Prof. Dr. York Winter

Dr. rer. nat., Universität Erlangen, 1993
M.Sc., University of Minnesota, 1987

Phone: (+49)-30-2093 47940

Research Interests:

Decision making, learning, memory, cognition, virtual reality, behavioural diagnostics of neuropsychiatric dysfunction, behaviour methods development

Research Area:
I am interested in the mechanisms adapting animals to the complexity of natural, ecological environments. After a long interest in physiological mechanisms, I am now more interested in the role of the brain and the behavior it generates. My main interest lies in cognitive abilities during food seeking behaviour, including learning, memory, and their neurobiological foundations. I study mechanisms of behavior in the laboratory from observing mice and rats. But we also study decision making in wild populations of flower visiting bats exposed to automated operant devices in the field. Work in the ill-controlled laboratory of Nature keeps us in touch with the evolutionary selection pressures that ultimately have formed the brains of all species. Recently, I have formed a group that now uses our knowledge of animal behaviour to perform diagnostic tests in mouse and rat models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. This is to make a contribution to medical translational research. We established the Berlin Mouse Clinic for Neurology and Psychiatry as a modern behaviour diagnostic facility that is operated by us within the NeuroCure Center of Excellence at the Charité medical school, Berlin. A long standing interest is the development of computer-based automation technology for the study of behaviour. With our own dedicated engineering lab now at Humboldt University we develop novel behaviour detection and experimentation technologies, advancing the state-of-the-art.


Kühne S G, Schalla M A, Friedrich T, Kobelt P, Goebel-Stengel M, Long M, Rivalan M, Winter Y, Rose M, Stengel A. (2018). Nesfatin-130-59 injected intracerebroventricularly increases anxiety, depression-like behavior, and anhedonia in normal weight rats. Nutrients, 10, 1889–1903. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17747-7.

Tröster P, Haseleu J, Petersen J, Drees O, Schmidtko A, Schwaller F, Lewin G, Ter-Avetisyan G, Winter Y, Peters S, Feil S, Feil R, Rathjen FG, Schmidt H. (2018). The absence of sensory axon bifurcation affects nociception and termination fields of afferents in the spinal cord. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 11, 1–18. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00019.

Rivalan M, Winter Y, Nachev V. (2017). Principles of economic rationality in mice. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 17441. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17747-7.

Nachev V, Stich KP, Winter C, Bond A, Kamil A, Winter Y. (2017). Cognition-mediated evolution of low-quality floral nectars. Science. 355:75-78. doi: 10.1126/science.aah4219.

Kaupert U, Thurley K, Frei K, Bagorda F, Schatz A, Tocker G, Rapoport S, Derdikman D, Winter Y. (2017). Spatial cognition in a virtual reality home-cage extension for freely moving rodents. J Neurophysiol. doi: 10.1152/jn.00630.2016.

Rivalan M, Munawar H, Fuchs A, Winter Y (2017). An automated, experimenter-free method for the standardised, operant cognitive testing of rats. PLoS One. 6;12(1):e0169476. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169476.

Nashaat MA, Oraby H, Sachdev RN, Winter Y, Larkum ME. 2016. Air-Track: A real-world floating environment for active sensing in head-fixed mice. J Neurophysiol. doi: 10.1152/jn.00088.2016.

Klein C, Rasińska J, Empl L, Sparenberg M, Poshtiban A, Hain EG, Iggena D, Rivalan M, Winter Y, Steiner B. 2016. Physical exercise counteracts MPTP-induced changes in neural precursor cell proliferation in the hippocampus and restores spatial learning but not memory performance in the water maze. Behav Brain Res. 20:1120-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.02.040.

Schuster S, Rivalan M, Strauss U, Stoenica L, Trimbuch T, Rademacher N, Parthasarathy S, Lajkó D, Rosenmund Ch, Shoichet S, Winter Y, Tarabykin V and Rosario M. 2015. NOMA-GAP/ARHGAP33 regulates synapse development and autistic like behavior in the mouse. Molecular Psychiatry 20:1120-31.\10.1038/mp.2015.42.

Iggena D, Klein C, Garthe A, Winter Y, Kempermann G, Steiner B. 2015. Only watching others making their experiences is insufficient to enhance adult neurogenesis and water maze performance in mice. Sci Rep. 5:14141. doi: 10.1038/srep14141.

Håkansson J, Hedenström A, Winter Y, Johansson LC. 2015. The wake of hovering flight in bats. 2015. J Roy Soc Interface.\10.1098/rsif.2015.0357.

Ulm L, Wohlrapp D, Meinzer M, Steinicke R, Schatz A, Denzler P, Klehmet J, Dohle C, Niedeggen M, Meisel A, Winter Y. 2013. A circle-monitor for computerised assessment of visual neglect in peripersonal space. PLoS ONE 8: e82892.\10.1371/journal.pone.0082892.

