Professor Ole Paulsen

Ole Paulsen

University position


Professor Ole Paulsen is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute


Home page (personal home page)

Research Themes

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Developmental Neuroscience


The primary interest of my group is the relationship between network oscillations and synaptic plasticity. Network oscillations naturally organise spike timing conducive to spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), a strong candidate for a mechanism involved in neural development as well as learning and memory processes. We aim to gain insight into how information can be stored and retrieved as changes of synaptic weights in neural networks displaying oscillatory activity. To this end, we use a combination of techniques, including whole-cell patch-clamp and planar multi-electrode recording, calcium imaging and light-activated channels (channelrhodopsins).

Research Focus



barrel cortex

neural circuit

synaptic plasticity


Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease


Cognitive impairment





Calcium imaging

Cell culture

Computational modelling

Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Field potential recording

Fluorescence microscopy


Intracellular recording


Whole cell patch clamp



Ed Bullmore

Angie Fleming

Michel Goedert

Dave Klenerman

Mate Lengyel

Hugh Robinson

David Rubinsztein

Maria Grazia Spillantini

United Kingdom

Harry Anderson

David Bannerman

Michael Coleman

Zhanfeng Cui

Rob Deacon

Paul Harrison

Eric Hill

Stuart Hughes

Karri Lamsa

Nick Rawlins

Mariana Vargas-Caballero

Richard Wade-Martins

Tony Wilson


Karl Deisseroth

Huib Mansvelder

Edvard Moser

Antonio Rodriguez-Moreno

Associated News Items



Banerjee A, González-Rueda A, Sampaio-Baptista C, Paulsen O, Rodríguez-Moreno A (2014), “Distinct mechanisms of spike timing-dependent LTD at vertical and horizontal inputs onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse barrel cortex.” Physiol Rep 2(3):e00271 Details

Groen MR, Paulsen O, Pérez-Garci E, Nevian T, Wortel J, Dekker MP, Mansvelder HD, van Ooyen A, Meredith RM (2014), “Development of dendritic tonic GABAergic inhibition regulates excitability and plasticity in CA1 pyramidal neurons.” J Neurophysiol 112(2):287-99 Details

Palmer LM, Shai AS, Reeve JE, Anderson HL, Paulsen O, Larkum ME (2014), “NMDA spikes enhance action potential generation during sensory input.” Nat Neurosci Details

Shipton OA, Paulsen O (2014), “GluN2A and GluN2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors in hippocampal plasticity.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 369(1633):20130163 Details


Borel M, Guadagna S, Jang HJ, Kwag J, Paulsen O (2013), “Frequency dependence of CA3 spike phase response arising from h-current properties.” Front Cell Neurosci 7:263 Details

Craig MT, Mayne EW, Bettler B, Paulsen O, McBain CJ (2013), “Distinct roles of GABAB1a- and GABAB1b-containing GABAB receptors in spontaneous and evoked termination of persistent cortical activity.” J Physiol 591(Pt 4):835-43 Details

Mayne EW, Craig MT, McBain CJ, Paulsen O (2013), “Dopamine suppresses persistent network activity via D(1) -like dopamine receptors in rat medial entorhinal cortex.” Eur J Neurosci Details

Rodríguez-Moreno A, González-Rueda A, Banerjee A, Upton AL, Craig MT, Paulsen O (2013), “Presynaptic self-depression at developing neocortical synapses.” Neuron 77(1):35-42 Details

Tailor J, Kittappa R, Leto K, Gates M, Borel M, Paulsen O, Spitzer S, Karadottir RT, Rossi F, Falk A, Smith A (2013), “Stem cells expanded from the human embryonic hindbrain stably retain regional specification and high neurogenic potency.” J Neurosci 33(30):12407-22 Details


Botcherby EJ, Smith CW, Kohl MM, Débarre D, Booth MJ, Juškaitis R, Paulsen O, Wilson T (2012), “Aberration-free three-dimensional multiphoton imaging of neuronal activity at kHz rates.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(8):2919-24 Details

Catterall WA, Raman IM, Robinson HP, Sejnowski TJ, Paulsen O (2012), “The Hodgkin-Huxley heritage: from channels to circuits.” J Neurosci 32(41):14064-73 Details

Kwag J, Paulsen O (2012), “Gating of NMDA receptor-mediated hippocampal spike timing-dependent potentiation by mGluR5.” Neuropharmacology 63(4):701-9 Details

Reeve JE, Kohl MM, Rodríguez-Moreno A, Paulsen O, Anderson HL (2012), “Caged intracellular NMDA receptor blockers for the study of subcellular ion channel function.” Commun Integr Biol 5(3):240-2 Details


