RG Bergmann

Head: Dr. Til Ole Bergmann





Umair Hassan, PhD student
Nicole Knodel, research assistant
Steven Pillen, PhD student
Rathiga Varatheeswaran, PhD student

Research Overview:
The Neurostimulation group uses non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation techniques (TMS, TDCS, TACS) in combination with electrophysiological (EEG/MEG) and imaging (fMRI) methods, to study the function of neuronal oscillations for the regulation of information processing and synaptic plasticity. In particular, we want to understand the neuronal underpinnings of resilience, and identify those networks and oscillations that mediate and regulate the encoding, consolidation and reorganization (in wakefulness and sleep), as well as the recall of emotional (and traumatic) memories. The methodological focus of our group is on the simultaneous application of multimodal recording and stimulation techniques (e.g., EEG-fMRI, TMS-EEG, TMS-fMRI) and the development of real-time brain state-dependent brain stimulation (e.g., real-time EEG-triggered TMS).

Current research projects:

  • The sensorimotor mu-alpha rhythm as cholinergically mediated pulsed inhibition
  • TMS to study memory processing and synaptic plasticity during sleep
  • Characterization of REM sleep oscillations in EEG, MEG, and intracranial EEG data
  • Very early cortical TMS-evoked potentials using high-resolution TMS-EEG
  • EEG-triggered sensory stimulation to induce synaptic plasticity
  • Combined TDCS-TMS for individual TDCS threshold determination
  • Neuronavigated TMS-fMRI for trans-synaptic stimulation of deep brain structures
  • International multi-center study on the effectiveness of TACS for neuronal entrainment

External collaboration partners:

  • Prof. Ole Jensen, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Prof. Hartwig Siebner, DRCMR, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark
  • Prof. Ulf Ziemann, University of Tübingen
  • Prof. Jan Born, University of Tübingen
  • Prof. Gregor Thut, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Christoph Zrenner, University of Tübingen
  • Dr. Bernhard Staresina, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Nigel Rogasch, Monash University Melbourne, Australia


  • DFG
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation
  • Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung

Key publications:

  • Herring JD, Marshall TR, Esterer S, Jensen O, Bergmann TO (2018). Low-frequency alternating current stimulation rhythmically suppresses gamma-band oscillations and impairs perceptual performance. NeuroImage, doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.09.047.
  • Bergmann TO, Karabanov AN, Hartwigsen G, Thielscher A, Siebner HR (2016). Combining non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation with neuroimaging and electrophysiology: current approaches and future perspectives. NeuroImage 140:4-192.
  • Herring JD, Thut G, Jensen O, Bergmann TO (2015). Attention modulates TMS-locked alpha oscillations in the visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 35(43):14435-14447.
  • Staresina BP*, Bergmann TO*, Bonefond M, van der Meij R, Jensen O, Deuker L, Elger CE, Axmacher N & Fell, J. (2015). Hierarchical nesting of slow oscillations, spindles and ripples in the human hippocampus during sleep. Nature Neuroscience 18(11):1679-86. [*contributed equally]
  • Bergmann TO, Mölle M, Schmidt MA, Lindner C, Marshall L, Born J, Siebner HR (2012). EEG-Guided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reveals Rapid Shifts in Motor Cortical Excitability during the Human Sleep Slow Oscillation. Journal of Neuroscience 32:243-253.