Department of Neurophysiology

Head: prof. dr hab. Małgorzata SKUP



Secretariat: Grażyna RYBKA

Surgery Room: Ewa NOSECKA

Histology Unit: Agnieszka KĘPCZYŃSKA

Electronic workshop: Wojciech BORKOWSKI


The Department of Neurophysiology was founded in1946 by Jerzy Konorski. It is composed of ten independent laboratories carrying individual research programs, which are all complementary in the area of anatomical and functional connectivity of the developing and mature central nervous system. They are integrated by 2 topics: 1) intrinsic mechanisms of behavior and 2) structural and functional plasticity.






Sensory systems are investigated by the groups led by Wioletta Waleszczyk (cat and rodent visual system), Andrzej Wróbel and Ewa Kublik (rat somatosensory system). Research is devoted to functional physiology (coding of movement in the extrageniculate visual pathway and multiwhisker information in barrel cortex, properties of thalamo-cortical synapses, circuit plasticity), cognitive (attention, working memory) and emotional processes inducing changes in sensory processing.


Neuronal networks for motor control (rodent models of brain and spinal cord injury) are investigated by groups led by Urszula Sławińska and Małgorzata Skup. Anatomical plasticity of preserved circuit, molecular properties of neurons, glia, muscles and extracellular matrix, design of therapies to restitute functions (pharmacological treatment, neural transplants, gene transfer, electrical and locomotor stimulation) are studied. Postural abnormalities and mechanisms of locomotion in humans are the focus of Janusz Błaszczyk.


Neuronal systems involved in ageing are studied by Grażyna Niewiadomska’s group which attempts to link cellular and behavioral levels of the brain processes present during physiological and pathological ageing. Structural changes in neurons and glia and mechanisms are investigated using rats and transgenic mice models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.


Neuromorphology of the brain, structure of neuronal nuclei and higher-order chromatin organization are studied by the group led by Grzegorz Wilczyński. Role of nuclear changes and of extracellular matrix receptors in the pathological plasticity in rodent models of epilepsy is investigated.


Emotion and memory in rats and mice are investigated by Ewelina Knapska and Stefan Kasicki groups. The role of limbic structures in emotions and social behavior, influence of psychotomimetic compounds on the limbic system activity, and mechanisms of socially transferred emotions, extinction and renewal of aversive memories are studied.


Ethology is investigated by Ewa Godzinska’s group. Ants are model animals in comparative research devoted to ontogeny and neurochemical basis of aggressive and social behavior.


Neuropsychology research is conducted by groups led by Anna Grabowska and Elżbieta Szeląg. Cognitive deficits in stroke, epileptic and Parkinsonian patients, the patients with cochlear implants and children with developmental disorders are studied. Focus is on temporal aspects of information processing, language, spatial memory and attention and are aimed at the development of neurorehabilitation methods. Animal studies led by Małgorzata Węsierska concern neural substrates of learning and memory, cognitive coordination and flexibility.


Neuroinformatics is developed by Daniel Wójcik group, which aims to develop computational tools and models, and put them to use to understand neural processing of sensory information collected in electrophysiological, fMRI and behavioral studies.


Numerous projects, including prestigious ERC and intercontinental HFSP grant (Human Frontiers Science Program) are carried out in cooperation with leading international institutes.  Department members have the expertise on advanced electron and confocal microscopy and image analysis, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, molecular biology, and behavioral setups with digital recording, telemetry and analyzing facilities. The Department has established a Polish node of the international neuroinformatics network, INCF (


Traditional Wednesday seminars allow for the exchange of concepts between the research groups and form a platform to discuss lectures delivered by eminent visiting scientists. A scientific session is organized each spring for all members of the Department, with Ph.D. students’ reports on their annual achievements. The best presentations are awarded.


During the last thirty years, there were numerous international conferences and schools organized by members of the Department. Within the last decade, a successful organization of the first FENS Featured Regional Meeting (2009), the Advanced Courses in Computational Neuroscience under auspices of FENS-IBRO (2011-2013;, 1st Nencki Symposium on Jerzy Konorski contribution to modern neuroscience (2013; and annual Brain Awareness Weeks ( takes place with substantial involvement of the Departmental staff. Our members serve on committees of international brain research organizations (FENS, EBBS, INCF) and are members of the editorial boards (e.g. European Journal of Neuroscience, Neuronformatics), editors and editors-in-chief (Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis)  ( journals. The Polish Neuroscience Society, founded in 1991 and presided over by former and current members of the Department [Małgorzata Kossut (1992-1995; 2001-2003), Andrzej Wróbel (1995-1997), Jolanta Skangiel-Kramska (2007-2009), Julita Czarkowska-Bauch (2009-2011) and Małgorzata Skup (2015-2017)], continues successfully its integrative and organizational role in Polish neuroscience.