Deakin IH, Nissen W, Law AJ, Lane T, Kanso R, Schwab MH, Nave KA, Lamsa KP, Paulsen O, Bannerman DM, Harrison PJ (2011), “Transgenic Overexpression of the Type I Isoform of Neuregulin 1 Affects Working Memory and Hippocampal Oscillations but not Long-term Potentiation.” Cereb Cortex Details

Kohl MM, Shipton OA, Deacon RM, Rawlins JN, Deisseroth K, Paulsen O (2011), “Hemisphere-specific optogenetic stimulation reveals left-right asymmetry of hippocampal plasticity.” Nat Neurosci 14(11):1413-5 Details

Kwag J, McLelland D, Paulsen O (2011), “Phase of firing as a local window for efficient neuronal computation: tonic and phasic mechanisms in the control of theta spike phase.” Front Hum Neurosci 5:3 Details

Lyon L, Borel M, Carrión M, Kew JN, Corti C, Harrison PJ, Burnet PW, Paulsen O, Rodríguez-Moreno A (2011), “Hippocampal mossy fiber long-term depression in Grm2/3 double knockout mice.” Synapse 65(9):945-54 Details

Rodríguez-Moreno A, Kohl MM, Reeve JE, Eaton TR, Collins HA, Anderson HL, Paulsen O (2011), “Presynaptic induction and expression of timing-dependent long-term depression demonstrated by compartment-specific photorelease of a use-dependent NMDA receptor antagonist.” J Neurosci 31(23):8564-9 Details

Shipton OA, Leitz JR, Dworzak J, Acton CE, Tunbridge EM, Denk F, Dawson HN, Vitek MP, Wade-Martins R, Paulsen O, Vargas-Caballero M (2011), “Tau protein is required for amyloid {beta}-induced impairment of hippocampal long-term potentiation.” J Neurosci 31(5):1688-92 Details


Ellender TJ, Nissen W, Colgin LL, Mann EO, Paulsen O (2010), “Priming of hippocampal population bursts by individual perisomatic-targeting interneurons.” J Neurosci 30(17):5979-91 Details

Ellender TJ, Paulsen O (2010), “The many tunes of perisomatic targeting interneurons in the hippocampal network.” Front Cell Neurosci 4 Details

Kohl MM, Paulsen O (2010), “The roles of GABAB receptors in cortical network activity.” Adv Pharmacol 58:205-29 Details

Mann EO, Paulsen O (2010), “Local field potential oscillations as a cortical soliloquy.” Neuron 67(1):3-5 Details

Oren I, Hájos N, Paulsen O (2010), “Identification of the current generator underlying cholinergically induced gamma frequency field potential oscillations in the hippocampal CA3 region.” J Physiol 588(Pt 5):785-97 Details

Oren I, Paulsen O (2010), “Currents in space: understanding inhibitory field potentials.” J Physiol 588(Pt 12):2015-6 Details

Rodríguez-Moreno A, Banerjee A, Paulsen O (2010), “Presynaptic NMDA Receptors and Spike Timing-Dependent Depression at Cortical Synapses.” Front Synaptic Neurosci 2:18 Details

Zemankovics R, Káli S, Paulsen O, Freund TF, Hájos N (2010), “Differences in subthreshold resonance of hippocampal pyramidal cells and interneurons: the role of h-current and passive membrane characteristics.” J Physiol 588(Pt 12):2109-32 Details


Banerjee A, Meredith RM, Rodríguez-Moreno A, Mierau SB, Auberson YP, Paulsen O (2009), “Double dissociation of spike timing-dependent potentiation and depression by subunit-preferring NMDA receptor antagonists in mouse barrel cortex.” Cereb Cortex 19(12):2959-69 Details

Hájos N, Ellender TJ, Zemankovics R, Mann EO, Exley R, Cragg SJ, Freund TF, Paulsen O (2009), “Maintaining network activity in submerged hippocampal slices: importance of oxygen supply.” Eur J Neurosci 29(2):319-27 Details

Hájos N, Paulsen O (2009), “Network mechanisms of gamma oscillations in the CA3 region of the hippocampus.” Neural Netw 22(8):1113-9 Details

Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Wang WZ, Lee S, Davies KE, Goffinet AM, Rakić S, Parnavelas J, Reim K, Nicolić M, Paulsen O, Molnár Z (2009), “Novel markers reveal subpopulations of subplate neurons in the murine cerebral cortex.” Cereb Cortex 19(8):1738-50 Details

Kwag J, Paulsen O (2009), “The timing of external input controls the sign of plasticity at local synapses.” Nat Neurosci 12(10):1219-21 Details

Kwag J, Paulsen O (2009), “Bidirectional control of spike timing by GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibition during theta oscillation in CA1 pyramidal neurons.” Neuroreport 20(13):1209-13 Details

