Til Ole Bergmann

Group Leader AG Neurostimulation 

Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), Mainz, Germany

I am a biological psychologist / cognitive neuroscientist interested in the function of neuronal oscillations in cognition, in particular in the organization of information processing and the gating of synaptic plasticity in the wake and sleeping human brain. My methodological focus is on the simultaneous combination of electrophysiology with transcranial brain stimulation as well as neuroimaging techniques.


Professional Appointments

Wallstr. 7, 55122 Mainz, Germany


Email: til-ole.bergmann [at] lir-mainz.de
Phone: +49-6131-17-3666

  1. 2018-Present
    Principal Investigator
    Neurostimulation Group, Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), Mainz, Germany
  2. 2015-2018
    Senior PostDoc
    Department of Neurology & Stroke, and Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (Prof. Ulf Ziemann); Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology (Prof. Jan Born), University of Tübingen, Germany
  3. 2014-2015
    Institute of Psychology, University of Kiel, Germany (Prof. Anya Pedersen)
  4. 2011-2013
    Neuronal Oscillations Group (Prof. Ole Jensen), Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  5. 2010-2011
    Department of Neurology, University of Kiel (Prof. Hartwig Siebner) and Collaborative Research Center SFB654 "Plasticity and Sleep" (Prof. Jan Born)
  6. 2005-2010
    PhD student
    Department of Neurology, University of Kiel (Prof. Hartwig Siebner) and Collaborative Research Center SFB654 "Plasticity and Sleep" (Prof. Jan Born)


  1. May 12, 2010

    PhD (Dr. phil.) with summa cum laude, Thesis: "Memory Consolidation during Sleep. On the Function of Neuronal Oscillations in Brain Plasticity."

    Institute of Psychology, University of Kiel, Germany (Supervisor: Prof. Hartwig Siebner)
  2. Sep 2005

    Diploma in Psychology,Thesis: "What is real in real memories? The influence of valence and arousal of real vs. fictitious autobiographical memories on neuronal activity: an fMRI study."

    University of Kiel, Germany (Supervisor: Prof. Roman Ferstl)
  3. 2000-2005

    Student of Psychology

    University of Kiel, Germany

Academic Achievements

  • Sep 2018
    Offered (1. rank short list) tenured Associate Professorship in Neuroimaging
    Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
  • Sep 2013
    Short list (2. rank) Associate Professor (W2) for Cognitive Neurophysiology
    Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Dresden, Germany
  • Feb 2013
    Short list (2. rank) Assistant Professor (W1) for Biological Psychology
    Institute of Psychology, University of Kiel, Germany

Editorial Work

  • NeuroImage (Handling Editor since 2019; Editorial board member since 2016)
  • The Journal of Neuroscience (Editorial Board member since 2017)

Peer-Review of Grant Proposals for Funding Agencies

  • German Research Foundation, DFG
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, BBSRC
  • European Research Council, ERC
  • British Medical Research Council, MRC
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Welcome Trust/DBT India Alliance
  • Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO
  • Swiss National Science Foundation, SNF
  • German-Israeli-Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, GIF
  • Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences, CBBS

Membership in Scientific Societies

since 2010 Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
since 2012 German Psychological Society (DGPs)
since 2016 German Neuroscience Society (GNS)
since 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
since 2018 Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)
since 2018 Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)

Main Collaborators

  • Prof. Ulf Ziemann, Tübingen, DE
  • Dr. Christoph Zrenner, Tübingen, DE
  • Prof. Jan Born, Tübingen, DE
  • Prof. Hartwig Siebner, DRCMR, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, DK
  • Prof. Ole Jensen, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Dr. Bernhard Staresina, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Dr. Nigel Rogasch, Monash University Melbourne, AUS
  • Prof. Emily Coffey, Concordia University, Montreal, CA

Complete list of Publications in peer-reviewed Journals

Bergmann TO, Hartwigsen G (2020). Inferring Causality from Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Cognitive Neuroscience. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2020;1-29. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01591