Toelch, U., Winter, Y. 2013. Interval timing behavior in Pallas’s long-tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 127: 445-452. doi: 10.1037/a0032528

Kononenko NL, Diril MK, Puchkov D, Kintscher M, Koo SJ, Pfuhl G, Winter Y, Wienisch M, Klingauf J, Breustedt J, Schmitz D, Maritzen T, Haucke V. (2013) Compromised fidelity of endocytic synaptic vesible protein sorting in the absence of stonin-2. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 110:E526-35.\10.1073/pnas.1218432110

Nachev V, Stich KP, Winter Y (2013) Weber’s Law, the Magnitude Effect and Discrimination of Sugar Concentrations in Nectar-Feeding Animals. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74144. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074144

vom Berg J, Prokop S, Miller KR, Obst J, Kälin RE, Lopategui-Cabezas I, Wegner A, Mair F, Schipke CG, Peters O, Winter Y, Becher B, Heppner FL. Inhibition of IL-12/IL-23 signaling reduces Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology and cognitive decline. (2012) Nature Medicine,

Philip Grewe, Agnes Kohsik, David Flentge, Eugen Dyck, Christian Bien, York Winter, Mario Botsch, Hans J. Markowitsch, Martina Piefke. Learning real-life cognitive abilities in a novel 360° virtual reality supermarket: a neuropsychological study of healthy participants and patients with epilepsy. 2013. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 10:42 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-10-42

Eugen Dyck, Eduard Zell, Agnes Kohsik, Philip Grewe, York Winter, Martina Piefke, Mario Botsch. (2012) OctaVis: An Easy-to-Use VR-System for Clinical Studies. Proceedings of Virtual Reality Interaction and Physical Simulation (VRIPHYS), 2012:127-136

Eduard Zell, Eugen Dyck, Agnes Kohsik, Philip Grewe, David Flentge, York Winter, Martina Piefke, Mario Botsch. OctaVis: A Virtual Reality System for Clinical Studies and Rehabilitation. Proceedings of Eurographics Short and Medical Prize Papers, 2013, (in press)

Nachev V, Winter Y (2012). The psychophysics of uneconomical choice: non-linear reward evaluation by a nectar feeder. Animal Cognition 15:393-400.

Muijres FT, Johansson LC, Bowlin MS, Winter Y, Hedenström A (2012) Comparing aerodynamic efficiency in birds and bats suggests better flight performance in birds. PLoS ONE 7: e37335.

Schaefers ATU, Winter Y (2011). Rapid task acquisition of spatial-delayed alternation in an automated T-maze by mice. Behavioural Brain Research 225 (2011) 56– 62.

Winter, Y, Schaefers ATU (2011). A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods.

Muijres FT, Johansson LC, Winter Y, Hedenström A (2011). Comparative aerodynamic performance of flapping flight in two bat species using time-resolved wake visualization. J. R. Soc. Interface 63:1418-1428.

Schaefers ATU, Grafen K, Teuchert-Noodt G, Winter, Y (2010). Synaptic remodeling in the dentate gyrus, CA3, CA1, subiculum, and entorhinal cortex of mice: effects of deprived rearing and voluntary running. Neural Plast. 2010: 870573.

Haupt M, Eccard JA, Winter Y (2010) Does spatial learning ability of common voles (Microtus arvalis) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus) constrain foraging effciency? Animal Cognition 13:783-791.\10.1007/s10071-010-0327-8

Wolf, M.; Johansson, L.C.; von Busse, R.; Winter, Y.; Hedenström, A. (2010). Kinematics of flight and the relationship to the vortex wake of a Phallas´ long tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina); J. Exp. Biol. 2010 213: 2142-2153.

Neufeld, J., Teuchert-Noodt, G., Grafen, K., Winter, Y., Witte, V.A. (2009). Synapse plasticity in motor, sensory and limbo-prefrontal cortex areas as measured by degrading axon terminals in an environment model of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). Neural Plasticity, 281561.

Lehmann, K., Grund, T., Bagorda, A., Bagorda, F., Grafen, K., Winter, Y., Teuchert-Noodt, G. (2009). Developmental effects on dopamine projections and hippocampal cell proliferation in the rodent model of postweaning social and physical deprivation can be triggered by brief changes of environmental context. Behavioural Brain Research 205: 26–31.

Hedenström, A.; Muijres, F.; von Busse, R.; Johansson, C.; Winter, Y.; Spedding, G.R. (2009). High-speed stereo DPIV measurement of wakes of two bat species flying freely in a wind tunnel; Experiments in Fluids 46, 923-932

Johansson, L.C.; Wolf, M.; von Busse, R.; Winter, Y.; Spedding, G.R.; Hedenström, A. (2008). The near and far wake of Phallas’ long tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina). Journal of Experimental Biology 211, 2909-2918.

Amrein, I. D. K. N. Dechmann, Y. Winter, H.-P. Lipp. (2007) Absent or Low Rate of Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus of Bats (Chiroptera). PloSONE 2(5): e455.

Winter, Y. Automatisierte Verhaltensforschung mit RFID. Pp. 187-193. In: Naguib, M. Methoden der Verhaltensbiologie. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg.

Toelch, U. and Winter, Y. (2006). Psychometric function for nectar volume perception of a flower visiting bat. J. Comp. Physiol. A, 193, 265-269.