Selected publications:


de Hoz L, Gierej D, Lioudyno V, Jaworski J, Blazejczyk M, Cruces-Solis H, Beroun A, Lebitko T, Nikolaev T, Knapska E, Nelken I, Kaczmarek L. Blocking c-Fos Expression Reveals the Role of Auditory Cortex Plasticity in Sound Frequency Discrimination Learning. Cereb Cortex. 2017:1-11. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx060.


Bola L, Zimmermann M, Mostowski P, Jednorog K, Marchewka A, Rutkowski P,  Szwed M. Task-specific reorganization of the auditory cortex in deaf humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114(4):E600-E9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1609000114.


Siuda-Krzywicka K., Bola Ł., Paplińska M., Sumera E., Jednoróg K., Marchewka A., Śliwińska M., Amedi A., Szwed M. (2016) Massive cortical reorganization in sighted Braille readers. eLife pii: e10762. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10762.

Dębska A., Łuniewska M., Chyl K., Banaszkiewicz A., Żelechowska A., Wypych M., Marchewka A., Pugh K.R., Jednoróg K. (2016) Neural basis of phonological awareness in beginning readers with familial risk of dyslexia-Results from shallow orthography. Neuroimage 132:406-416.


Nowak K., Oron A., Szymaszek A., Leminen M., Näätänen R., Szelag E. (2016) Electrophysiological indicators of the age-related deterioration in the sensitivity to auditory duration deviance. Front Aging Neurosci 8:2. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00002.


Duda W., Wesierska M., Ostaszewski P., Vales K., Nekovarova T., Stuchlik A. (2016). MK-801 and memantine act differently on short-term memory tested with different time-intervals in the Morris water maze test. Behav Brain Res. pii: S0166-4328(16)30299-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.05.024.


Tang Z., Luo O.J., Li X., Zheng M., Zhu J.J., Szalaj P., Trzaskoma P., Magalska A., Wlodarczyk J., Ruszczycki B., Michalski P., Piecuch E., Wang P., Wang D., Tian S.Z., Penrad-Mobayed M., Sachs L.M., Ruan X., Wei C.L., Liu E.T., Wilczynski G.M., Plewczynski D., Li G., Ruan Y. (2015) CTCF-Mediated Human 3D Genome Architecture Reveals Chromatin Topology for Transcription. Cell 163(7):1611-27.


Mikosz M., Nowak A., Werka T., Knapska,, E. (2015). Sex differences in social modulation of learning in rats. Scientific reports 5, 18114.  


Koss D.J., Robinson L., Mietelska-Porowska A., Gasiorowska A., Sepcic K., Turk,T., Jaspars M., Niewiadomska G., Scott R.H., Platt B., Riedel G. (2015). Polymeric alkylpyridinium salts permit intracellular delivery of human Tau in rat hippocampal neurons: requirement of Tau phosphorylation for functional deficits. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS72, 4613-4632.


Sergeeva E.G., Bola M., Wagner S., Lazik S., Voigt N., Mawrin C., Gorkin A.G., Waleszczyk W.J., Sabel B.A., Henrich-Noack P. (2015) Repetitive Transcorneal Alternating Current Stimulation Reduces Brain Idling State After Long-term Vision Loss. Brain Stimul.


Kotlewska I., Nowicka A. (2015). Present self, past self and close-other: event-related potential study of face and name detection. Biological Psychology, 110:201-11. doi: 0.1016.


Jednoróg K., Bola Ł., Mostowski P., Szwed M., Boguszewski P.M., Marchewka A., Rutkowski P. (2015). Three-dimensional Grammar in the Brain: Dissociating the Neural Correlates of Natural Sign Language and Manually Coded Spoken Language. Neuropsychologia, 71: 191-200.


Zakiewicz I.M., Majka P., Wójcik D.K., Bjaalie J.G., Leergaard TB. (2015) Three-Dimensional Histology Volume Reconstruction of Axonal Tract Tracing Data: Exploring Topographical Organization in Subcortical Projections from Rat Barrel Cortex. PLoS One 10 (9):e0137571.


Mochol G., Hermoso-Mendizabal A., Sakata S., Harris K.D., de la Rocha J. (2015)  Stochastic transitions into silence cause noise correlations in cortical circuits. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 17;112(11):3529-34.