Bergmann TO, Lieb A, Zrenner C, Ziemann U (2019). Pulsed facilitation of corticospinal excitability by the sensorimotor mu-alpha rhythm. Journal of Neuroscience. 2019;

Stefanou MI, Baur D, Belardinelli P, Bergmann TO, Blum C, Gordon PC, Nieminen JO, Zrenner B, Ziemann U, Zrenner C (2019). Brain State-dependent Brain Stimulation with Real-time Electroencephalography-Triggered Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Journal of Visualized Experiments (150), e59711, doi:10.3791/59711.

Siebner HR, Conde V, Tomasevic L, Thielscher A, Bergmann TO (2019). Distilling the essence of TMS-evoked EEG potentials (TEPs): a call for securing mechanistic specificity and experimental rigor. Brain Stimulation 2019;12(4):1051-1054, doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.03.076.

Zhigalov A*, Herring J*, Herpers J, Bergmann TO, Jensen O. (2019). Probing cortical excitability using rapid frequency tagging. NeuroImage. [*contributed Equally] 2019;195:59-66. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.03.056

Conde V, Tomasevic L, Akopian I, Stanek K, Saturnino GB, Thielscher A, Bergmann TO*, Siebner HR* (2019). The non-transcranial TMS-evoked potential is an inherent source of ambiguity in TMS-EEG studies. NeuroImage, 2019;185:300-312, doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.10.052. [*contributed equally]

Herring JD, Marshall TR, Esterer S, Jensen O, Bergmann TO (2019). Low-frequency alternating current stimulation rhythmically suppresses gamma-band oscillations and impairs perceptual performance. NeuroImage 2019; 184:440-449, doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.09.047.

Darmani G, Bergmann TO, Zipser C, Baur D, Müller-Dahlhaus, Ziemann (2019). Effects of antiepileptic drugs on cortical excitability in humans: a TMS-EMG and TMS-EEG study. Human Brain Mapping, 40(4):1276-1289.

Schaworonkow N, Gordon PC, Belardinelli P, Ziemann U, Bergmann TO, Zrenner C (2018). μ-rhythm extracted with personalized EEG filters correlates with corticospinal excitability in real-time phase-triggered EEG-TMS. Frontiers in Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00954.

Bergmann TO (2018). Brain state-dependent brain stimulation. Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02108.

Habibollahi Saatlou FH, Rogasch NC, McNair NA, Biabani M, Pillen SD, Marshall TR, Bergmann TO (2018) MAGIC: an open-source MATLAB toolbox for external control of transcranial magnetic stimulation devices. Brain Stimulation, 11:1189-1191.

Thies M, Zrenner C, Ziemann U, Bergmann TO. (2018) Sensorimotor mu-alpha power is positively related to corticospinal excitability. Brain Stimulation, 11:1119-1122.

Bergmann TO, Born J (2018) Phase-Amplitude Coupling: A General Mechanism for Memory Processing and Synaptic Plasticity? Neuron, 97:10-13. [invited contribution]

Premoli I*, Bergmann TO*, Fecchio M, Rosanova M, Biondi A, Belardinelli P, Ziemann U (2017) The impact of GABAergic drugs on TMS-induced brain oscillations in human motor cortex. Neuroimage, 163:1-12. [*contributed equally]

Thut G, Bergmann TO, Fröhlich F, Soekadar SR, Brittain JS, Valero-Cabré A, Sack A, Miniussi C, Antal A, Siebner HR, Ziemann U, Herrmann CS (2017). Guiding transcranial brain stimulation by EEG/MEG to interact with ongoing brain activity and associated functions: A position paper. Clinical Neurophysiology, 128:843-857.

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.

Ly V, Bergmann TO, Gladwin TE, Volman I, Usberti N, Cools R, Roelofs K (2016) Reduced Affective Biasing of Instrumental Action With tDCS Over the Prefrontal Cortex. Brain Stimulation 9:380-387.

