|Most of all I am indebted to my parents for providing
me with the opportunity to pursue my studies with my full dedication and
diligence. I am also grateful to Martin Heisenberg who not only lured the
DFG into paying me at least half a normal salary, but beyond that managed
to teach me scientific thinking and conduct as well as to sharpen my reasoning
by innumerable, sometimes very hot discussions. His way of leading his
students not by command but by paragon of thought is greatly appreciated.
I would also like to thank Reinhard Wolf for the many invaluable discussions
and his unselfish assistance in designing the numerous evaluation algorithms,
solving technical difficulties and his inspiration for new experiments.
Without him, this study would not have been possible.
My deep gratitude also goes to Matthias Porsch, who unfailingly
found the right words in the right situations and provided me with constant
positive feedback. He is the only person in the lab who truly can appreciate
the severe physical and psychological impact hard training and tough games
can have on the scientist. My sports – and therefore also my various fellow
sportsmen – have been essential in developing a personal discipline that
enabled me to continue working when my inner temptation had strong objections.
Many thanks go to Gabi Putz, for her warm friendship and
her trust as well as for providing me with an insight into the female psyche
that made prior experience appear unisexual. Gabi undoubtedly had the greatest
impact on my private thinking in the last two years. I would have liked
to know her twin sister Eve better, as not only our psychological discussions
were highly interesting and stimulating. Eilidh Webster needs to be named
here, too, not only because of her most helpful paper-service in the tough
times before the library came online, but also because of her cheerful
nature, warmth and trust. I would also like to express my gratitude towards
Stefanie Zeitz with whom I shared some of the bright sides of life and
who gave me the opportunity to get a glimpse of a completely different
academic life. I owe a lot to Sophia Farley as well, whose openness and
eagerness to explore are unparalleled and have provided me with unrivalled
experiences. A truly remarkable woman she is.
Bertram Gerber’s relentless critique on some parts of
an earlier version of this thesis is gratefully acknowledged as it significantly
improved its clarity.
The 11 o’clock Mensa fraction provided me with the perfect
lunch-break nearly every day. Besides the ever-present Matthias Porsch,
there were Ulrich Hafner and Immo Hansen who contributed most to my well
being (not to forget the arduous workers preparing the meals).
The atmosphere in our lab was another factor influencing
my work. The intellectual stimulation and the many many long nights in
Würzburg, Göttingen, San Diego or elsewhere have promoted my
work greatly. Most frequently among them were (besides the already mentioned)
Roland Strauss, Martin Barth, Marcus Reif, Bernhard Bonengel, Eike Kibler,
Troy Zars, Andreas Keller and Martin Schwärzel. In this regard I have
to mention all the fine people at Würzburger Hofbräu®,
Jever® and Distelhäuser®
as being pivotal for the nightly gatherings (I need to have a sincere word
with those bootleggers at Absolut Vodka®
distillery, though). The workers at the Scottish
and Highland Park®
deserve a special credit. Together with my labmate Roman Ernst they contributed
most to the broadening and refinement of my gustatory and olfactory experience.
Roman deserves more special appreciation. For most of my diploma and graduate
studies he was an inexhaustible source of ideas and assistance. Without
his ingenuity and programming skills I would probably be occupied evaluating
data on the DOS level for the next three years. His calm nature created
a comforting atmosphere in the lab that made working a pleasure. More recently,
Jan Wiener replaced Roman in our lab for his Diploma thesis. Jan immediately
sought acceptance in the lab by joining a few of the above mentioned gatherings.
His inquisitive mind and eagerness to learn greatly promoted my comprehension
of stimulus learning by our long and stimulating discussions.
If I started to thank T.H. Morgan for taking Drosophila
into the lab I would probably also have to thank Christopher Columbus for
discovering the Americas as our flies feed on a cornmeal based medium.
As this would imply that I have to mention Galileo Galilei for starting
the whole science business and Aristotle, Sokrates or Thales of Milet for
beginning to think clearly, I would also have to commence pondering about
how everything got started at all. As there is probably a googolplex of
possible answers and I would most likely need to develop at least a unified
field theory or a new superstring theory or even the theory of everything
to explain them, I won’t even try to.