Timothy Ebner, MD, PhD

Professor and Head, Department of Neuroscience

Timothy Ebner

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-626-9204

Lab Address:
421 LRB

Administrative Assistant Name
Kathleen Beterams

Administrative Email

Professor and Head, Department of Neuroscience

Faculty, Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Max E. and Mary LaDue Pickworth Endowed Chair in Neuroscience

Preceptor, Medical Scientist Training Program (Combined MD/PhD Training Program)


Research Summary/Interests

Neurophysiology of cerebellum and motor cortex.

Our laboratory is trying to understand how single neurons and populations of neurons encode the information needed to plan and execute limb movements. Our goal is to decipher how the brain represents different movement parameters and then uses this information to control movements. We are investigating both kinematic and dynamic movement parameters, recording the activity of neurons in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex in primates during motor behaviors. A variety of movements are studied, including reaching to targets in space, tracking moving targets, the learning of new visuomotor relations, and hand movements. Using analytical and statistical techniques, we sort out how information about movement parameters is embedded in the neuronal discharge.

At a higher level of integration, we are interested in how information in the brain is represented spatially and temporally in populations of neurons. In the cerebellum we are using flavoprotein fluorescence and Ca++ dyes to visualize neural activity. Using epifluorescence and multi-photon imaging, we are able to construct detailed spatial and temporal maps of the neuronal activity in the cerebellar cortex. One major question is to understand the spatial patterns of activity generated during behavior. We are also using optical imaging to examine the abnormalities in the cerebellar cortex in the spinocerebellar and episodic ataxias.


Ghanbari, L, Carter, RE, Rynes, ML, Dominguez, J, Chen, G, Naik, A, Hu, J, Sagar, MAK, Haltom, L, Mossazghi, N, Gray, MM, West, SL, Eliceiri, KW, Ebner, TJ & Bangalore Kodandaramaiah, S 2019, 'Cortex-wide neural interfacing via transparent polymer skulls' Nature communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 1500. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09488-0

Popa, LS, Streng, ML & Ebner, TJ 2019, 'Purkinje Cell Representations of Behavior: Diary of a Busy Neuron', Neuroscientist, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 241-257. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858418785628

Popa, LS & Ebner, TJ 2019, 'Cerebellum, predictions and errors' Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, vol. 12, 524. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2018.00524

Streng, ML, Popa, LS & Ebner, TJ 2018, 'Modulation of sensory prediction error in Purkinje cells during visual feedback manipulations' Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 1099. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03541-0

Streng, ML, Popa, LS & Ebner, TJ 2018, 'Complex Spike Wars: a New Hope' Cerebellum, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 735-746. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12311-018-0960-3

Popa, LS, Streng, ML & Ebner, TJ 2018, 'Purkinje Cell Representations of Behavior: Diary of a Busy Neuron' Neuroscientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858418785628

Apps, R, Hawkes, R, Aoki, S, Bengtsson, F, Brown, AM, Chen, G, Ebner, TJ, Isope, P, Jörntell, H, Lackey, EP, Lawrenson, C, Lumb, B, Schonewille, M, Sillitoe, RV, Spaeth, L, Sugihara, I, Valera, A, Voogd, J, Wylie, DR & Ruigrok, TJH 2018, 'Correction to: Cerebellar Modules and Their Role as Operational Cerebellar Processing Units (The Cerebellum, (2018), 17, 5, (654-682), 10.1007/s12311-018-0952-3)' Cerebellum, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 683-684. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12311-018-0959-9

Chen, G, Carter, RE, Cleary, JD, Reid, TS, Ranum, LP, Swanson, MS & Ebner, TJ 2018, 'Altered levels of the splicing factor muscleblind modifies cerebral cortical function in mouse models of myotonic dystrophy' Neurobiology of Disease, vol. 112, pp. 35-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2018.01.003

Hedges, VL, Chen, G, Yu, L, Krentzel, AA, Starrett, JR, Zhu, JN, Suntharalingam, P, Remage-Healey, L, Wang, JJ, Ebner, TJ & Mermelstein, PG 2018, 'Local Estrogen Synthesis Regulates Parallel Fiber-Purkinje Cell Neurotransmission Within the Cerebellar Cortex' Endocrinology, vol. 159, no. 3, pp. 1328-1338. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2018-00039

Streng, ML, Popa, LS & Ebner, TJ 2017, 'Climbing fibers predict movement kinematics and performance errors' Journal of neurophysiology, vol. 118, no. 3, pp. 1888-1902. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00266.2017