Lorenzen A, Scholz-Hehna D, Wiesner CD, Wolff S, Bergmann TO, van Eimeren T, Lentfer L, Baving L, Prehn-Kristensen A. (2016). Chemosensory processing in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 76:121-127.

Marshall TR, Esterer S, Herring JD, Bergmann TO & Jensen O (2016). On the relationship between cortical excitability and visual oscillatory responses – a concurrent tDCS-MEG study. NeuroImage, 140:41-9

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]

Marshall TR, O’Shea J, Jensen O, Bergmann TO (2015). Frontal eye fields control attentional modulation of alpha and gamma oscillations in contralateral occipito-parietal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(4): 1638-1647.

Marshall TR, Bergmann TO & Jensen O (2015). Fronto-parietal structural connectivity mediates the top-down control of neuronal synchronization associated with selective attention. PLoS Biology, 13:e1002272.

Hartwigsen G, Bergmann TO, Herz D, Angstmann S, Karabanov AN, Raffin E, Thielscher A, Siebner HR (2015). Modeling the effects of non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation at the biophysical, network and cognitive level. Progress in Brain Research, 222:261-287.

Sato S, Bergmann TO, Borich M (2015). Opportunities for concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography to characterize cortical activity in stroke. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9(250): doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00250.

Jensen O, Gips B, Bergmann TO*, Bonnefond* M (2014) Temporal coding organized by coupled alpha and gamma oscillations prioritize visual processing. Trends in Neurosciences, 37(7):357-369. [*contributed equally]

Haselbeck C, Kulle A, Niederberger U, Bergmann TO, Steinmann E, Holterhus M, Petermann F & Gerber WD (2013). Fetal Programming: The influence of prenatal maternal Distress on Infant Development and Temperament. Kindheit und Entwicklung, 22(4): 224-231.

Mastroeni C*, Bergmann TO*, Rizzo V, Ritter C, Klein C, Pohlmann I, Brueggemann N, Quartarone A, Siebner HR (2013). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor – a major player in stimulation-induced homeostatic metaplasticity of human motor cortex? PLoS One, 8(2): e57957. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057957 [*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.

Bergmann TO, Mölle M, Diedrichs J, Born J, Siebner HR (2012). Sleep spindle-related reactivation of category-specific cortical regions after learning face-scene associations. NeuroImage, 59:2733–2742.

Pechmann A, Delvendahl I, Bergmann TO, Ritter C, Hartwigsen G, Gleich B, Gattinger N, Mall V, Siebner HR (2012). The number of full-sine cycles per pulse influences the efficacy of multicycle transcranial magnetic stimulation. Brain Stimulation, 5:148-154.

Mölle M, Bergmann TO, Marshall L, Born J (2011). Fast and slow spindles during the sleep slow oscillation – disparate coalescence and engagement in memory processing. Sleep, 34(10):1411-21.

Zeuner KE, Knutzen A, Al-Ali A, Hallett M, Deuschl G, Bergmann TO, Siebner HR (2010) Associative stimulation of the supraorbital nerve fails to induce timing-specific plasticity in the human blink reflex. PLoS One, 5:e13602.

Groppa S, Bergmann TO, Siems C, Mölle M, Marshall L, Siebner HR (2010) Slow-oscillatory transcranial DC stimulation can induce bidirectional shifts in motor cortical excitability in awake humans. Neuroscience, 166(4):1219-1225.

Bergmann TO, Groppa S, Seeger S, Mölle M, Marshall L, Siebner HR (2009) Acute changes in motor cortical excitability during slow oscillatory and constant anodal transcranial direct current stimulation. Journal of Neurophysiology, 102(4):2303-2311.

