Muscle fibers are directly innervated by spinal motoneurons. Each action potential of a motoneuron causes the contraction of a muscle. The pattern of action potential generation in spinal motoneurons depends on two factors – synaptic inputs and intrinsic response properties. We investigate these factors by using intracellular electrical recordings from spinal motoneurons. We analyze synaptic activation and nonlinear membrane properties of motoneurons to understand the principles of spinal neural network activity during functional body movements.
Group members:
  • Aidas Alaburda, Prof., PhD



Dr. Aidas Alaburda
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel.:  +370 5 2234438


  • Prof. Jorn Hounsgaard (University of Copenhagen)
  • Dr. Robertas Guzulaitis (University of Copenhagen)


  • Grigonis R, Alaburda A (2017) Spike threshold dynamics in spinal motoneurons during scratching and swimmingJ Physiol 595:5843-5855.
  • Grigonis R, Guzulaitis R, Buisas R, Alaburda A (2016) The influence of increased membrane conductance on response properties of spinal motoneurons. Brain Res 1648:110–118.
  • Guzulaitis R, Hounsgaard J, Alaburda A (2016) Irregular Firing and High-Conductance States in Spinal Motoneurons during Scratching and Swimming. J Neurosci 36:5799–5807.
  • Guzulaitis R, Alaburda A, Hounsgaard J (2014) Dense distributed processing in a hindlimb scratch motor network. J Neurosci 34:10756–10764.
  • Guzulaitis R, Alaburda A, Hounsgaard J (2013) Increased activity of pre-motor network does not change the excitability of motoneurons during protracted scratch initiation. J Physiol 591:1851–1858.
  • Guzulaitis R, Hounsgaard J, Alaburda A (2012) Inhibition of motoneurons during the cutaneous silent period in the spinal cord of the turtle. Exp Brain Res 220:23–28.
  • Buisas R, Guzulaitis R, Ruksenas O, Alaburda A (2012) Gain of spinal motoneurons measured from square and ramp current pulses. Brain Res 1450:33–39.
  • Gabrielaitis M, Buisas R, Guzulaitis R, Svirskis G, Alaburda A (2011) Persistent sodium current decreases transient gain in turtle motoneurons. Brain Res 1373:11–16.
  • Berg RW, Alaburda A, Hounsgaard J (2007) Balanced inhibition and excitation drive spike activity in spinal half-centers. Science 315:390–393.
  • Alaburda A, Russo R, MacAulay N, Hounsgaard J (2005) Periodic high-conductance states in spinal neurons during scratch-like network activity in adult turtles. J Neurosci 25:6316–6321.
  • Alaburda A, Hounsgaard J (2003) Metabotropic modulation of motoneurons by scratch-like spinal network activity. J Neurosci 23:8625–8629.
  • Perrier J-F, Alaburda A, Hounsgaard J (2003) 5-HT1A receptors increase excitability of spinal motoneurons by inhibiting a TASK-1-like K+ current in the adult turtle. J Physiol 548:485–492.
  • Perrier J-F, Alaburda A, Hounsgaard J (2002) Spinal plasticity mediated by postsynaptic L-type Ca2+ channels. Brain Res Brain Res Rev 40:223–229.
  • Alaburda A, Perrier J-F, Hounsgaard J (2002) Mechanisms causing plateau potentials in spinal motoneurones. Adv Exp Med Biol 508:219–226.
  • Alaburda A, Perrier J-F, Hounsgaard J (2002) An M-like outward current regulates the excitability of spinal motoneurones in the adult turtle. J Physiol 540:875–881.