7. Acknowledgements
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®, Beck’s®, Flensburger®, 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 distilleries Lagavulin®, Laphroig®, Talisker® 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.