Hall M.H., Magalska A., Malinowska M., Ruszczycki B., Czaban I., Patel S., Ambrożek-Latecka M., Zołocińska E., Broszkiewicz H., Parobczak K., Nair R.R., Rylski M., Pawlak R., Bramham C.R., Wilczyński G.M. (2015)  Localization and regulation of PML bodies in the adult mouse brain. Brain Struct Funct. 2015 May 9.


Dzwonek J., Wilczynski G.W. (2015) CD44: molecular interactions, signaling and functions in the nervous system. Front Cell Neurosci. ; 9: 175.


Sobolewski A., Kublik E., Swiejkowski D.A., Kamiński J., Wróbel A. (2015)   Alertness opens the effective flow of sensory information through rat thalamic posterior nucleus. Eur J Neurosci.; 41(10):1321-31. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12901.


Jednoróg K., Marchewka A., Altarelli I., Monzalvo K., van Ermingen-Marbach M., Grande M., Grabowska A., Heim S., Ramus, F. (2015)   How reliable are grey matter disruptions in developmental dyslexia? Insights from a large-scale voxel-based morphometry study. Human Brain Mapping, 36: 1741–1754.


Melis V., Zabke C., Stamer K., Magbagbeolu M., Schwab K., Marschall P., Veh R.W., Bachmann S., Deiana S, Moreau P.H., Davidson K., Harrington K.A., Rickard J.E., Horsley D., Garman R., Mazurkiewicz M., Niewiadomska G., Wischik C.M., Harrington C.R., Riedel G., Theuring F. (2015)  Different pathways of molecular pathophysiology underlie cognitive and motor tauopathy phenotypes in transgenic models for Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Cell Mol Life Sci. ;72(11):2199-222.

Gorkiewicz T., Balcerzyk M., Kaczmarek L., Knapska E. (2015)   Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) is indispensable for long term potentiation in the central and basal but not in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Front. Cell. Neurosci., doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00073.

Czechowski W., Godzińska E.J. (2015) Enslaved ants: not as helpless as they were thought to be. Insectes Sociaux 62 (1): 9-22.


Jednoróg K., Gawron N., Marchewka A., Heim S., Grabowska A. (2014). Cognitive subtypes of dyslexia are characterized by distinct patterns of grey matter volume. Brain Structure & Function. 219 (5): 1697-1707.


Sławińska U., Miazga K, Jordan L.M. (2014).  5-HT2 and 5-HT7 receptor agonists facilitate plantar stepping in chronic spinal rats through actions on different populations of spinal neurons. Front Neural Circuits. 8:95.


Ito S., Magalska A., Alcaraz-Iborra M., Lopez-Atalaya J.P., Rovira V., Contreras-Moreira B., Lipinski M., Olivares R., Martinez-Hernandez J., Ruszczycki B., Lujan R, Geijo-Barrientos E., Wilczynski G.M., Barco A. (2014). Loss of neuronal 3D chromatin organization causes transcriptional and behavioural deficits related to serotonergic dysfunction. Nat Commun. 5:4450.

Wypych M., Nagy A., Mochol G., Foik A., Benedek G., Waleszczyk W.J. (2014). Spectral characteristics of phase sensitivity and discharge rate of neurons in the ascending tectofugal visual system. PLoS One. 9:e103557.


Głąbska H, Potworowski J., Łęski S. , Wójcik D. K. (2014). Independent components of neural activity carry information on individual populations. PLoS One. 9:e105071.


Godzińska E. J., Wróbel A. (2014). Capturing the essence of decision making should not be oversimplified. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37: 85.


Ziemlińska E., Kügler S., Schachner M., Wewiór I., Czarkowska-Bauch J., Skup M. (2014). Overexpression of BDNF increases excitability of the lumbar spinal network and leads to robust early locomotor recovery in completely spinalized rats. PLoS One. 9:e88833.


Gajewska-Woźniak, O., Skup M., Kasicki S., Ziemlińska E., Czarkowska-Bauch J. (2014).  Enhancing proprioceptive input to motoneurons differentially affects expression of neurotrophin 3 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rat hoffmann-reflex circuitry. Plos One 8:e65937.


Szelag, E., Lewandowska, M., Wolak T., Seniow J., Poniatowska, R., Pöppel E., Szymaszek A. (2014). Training in rapid auditory processing ameliorates auditorycomprehension in aphasic patients: A randomized controlled pilot study. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 338: 77-86.


Wnuk A., Kostowski W., Korczyńska J., Szczuka A., Symonowicz B., Bieńkowski P., Mierzejewski P., Godzińska E. J. (2014). Brain GABA and glutamate levels in workers of two ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Interspecific differences and effects of queen presence/absence. Insect Science, doi:10.1111/1744-7917.12076.