Christian L. Ebbesen, PhD

I'm a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Robert Froemke at the NYU Neuroscience Institute and the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. In my work, I focus on the oxytocin system and use a combination of experimental and computational tools to study and manipulate neural activity during social behavior in mice.

I received my PhD in Neurobiology from the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany. I did my doctoral research in the laboratory of Michael Brecht at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and I was associated with the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. During my PhD, I worked on the cortical control of rat whisker movements in the context of rat social facial touch and on spatial and temporal coding in parahippocampal cortex. I received my master's and bachelor's degrees in physics/biophysics from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Nature christian.ebbesen (~at~) nyumc (\dot\) org

  Some selected highlights

We combine 3D videography, deep learning, physical modeling and GPU-accelerated robust optimization to track socially interacting mice, during neural recording. All code soon on Github!
Ebbesen & Froemke, bioRxiv, 2020
Cortical areas with diverse response patterns and diverse functions (somatosensory, auditory, motor, frontal) encode the social context of social facial touch via a common population structure.
Ebbesen et al. Nature Comm., 2019
Recording and manipulation of neural activity during various whisking behaviors suggests that vibrissa motor cortex is less of a whisking "motor" and rather more like a whisking "brake".
Ebbesen et al. Nature Neurosci., 2017
Temporal coding features in parahippocampal cortex are cell type-specific and in-vitro spike patterns do not match how neuronal cell types spike in-vivo during spatial exploration.
Ebbesen et al. Cell Reports, 2016
We identify unique functional and anatomical features of parasubicular neurons (strong theta rhythmicity, head-direction selectivity and targeted output to pyramidal cell patches in layer 2 of medial entorhinal cortex)
Tang, Burgalossi, Ebbesen, Saguinetti-Scheck et al.
J.Neurosci., 2016
We use supervised machine learning with juxtacellularly recorded and labeled neurons in freely moving animals to tie functional responses (grid/border cells) to anatomical structure (pyramidal/stellate cells) by their spike locking to the theta rhythm.
Tang, Burgalossi, Ebbesen et al. Neuron, 2014

  Some reviews and opinions

Popular science commentary explaining that appeals to 'biology' as an argument against the use of gender-neutral pronouns are nonsense. Biological sex is not neatly binary, and biological sex is anyway not the same as gender.
Ebbesen, Dagbladet Information, 2019
We review recent studies that implicate rodent motor cortex in "higher-order" motor functions, such as behavioral strategizing, working memory, and decision making.
Ebbesen et al., J.Neurosci., 2018
Some opinions about the evolution and function of the mammalian primary motor cortex, particularly its role in movement suppression.
Ebbesen & Brecht,
Nature Reviews Neurosci., 2017