Mann EO, Kohl MM, Paulsen O (2009), “Distinct roles of GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors in balancing and terminating persistent cortical activity.” J Neurosci 29(23):7513-8 Details

McLelland D, Paulsen O (2009), “Neuronal oscillations and the rate-to-phase transform: mechanism, model and mutual information.” J Physiol 587(Pt 4):769-85 Details

Reeve JE, Collins HA, Mey KD, Kohl MM, Thorley KJ, Paulsen O, Clays K, Anderson HL (2009), “Amphiphilic Porphyrins for Second Harmonic Generation Imaging.” J Am Chem Soc Details

Romberg C, Raffel J, Martin L, Sprengel R, Seeburg PH, Rawlins JN, Bannerman DM, Paulsen O (2009), “Induction and expression of GluA1 (GluR-A)-independent LTP in the hippocampus.” Eur J Neurosci 29(6):1141-52 Details

van Aerde KI, Mann EO, Canto CB, Heistek TS, Linkenkaer-Hansen K, Mulder AB, van der Roest M, Paulsen O, Brussaard AB, Mansvelder HD (2009), “Flexible spike timing of layer 5 neurons during dynamic beta oscillation shifts in rat prefrontal cortex.” J Physiol 587(Pt 21):5177-96 Details

Vargas-Caballero M, Martin LJ, Salter MW, Orser BA, Paulsen O (2009), “alpha5 Subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors mediate a slowly decaying inhibitory synaptic current in CA1 pyramidal neurons following Schaffer collateral activation.” Neuropharmacology Details


Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Paulsen O, Molnár Z (2008), “Thalamocortical maturation in mice is influenced by body weight.” J Comp Neurol 511(3):415-20 Details

Rodríguez-Moreno A, Paulsen O (2008), “Spike timing-dependent long-term depression requires presynaptic NMDA receptors.” Nat Neurosci 11(7):744-5 Details


Mann EO, Paulsen O (2007), “Role of GABAergic inhibition in hippocampal network oscillations.” Trends Neurosci 30(7):343-9 Details

McLelland D, Paulsen O (2007), “Cortical songs revisited: a lesson in statistics.” Neuron 53(3):319-21 Details

Molnár Z, Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Wang WZ, DeProto J, Davies K, Lee S, Jacobs EC, Campagnoni AT, Paulsen O, Piñon MC, Cheung AF (2007), “Genes involved in the formation of the earliest cortical circuits.” Novartis Found Symp 288:212-24; discussion 224-9, 276-81 Details


Mann EO, Paulsen O (2006), “Keeping inhibition timely.” Neuron 49(1):8-9 Details

Oren I, Mann EO, Paulsen O, Hájos N (2006), “Synaptic currents in anatomically identified CA3 neurons during hippocampal gamma oscillations in vitro.” J Neurosci 26(39):9923-34 Details

Paulsen O, Sejnowski TJ (2006), “From invertebrate olfaction to human cognition: emerging computational functions of synchronized oscillatory activity.” J Neurosci 26(6):1661-2 Details

Sejnowski TJ, Paulsen O (2006), “Network oscillations: emerging computational principles.” J Neurosci 26(6):1673-6 Details


Lengyel M, Kwag J, Paulsen O, Dayan P (2005), “Matching storage and recall: hippocampal spike timing-dependent plasticity and phase response curves.” Nat Neurosci 8(12):1677-83 Details

Mann EO, Paulsen O (2005), “Mechanisms underlying gamma ('40 Hz') network oscillations in the hippocampus--a mini-review.” Prog Biophys Mol Biol 87(1):67-76 Details

Mann EO, Radcliffe CA, Paulsen O (2005), “Hippocampal gamma-frequency oscillations: from interneurones to pyramidal cells, and back.” J Physiol 562(Pt 1):55-63 Details

Mann EO, Suckling JM, Hajos N, Greenfield SA, Paulsen O (2005), “Perisomatic feedback inhibition underlies cholinergically induced fast network oscillations in the rat hippocampus in vitro.” Neuron 45(1):105-17 Details


Ganter P, Szücs P, Paulsen O, Somogyi P (2004), “Properties of horizontal axo-axonic cells in stratum oriens of the hippocampal CA1 area of rats in vitro.” Hippocampus 14(2):232-43 Details

Hájos N, Pálhalmi J, Mann EO, Németh B, Paulsen O, Freund TF (2004), “Spike timing of distinct types of GABAergic interneuron during hippocampal gamma oscillations in vitro.” J Neurosci 24(41):9127-37 Details

López-Bendito G, Sturgess K, Erdélyi F, Szabó G, Molnár Z, Paulsen O (2004), “Preferential origin and layer destination of GAD65-GFP cortical interneurons.” Cereb Cortex 14(10):1122-33 Details