Stich, K.P. and Winter, Y. (2006). Lack of generalisation of object discrimination between spatial contexts by a bat. J. Exp. Biology, 209, 4802-4808.

Lindhe Norberg, U. M., and Y. Winter. (2006). Wing beat kinematics of a nectar feeding bat, Glossophaga soricina, flying at different flight speeds and Strouhal numbers. J. Exp. Biology 209, 3887-3897.

Santoso, A., Kaiser, A., Winter, Y. (2006). Individually dosed oral drug administration to socially-living transponder-tagged mice by a water dispenser under RFID control. J Neuroscience Meth. 153, 208-213.

Nicolay, C.W., and Y. Winter. 2006. Performance analysis as a tool for understanding the ecological morphology of flower-visiting bats. Pp 131-144. In: Functional and Evolutionary Ecology of Bats (A. Zubaid, G.F. McCracken, and T.H. Kunz, eds.). Oxford University Press, New York.

Winter, Y. and K. P. Stich (2005). Foraging in a complex naturalistic environment: capacity of spatial working memory in flower bats. Journal or Experimental Biology. 208: 539-548.

Thiele, H., Winter, Y. (2005). Hierarchical strategy for relocation of food targets in flower bats: spatial memory versus cue-directed search. Animal Behaviour 69: 315-327. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.05.012

Winter, Y., S. von Merten and H.-U. Kleindienst (2004). Visual landmark orientation by flying bats at a large-scale touch and walk screen for bats, birds and rodents. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 141: 283-290. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2004.07.002

Winter, Y., López, J and von Helversen, O. 2003. Ultraviolet vision in a bat. Nature 425: 612-614.

Winter, Y. and O. von Helversen. 2003. Operational tongue length in phyllostomid nectar-feeding bats. Journal of Mammalogy 84: 886-896.

Helversen O. von und Y. Winter. 2003. Glossophagine bats and their flowers: cost and benefit for plant and pollinator. pp. 346-397. In: Kunz, T. H. and M. B. Fenton Ecology of Bats, University of Chicago Press.

Dudley, R. and Y. Winter. 2002. Hovering flight mechanics of neotropical flower bats (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae) in normodense and hypodense gas mixtures. J. Exp. Biology 205: 3669-3677.

Winter, Y. und O. von Helversen. 2001. Bats as pollinators: foraging energetics and floral adaptations. Pp. 148-170. In: Chittka, L. und Thomson, J. (eds.) Cognitive Ecology of Pollination. Oxford University Press. 358 pp.

Winter, Y. (1999) Flight speed and body mass of nectar-feeding bats (Glossophaginae) during foraging. J. Exp. Biol. 202:1917-1930.

Voigt, C.C. and Winter, Y. (1999) The energetic cost of hovering flight in nectar-feeding bats (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae) and its scaling in bats, birds and moths. J. comp. Physiol. B 169:38-48

Volleth, M., Klett, C., Kollak, A., Dixkens, C., Winter, Y., Just, W. Vogel, W. und Hameister, H. 1999. ZOO-FISH analysis in a species of the order Chiroptera: Glossophaga soricina (Phyllostomidae). Chromosome Res. 7:57-64.

Winter, Y. (1998). Energetic cost of hovering flight in a nectar-feeding bat measured with fast-response respirometry. J. Comp. Physiol. B 168: 434-444.

Winter, Y., Voigt, C. & von Helversen, O. (1998). Gas exchange during hovering flight in a nectar-feeding bat, Glossophaga soricina. J. Exp. Biol. 201, 237-244.

Winter, Y. & von Helversen, O. (1998). The energy cost of flight: do small bats fly more cheaply than birds? J. Comp. Physiol. B 168, 105-111.

Winter, Y. (1998) In vivo measurement of near maximal rates of nutrient absorption in a mammal. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 119A: 853-859.

Winter, Y. (1998) Construction of electronic hybrid microcircuits: a 350 mg ECG-transmitter. In Biotelemetry XIV (eds. T. Penzel, S. Salmons, M. R. Neuman.). pp. 65-70. Marburg: Tectum Verlag.

Winter, Y., von Helversen, O., Norberg, U. M., Kunz, T. H. AND Steffensen, J. (1993). Flight cost and the economy of nectar-feeding in the bat Glossophaga soricina (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae). In Animal-Plant Interactions in Tropical Environments (ed. W. Barthlott), pp. 167-174. Bonn: Museum Koenig.

Roces, F., Winter, Y. and von Helversen, O. (1993). Nectar concentration preference and water balance in a flower visiting bat, Glossophaga soricina antillarum. In Animal-Plant Interactions in Tropical Environments (ed. W. Barthlott), pp. 159-165. Bonn: Museum Koenig.

Norberg, U. M., Kunz, T. H., Steffensen, J., Winter, Y. and von Helversen, O. (1993). The cost of hovering and forward flight in a nectar-feeding bat, Glossophaga soricina, estimated from aerodynamic theory. J. Exp. Biol. 182, 207-227.