Neuroscience in Denmark

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General information

Name (center, department, group or other)
Berg Lab, Department of Neuroscience and pharmacology, University of Copenhagen
Contact name
Rune W. Berg
Contact email
Contact title
associate professor
28. June 2015
(Last edited: 6. March 2017)

Brief description of research activities

Motor control in the brain and spinal cord

We ask: From where and how are movements generated? All our everyday activities are produced by cells in the spinal cord. But how do they accomplish the task? How many cells are involved and how do they produce the rhythm and coordinate the muscles? Our lab investigates how simple stereotypic movement such as walking, running and scratching emerge out of the biological networks of neurons primarily located in the spinal cord.

Lab website:


spinal cord, network, neurons, population, ensemble, dynamics, central pattern generator, CPG, movement, Neural

Research tools and techniques

Our lab focus on the neuronal ensemble dynamics in order to tease apart the spinal circuitry involved in generation of simple movements, and the orchestration by the brain. We use the following experimental techniques:

Intracellular recordings of a single neuron embedded in an active network (brain or spinal cord).
Simultaneous multi-unit recording (~300 neurons) from spinal motor network activity.
Advanced analysis techniques (done in mostly in Matlab).
We put emphasis on having a strong data-driven analysis including advanced analytical tools as well as mathematical modelling.

Scientific Personnel

No of Associate Professors/Postdocs: 1
No of PhD students: 1
Other: 3

Key references from within the last 5 years

Berg, RW, MT Stauning, JB Sorensen, H Jahnsen "Comment on 'Penetration of action potentials during collision in the median and lateral giant axons of invertebrates'" Physical Review X, IN PRESS 2017

Vich, C, RW Berg, S Ditlevsen, A Guillamon "Estimation of synaptic conductances in presence of nonlinear effects caused by subthreshold ionic currents" In review 2017

Petersen, PC and RW Berg "Lognormal firing rate distribution reveals prominent fluctuation-driven regime in spinal motor networks" eLife 2016; 10.7554/eLife.18805 ( )

Jensen, KHR, RW Berg "CLARITY-compatible lipophilic dyes for electrode marking and neuronal tracing" Scientific Reports, 6:32674, 2016 ( )

Vestergaard M, RW Berg, “Divisive Gain Modulation of Motoneurons by Inhibition Optimizes Muscular Control” J. Neuroscience, 35(8): 3711-3723, 2015

Petersen PC, M Vestergaard, KHR Jensen, RW Berg, “Premotor spinal network with balanced excitation and inhibition during motor patterns has high resilience to structural division” J. Neuroscience, 34(8): 2774-2784, 2014

Berg RW and Ditlevsen S, "Synaptic inhibition and excitation estimated via the time constant of membrane potential fluctuations" J. Neurophysiol. 110: 1021-1034, 2013

Kolind J, Hounsgaard J and Berg RW "Opposing effects of intrinsic conductance and correlated synaptic input on Vm-fluctuations during network activity" Front. Comput. Neurosci. 6:40, 2012. doi:10.3389/fncom.2012.00040

Jahn P, Berg RW, Hounsgaard J, Ditlevsen S. "Motoneuron membrane potentials follow a time inhomogeneous jump diffusion process" J. Comput Neurosci. 2011; 31(3): 563-79

S. Walloe, U. V. Nissen, RW Berg, J. Hounsgaard, B. Pakkenberg "Stereological estimate of the number of neurons and glial cells in the spinal segment D9 of the red-eared turtle" J. Neuroscience, 31, 2431-2435, 2011.

J. Dreyer, K. Herrik, RW Berg, and J. Hounsgaard "Influence of phasic and tonic dopamine release on uptake and receptors" J. Neuroscience 30, 14273-14283, 2010.

Scherfigsvej 7
2100 Copenhagen Ø
Tel. +45 39 12 80 00
CVR-nr. 11 81 49 13
Nils Axelsen Ralf Hemmingsen Lauritz Holm-Nielsen Ralf Hemmingsen Jens Oddershede Jens Frederik Rehfeld Anders Bjørklund