Mierau SB, Meredith RM, Upton AL, Paulsen O (2004), “Dissociation of experience-dependent and -independent changes in excitatory synaptic transmission during development of barrel cortex.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(43):15518-23 Details

Pálhalmi J, Paulsen O, Freund TF, Hájos N (2004), “Distinct properties of carbachol- and DHPG-induced network oscillations in hippocampal slices.” Neuropharmacology 47(3):381-9 Details


López-Bendito G, Luján R, Shigemoto R, Ganter P, Paulsen O, Molnár Z (2003), “Blockade of GABA(B) receptors alters the tangential migration of cortical neurons.” Cereb Cortex 13(9):932-42 Details

Meredith RM, Floyer-Lea AM, Paulsen O (2003), “Maturation of long-term potentiation induction rules in rodent hippocampus: role of GABAergic inhibition.” J Neurosci 23(35):11142-6 Details


López-Bendito G, Shigemoto R, Kulik A, Paulsen O, Fairén A, Luján R (2002), “Expression and distribution of metabotropic GABA receptor subtypes GABABR1 and GABABR2 during rat neocortical development.” Eur J Neurosci 15(11):1766-78 Details

Paulsen O, Morris RG (2002), “Flies put the buzz back into long-term-potentiation.” Nat Neurosci 5(4):289-90 Details


Moser EI, Paulsen O (2001), “New excitement in cognitive space: between place cells and spatial memory.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 11(6):745-51 Details


Paulsen O, Sejnowski TJ (2000), “Natural patterns of activity and long-term synaptic plasticity.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 10(2):172-9 Details

Pike FG, Goddard RS, Suckling JM, Ganter P, Kasthuri N, Paulsen O (2000), “Distinct frequency preferences of different types of rat hippocampal neurones in response to oscillatory input currents.” J Physiol 529 Pt 1:205-13 Details


Pike FG, Meredith RM, Olding AW, Paulsen O (1999), “Rapid report: postsynaptic bursting is essential for 'Hebbian' induction of associative long-term potentiation at excitatory synapses in rat hippocampus.” J Physiol 518 ( Pt 2):571-6 Details


Bon CL, Paulsen O, Greenfield SA (1998), “Association between the low threshold calcium spike and activation of NMDA receptors in guinea-pig substantia nigra pars compacta neurons.” Eur J Neurosci 10(6):2009-15 Details

Fisahn A, Pike FG, Buhl EH, Paulsen O (1998), “Cholinergic induction of network oscillations at 40 Hz in the hippocampus in vitro.” Nature 394(6689):186-9 Details

Paulsen O, Moser EI (1998), “A model of hippocampal memory encoding and retrieval: GABAergic control of synaptic plasticity.” Trends Neurosci 21(7):273-8 Details

Sprengel R, Suchanek B, Amico C, Brusa R, Burnashev N, Rozov A, Hvalby O, Jensen V, Paulsen O, Andersen P, Kim JJ, Thompson RF, Sun W, Webster LC, Grant SG, Eilers J, Konnerth A, Li J, McNamara JO, Seeburg PH (1998), “Importance of the intracellular domain of NR2 subunits for NMDA receptor function in vivo.” Cell 92(2):279-89 Details


Buhl EH, Tamás G, Szilágyi T, Stricker C, Paulsen O, Somogyi P (1997), “Effect, number and location of synapses made by single pyramidal cells onto aspiny interneurones of cat visual cortex.” J Physiol 500 ( Pt 3):689-713 Details


Paulsen O, Heggelund P (1996), “Quantal properties of spontaneous EPSCs in neurones of the guinea-pig dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus.” J Physiol 496 ( Pt 3):759-72 Details


Cobb SR, Buhl EH, Halasy K, Paulsen O, Somogyi P (1995), “Synchronization of neuronal activity in hippocampus by individual GABAergic interneurons.” Nature 378(6552):75-8 Details


Hvalby O, Hemmings HC Jr, Paulsen O, Czernik AJ, Nairn AC, Godfraind JM, Jensen V, Raastad M, Storm JF, Andersen P (1994), “Specificity of protein kinase inhibitor peptides and induction of long-term potentiation.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 91(11):4761-5 Details

Paulsen O, Heggelund P (1994), “The quantal size at retinogeniculate synapses determined from spontaneous and evoked EPSCs in guinea-pig thalamic slices.” J Physiol 480 ( Pt 3):505-11 Details


Paulsen O, Li YG, Hvalby O, Anderson P, Bliss TV (1993), “Failure to induce long-term depression by an anti-correlation procedure in area CA1 of the rat hippocampal slice.” Eur J Neurosci 5(10):1241-6 Details


Oye I, Paulsen O, Maurset A (1992), “Effects of ketamine on sensory perception: evidence for a role of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.” J Pharmacol Exp Ther 260(3):1209-13 Details