you are visiting. I use Joomla!, a content management system, to publish things I think others might be interested in. Albeit, personally I do not have any interest to collect, store, or analyse private data from my visitors, your IP-address might be stored automatically by the system (I have no idea if this is still true for the current version but to be on the safe site, let's assume IP-addresses are stored somewhere). Also this site might store a temporary cookie, or collect information about the browser and operating system you are using. Concerning your privacy, I cannot track down this information to reveal your identity nor would I even wish to do so. In addition, you might find links on my website that lead you away from my website to other websites. That's how this thing called internet works! Be aware that I am not responsible for anything you find outside my personal website. That's also how this thing called internet works!
If you have any questions regarding the GDPRs you might contact me by e-mail but be aware that you will reveal your e-mail address by doing so! If you don't agree with these terms, I advice you to leave this site, although I have no idea where you could possibly go. If you are a lawyer trying to make money out of the new regulations, go ahead and sue me.
Science of Intelligence
End of September 2018 our application for the cluster of excellence Science of Intelligence got selected for funding within the German excellence funding program!
Understanding intelligence is one of the great scientic challenges of our time. Yet in spite of extensive research efforts spanning many scientific disciplines, our understanding of intelligence remains fragmented and incomplete. The Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence (SCIoI) aims to identify the principles of intelligence to fundamentally advance our understanding of intelligence as a whole – be it human, animal, individual, collective or artificial.
SCIoI will bring together researchers from different disciplines, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, biology and human development. This allows to study, for example, how birds, mice and humans solve the same problems, such as mechanical puzzles. The obtained insights will then be transferred to artificial systems – robots or computer programs –, which are given the same challenges. This “synthetic approach” has three central advantages. Firstly, it forces researchers to check whether theories developed for biological intelligence are correct and useful. Secondly, it stimulates new hypotheses for the study of biological intelligence, because the inner workings of artificial systems can be analyzed with much greater detail than living organisms. Thirdly, it fosters a transfer of the obtained insights into technical applications. The approach of studying the same problems in a variety of different systems – animals, humans, robots and swarms – serves the central aim of the Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence: The discovery of general principles of intelligence.
If you want to learn more about the work we are doing within the next seven years, check out the Science of Intelligence Website.
Information processing is known to be strongly biased by emotional states. In humans, depressed or anxious individuals are known to have lowered expectation regarding positive events and tend to interpret ambiguous stimuli more negatively. Cognitive bias, the altered information processing resulting from the background emotional state of an individual, has been suggested as a promising new indicator of animal emotion. Animals in a putatively negative emotional state are more likely to judge an ambiguous stimulus as if it predicts a negative event, than those in a "optimistic" emotional state. We established a paradigm to test cognitive bias in mice by training them to associate specific alleys of a maze with either a positive reward or a negative stimulus. Unknown alleys were investigated according to their relative location, i.e., their proximity to the positive or the negative alley. This new paradigm allows to rate individual animals as "optimistic" or "pessimistic" according to their latency to explore an ambiguous alley that is located in the middle between a positive and a negative alley.
In addition, we also tested emotion-like states in honey bees by applying an olfactory learning paradigm using two odorants and blends of these odorants as the ambiguous stimuli. One of the most common bee plaques is theVarroa mite often treated by exposing the bee hive to evaporated formic acid. Shaking the honey bees prior to the test led to a pessimistic judgment while exposure to formic acid did not significantly change the response to the ambiguous stimuli. Hence, there is no evidence that the treatment against detrimental effects on cognitive bias in honey bees.
Here is a detailed instruction for building a bee olfactory conditioning apparatus.
In addition we currently investigate cognitive bias in humans. Please follow this link to participate in our online version of the cognitive bias test.
- Schlüns, H; Welling, H; Federici, JR; Lewejohann, L (2017): The glass is not yet half empty: Agitation but not Varroa treatment causes cognitive bias in honey bees. Animal Cognition. 20 (2): 233–241.
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