Research - Silberberg Lab

In our lab, we study the structural and func­tional properties of neocortical and striatal microcircuits, as well the interactions between these two brain areas (cortico-striatal pathway).

Research focus

We use electrophysiological, anatomical, and imaging techniques in slices and in vivo, as well as computational methods in order to reveal the intricate organization of neurons and their synaptic connections. Our aim is to unravel the functional microcircuitry underlying sensori­motor processing in health and disease.

The Neocortex and Basal Ganglia are two brain regions involved in sensorimotor processing, and are tightly linked to each other via the cortico-striatal pathway. In order to understand the function of these brain regions, how they integrate sensory input and generate the appropriate motor output, it is essential to have a deep knowledge of their respective micro­circuits.

Key topics in our research are:

  • The properties and functional role of inter­neurons and their interaction with the projection neurons (medium spiny neurons in the striatum, pyramidal neurons in the neocortex).
  • Synaptic dynamics and their affect on microcircuit operation.
  • Feed-back and feed-forward inhibitory synaptic pathways.
  • Short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in corticostriatal synapses.
  • Sensory integration in Basal Ganglia networks.
Multisensory integration in the Striatum.
Multisensory integration in the Striatum. Photo: Gilad Silberberg.

Recent and ongoing research projects

Multisensory integration in the Striatum


    Inhibitory pathways in the Stratium fig. 1
    Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum (fig. 1)

    Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum

      Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum (fig 2.)
      Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum (fig. 2)
      Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum (fig. 3)
      Inhibitory pathways in the Neocortex (fig. 1)

      Example of a simultaneous patch clamp recording from 4 striatal neurons. Stimulation of one striatal interneuron (Fast Spiking cell) evokes inhibitory responses in neighboring medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of both direct and indirect projections types (right). These responses are monosynaptic GABAergic IPSPs acting as a feedforward inhibitory pathway.

      Inhibitory pathways in the Neocortex

        Cover of Neuron (Mar 01, 2007, Volume 53, Issue 5, p. 619-770)

        Stimulation of a layer 5 pyramidal cell (PC) evokes disynaptic inhibitory responses in neighboring PCs. These responses are mediated by GABAergic Martinotti cells.



        • Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (Wallenberg Academy Fellowship)
        • StratNeuro - The Strategic Research Program in Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet
        • Swedish Medical Research Council (VR-M)
        • Hjärnfonden
        • Karolinska Institutet


        • European Research Council (ERC)
        • Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)
        • Stockholm Brain Institute (SBI)
        • Åke Wiberg foundation
        • Magnus Bergvall foundation
        • Network of European Neuroscience Institutes (ENI-net)
        • Jeanssons Stiftelser
        • EU FP7 – “Select and Act”