Faculty Directory
Hermann Riecke

Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

Chair of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics


2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

Email Hermann Riecke


Hermann Riecke Research

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Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

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Ph.D. Physics summa cum laude, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

Diploma Physics magna cum laude, University of München, München, Germany

Research Interests

Our research interests are mostly in the area of computational neuroscience. One focus are plasticity mechanisms and how they restructure neuronal networks. We are particularly fascinated by the role of feedback from higher brain areas in the restructuring of networks and the information processing performed by the networks resulting from it, as it is observed in the olfactory system. To gain insight into these phenomena we investigate predominantly networks of simplified neuron models. Another focus is the coherent dynamics of networks of simple and more complex neurons, which underlie the rhythmic activity observed in many brain areas. We are particularly interested in the interaction of these emerging rhythms and the paradoxical response they can exhibit, which is opposite to that of the individual neurons making up the rhythm. In work on the visual system we have focused on biophysically detailed neuron models for neurons in the retina and on the development of visual cortex V1.


A second area of interest has been the study of spatially extended dynamical systems with focus on pattern formation. Specific topics investigated have been bifurcation theory with symmetry, spatially localized patterns, complex patterns, and spatio-temporal chaos.

Selected Publications

L.U. Kim, H. Riecke, Intersegmental coordination of the central pattern generator via interleaved electrical and chemical synapses in zebrafish spinal cord

J. Comput. Neurosci. 51 (2023) 129,

X. Xu, H. Riecke, Paradoxical phase response of gamma rhythms facilitates their entrainment in heterogeneous networks, PLoS Comp. Biology 17 (2021) e1008575.

X. Xu, J.H. Cang, H. Riecke. Development and binocular matching of orientation selectivity in visual cortex: a computational model.

 J. Neurophysiol. 123 (2020) 1305--1319.

W. Adams, J.N. Graham, X. Han, H. Riecke, Top-down inputs drive neuronal network rewiring and context-enhanced sensory processing in olfaction, PLoS Comp. Biology 15 (2019) e1006611.

J.H. Meng, H. Riecke, Synchronization by uncorrelated noise: interacting rhythms in networks of oscillator networks, Scientific Reports, 8 (2018) 6949.

A.J. Karamchandani, J.N. Graham, H. Riecke, Pulse-coupled mixed-mode oscillators: Cluster states and extreme noise sensitivity, Chaos 28 (2018) 043115.

Z.G. Nicolaou, H. Riecke, A.E. Motter, Chimera States in Continuous Media: Existence and Distinctness, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119 (2017) 244101.

K.A. Sailor, M.T. Valley, M.T. Wiechert, H. Riecke, G.J. Sun, W. Adamas, J.C. Dennis, S. Sharafi, G.-L. Ming, H. Song, P.-M. Lledo, Persistent Structural Plasticity Optimizes Sensory Information Processing in the Olfactory Bulb, Neuron, 91 (2016) 384.

H. Choi, L. Zhang, M.S. Cembrowski, C.F. Sabottke, A.L. Markowitz, D.A. Butts, W.L. Kath, J.H. Singer, H. Riecke, Intrinsic bursting of AII amacrine cells underlies oscillations in the rd1 mouse retina, J. Neurophysiol. 112 (2014) 1491--1504.

K. Gowda, H. Riecke, M. Silber, Transitions between Patterned States in Vegetation Models for Semi-arid Ecosystems, Phys. Rev. E 89 (2014) 022701.

J.-B. Ke, Y. V. Wang, B.G. Borghuis, M.S. Cembrowski, H. Riecke, W.L. Kath, J.B. Demb, J.H. Singer, Adaptation to background light enables contrast coding at rod bipolar cell synapses, Neuron 81 (2014) 388--401


M.S. Cembrowski, S.M. Logan, M. Tian, L. Jia, W. Li, W.L. Kath, H. Riecke, J.H. Singer, A Single, Distal Dendritic Location Underlies Action Potential-like Spiking in an Axonless Retinal Interneuron, Cell Reports 1 (2012) 155.

M.T. Wiechert, B. Judkewitz, H. Riecke, R.W. Friedrich, Mechanisms of Pattern Decorrelation by Recurrent Neuronal Circuits, Nature Neurosci. 13 (2010) 1003-1010.

A. Roxin, H. Riecke, S.A. Solla, Self-Sustained Activity in a Small-World Network of Excitable Neurons,

Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (2004) 198101.