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).

Collage of image illustrating research at Silberberg lab

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.

Recent and ongoing research projects

Multisensory integration in the Striatum.
Multisensory integration in the Striatum. Photo: Gilad Silberberg.

Multisensory integration in the Striatum 

Two figures illustrating Inhibitory pathways in the Stratium
Inhibitory pathways in the Stratium (fig. 1 & 2).

Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum 

Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum (fig. 3)
Inhibitory pathways in the Striatum (fig. 3) Photo: Gilad Silberberg

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 

Inhibitory pathways in the Neocortex (fig. 1)
Inhibitory pathways in the Neocortex (fig. 1) Photo: Gilad Silberberg
Cover of Neuron (Mar 01, 2007, Volume 53, Issue 5, p. 619-770)
Cover of Neuron (Mar 01, 2007, Volume 53, Issue 5, p. 619-770) Photo: Gilad Silberberg

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

Group members


  • Anna Tokarska
  • Zach Chia
  • Ramon Reig
  • Jie Mei
  • Susanne Szydlowski
  • Ming Zhou
  • Henrike Planert
  • Jesper Ericsson
  • Andreas Klaus
  • Julia Oyrer
  • Emelie Braun
  • Jeroen Brus



  • 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
  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  • EU Horizon 2020, "AND-PD"


  • 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”

Selected publications

Corticostriatal pathways for bilateral sensorimotor functions.
Gómez-Ocádiz R, Silberberg G
Curr Opin Neurobiol 2023 Sep;83():102781

Ongoing movement controls sensory integration in the dorsolateral striatum.
de la Torre-Martinez R, Ketzef M, Silberberg G
Nat Commun 2023 Feb;14(1):1004

GABAergic interneurons expressing the α2 nicotinic receptor subunit are functionally integrated in the striatal microcircuit.
Tokarska A, Silberberg G
Cell Rep 2022 May;39(8):110842

Astrocyte-derived neurons provide excitatory input to the adult striatal circuitry.
Dorst MC, Díaz-Moreno M, Dias DO, Guimarães EL, Holl D, Kalkitsas J, Silberberg G, Göritz C
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Aug;118(33):

Differential Synaptic Input to External Globus Pallidus Neuronal Subpopulations In Vivo.
Ketzef M, Silberberg G
Neuron 2021 Feb;109(3):516-529.e4

Polysynaptic inhibition between striatal cholinergic interneurons shapes their network activity patterns in a dopamine-dependent manner.
Dorst MC, Tokarska A, Zhou M, Lee K, Stagkourakis S, Broberger C, Masmanidis S, Silberberg G
Nat Commun 2020 Oct;11(1):5113

Synaptic Connectivity between the Cortex and Claustrum Is Organized into Functional Modules.
Chia Z, Augustine GJ, Silberberg G
Curr Biol 2020 Jul;30(14):2777-2790.e4

The Functional Organization of Cortical and Thalamic Inputs onto Five Types of Striatal Neurons Is Determined by Source and Target Cell Identities.
Johansson Y, Silberberg G
Cell Rep 2020 Jan;30(4):1178-1194.e3

Dopamine Depletion Impairs Bilateral Sensory Processing in the Striatum in a Pathway-Dependent Manner.
Ketzef M, Spigolon G, Johansson Y, Bonito-Oliva A, Fisone G, Silberberg G
Neuron 2017 May;94(4):855-865.e5

Local and afferent synaptic pathways in the striatal microcircuitry.
Silberberg G, Bolam JP
Curr Opin Neurobiol 2015 Aug;33():182-7

Multisensory integration in the mouse striatum.
Reig R, Silberberg G
Neuron 2014 Sep;83(5):1200-12

Full list of publications

Full list of publications from Google Scholar

Available positions

Postdoc positions available


Our lab uses electrophysiological, morphological, optogenetic, and computational methods to study neural microcircuits in the neocortex and basal-ganglia. In particular we are interested in the dynamic properties of neuronal microcircuits underlying sensory and motor processing.

We study the dynamic interactions between different types of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in order to unravel the way neural networks are structured and dynamically orchestrated.

Postdoc candidates should have a strong neuroscience background with documented experience in patch-clamp recording and/or in vivo electrophysiology.

Knowledge of neuroanatomy, imaging, and computer programming are highly advantageous.

The project will involve in vivo patch-clamp recordings and calcium imaging in cortex and striatum.

Funding is guaranteed for the first 2 years and may be extended according to progress and available funding.

Visiting address

Karolinska Institutet Campus Solna
Quarter B4
Solnavägen 9
171 65 Stockholm

Where to find us

Karolinska Institutet, Biomedicum, Solnavägen 9

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