Journal articles
preprint Ebbesen CL & Froemke RC (2020) Automatic tracking of mouse social posture dynamics by 3D videography, deep learning and GPU-accelerated robust optimization. bioRxiv 2020.05.21.109629. doi: 10.1101/2020.05.21.109629.
2019 Ebbesen CL, Bobrov E, Rao RP & Brecht M (2019) Highly structured, partner-sex– and subject-sex-dependent cortical responses during social facial touch. Nature Communications 10(1):4634. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12511-z. PMID: 31604919 (bioRxiv: 545434. doi: 10.1101/545434.)
2018 Ebbesen CL, Insanally MN, Kopec CD, Murakami M, Saiki A & Erlich JC (2018) More Than Just a “Motor”: Recent Surprises From the Frontal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 38(44):9402-13. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1671-18.2018. PMID: 30381432
↑ Invited review, based on a Mini-Symposium (intro slides) that I organized and chaired at SfN 2018 in San Diego.
2017 Ebbesen CL & Brecht M (2017) Motor cortex – to act or not to act? Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 18(11):694-705. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.119. PMID: 29042690
2017 Ebbesen CL, Doron G, Lenschow C & Brecht M (2017) Vibrissa motor cortex activity suppresses contralateral whisking behavior. Nature Neuroscience. 20(1):82-89. doi: 10.1038/nn.4437. PMID: 27798633
↑ Previewed by: Kim J & Hires A (2017) Brake and gas pedals in motor cortex Nature Neuroscience. 20(1):4-6. doi: 10.1038/nn.4461. PMID: 28025981
2016 Ebbesen CL, Reifenstein ET, Tang Q, Burgalossi A, Ray S, Schreiber S, Kempter R & Brecht M (2016) Cell Type-Specific Differences in Spike Timing and Spike Shape in the Rat Parasubiculum and Superficial Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Cell Reports. 16(4):1005-1015. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.06.057. PMID: 27425616
2016 Tang[*] Q, Burgalossi[*] A, Ebbesen[*] CL, Sanguinetti-Scheck[*] JI, Schmidt H, Tukker JJ, Naumann R, Ray S, Preston-Ferrer P, Schmitz D & Brecht M (2016) Functional Architecture of the Rat Parasubiculum. Journal of Neuroscience. 36(7):2289-301. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3749-15.2016. PMID: 26888938 [*] Co-first author
↑ ”Featured Article”, previewed by: Esch, T (2016) This Week in The Journal: Anatomy and Physiology of Parasubiculum. Journal of Neuroscience. 36(7):i-i.
2016 Reifenstein ET, Ebbesen CL, Tang Q, Brecht M, Schreiber S & Kempter R (2016) Cell-Type Specific Phase Precession in Layer II of the Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. 36(7):2283-8. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2986-15.2016. PMID: 26888937
2015 Tang Q, Ebbesen CL, Sanguinetti-Scheck JI, Preston-Ferrer P, Gundlfinger A, Winterer J, Beed P, Ray S, Naumann R, Schmitz D, Brecht M & Burgalossi A (2015) Anatomical Organization and Spatiotemporal Firing Patterns of Layer 3 Neurons in the Rat Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. 35(36):12346-54. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0696-15.2015. PMID: 26354904
2014 Tang[*] Q, Burgalossi[*] A, Ebbesen[*] CL, Ray S, Naumann R, Schmidt H, Spicher D & Brecht M (2014) Pyramidal and stellate cell specificity of grid and border representations in layer 2 of medial entorhinal cortex. Neuron. 84(6):1191-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.11.009. PMID: 25482025 [*] Co-first author
↑ Previewed by: Savelli F & Knierim JJ (2014) Strides toward a Structure-Function Understanding of Cortical Representations of Allocentric Space. Neuron. 84(6):1108-1109. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.013. PMID: 25521370
2012 Ebbesen CL & Bruus H. (2012) Analysis of laser-induced heating in optical neuronal guidance. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 209(1):168-77. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2012.02.006. PMID: 22387314
2012 Adams[*] JD, Ebbesen[*] CL, Barnkob R, Yang AHJ, Soh HT & Bruus H (2012) High-throughput, temperature-controlled microchannel acoustophoresis device made with rapid prototyping. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. 22(7): 075017 [*] Co-first author
Peer-reviewed conference proceedings
2010 Ebbesen CL, Adams JD, Barnkob R, Soh HT & Bruus H (2010) Temperature-controlled highthroughput (1 L/h) acoustophoretic particle separation in microchannels. Proc 14th MicroTAS, 3-7
Doctoral thesis
2018 Ebbesen CL (2018) Cortical circuits underlying social and spatial exploration in rats. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät. doi: 10.18452/19231
Popular science and commentary
2019 Ebbesen CL (2019) Det er lige så biologisk korrekt at sige 'hen' som at sige 'rødhåret'. [The use of gender neutral pronouns does not conflict with biological science.] Dagbladet Information [Danish national newspaper], 21. October 2019, pp. 16-17 (online version w/comments) (reddit thread)
↑ Interview on national public radio: Hjerneforsker kritiserer Berlingskes chefredaktør for at "vrøvle", når hun siger, at der kun findes to køn. [Interview about the neuroscience of sex and gender.] Radio24syv [National Danish public–service radio station], kulturprogrammet AK24syv, 15. October 2019, 18:40–19:00. (download mp3 version)

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