Prehn-Kristensen A, Wiesner C, Bergmann TO, Wolff S, Jansen O, Mehdorn HM, Ferstl R, Pause BM (2009) Induction of empathy by the smell of anxiety. PLoS One, 4(6), e5987.

Siebner HR, Bergmann TO, Bestmann S, Massimini M, Johansen-Berg H, Mochizuki H, Bohning DE, Boorman ED, Groppa S, Miniussi C, Pascual-Leone A, Huber R, Taylor PC, Ilmoniemi RJ, De Gennaro L, Strafella AP, Kähkönen S, Klöppel S, Frisoni GB, George MS, Hallett M, Brandt SA, Rushworth MF, Ziemann U, Rothwell JC, Ward N, Cohen LG, Baudewig J, Paus T, Ugawa Y, Rossini PM (2009) Consensus paper: Combining transcranial stimulation with neuroimaging. Brain Stimulation, 2(2): 58-80.

Bergmann TO, Mölle M, Marshall L, Kaya-Yildiz L, Born J, Siebner HR (2008) A local signature of LTP- and LTD-like plasticity in human NREM sleep. European Journal of Neuroscience, 27:2241-2249.

Bergmann TO & Staresina (2017) Neuronal oscillations and reactivation subserving memory consolidation. In Axmacher N & Rasch B (Eds.) Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory Consolidation. Springer, Heidelberg: 185-207.

Bergmann TO & Siebner HR (2007) Visuelle Verarbeitung. In Siebner HR & Ziemann U (Eds.), Das TMS–Buch. Handbuch der transkraniellen Magnetstimulation, Springer Medizin Verlag, Heidelberg: 449-457.

Bergmann TO (2007) False Memories – Können wir unserem Gedächtnis trauen? In Dresler M & Klein TG (Eds.) Wissenschaft an den Grenzen des Verstandes. Beiträge aus den Natur- und Lebenswissenschaften. Hirzel, Stuttgart: 137-44.

Invited Talks (at other institutes or conferences)

2019: Mini-Symposium on Brain Stimulation and Neuroimaging, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; Donders Brain Stimulation Toolkit, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, USA; Keynote Lecture at 3rd International Brain Stimulation Conference, Vancouver, Canada; Privatklinik Meiringen, Meiringen, Switzerland; Workshop: Closing Loops in Cognitive Neuroscience, Bern, Switzerland.

2018: Transcranial Brain Stimulation in Cognitive Neuroscience Workshop, Rovereto, Italy; NTBS Winter School, Danish research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR), Copenhagen, Denmark; Université du Luxembourg, Luxemburg; Donders Brain Stimulation Toolkit, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; International Max Planck Research School NeuroCom Summer School, Leipzig, Germany; Seminar series on Multimodal Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, University of Bern; Workshop on Perturbing and Enhancing Perception and Action using Oscillatory Neural Stimulation” at MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBU) in Cambridge, UK

2017: TMS Workshop, Danish research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR), Copenhagen, Denmark;  BrainDisC PhD Conference, Bernstein Center, University of Freiburg, Germany; Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN), FMRIB, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, UK; BrainBoxInitiative Conference, London, UK; Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften, Leipzig, Germany; 14th Practical Course in Transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation, Dpt. of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; PhD Course Human Brain Stimulation, Danish research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR), Copenhagen, Denmark; KNF Dagen 2017, Dutch Society for Clinical Neurophysiology, Lunteren, Netherlands.

2016: Institutsseminar Klinische Neurowissenschaften, Dpt. of Neurology, University of Düsseldorf, Germany; PhD course on Human Brain Stimulation, Dpt. of Neurology, University of Mainz, Germany; NIH Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilitation Section, Bethesda, MD, USA; TMS-EEG Summer School; Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland; 1st International Conference on Sleep Spindling, Budapest, Hungary.

2015: Dpt. of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Germany; Dpt. of Psychology, University of Oldenburg, Germany; Ernst-Strüngmann-Lecture, Ernst-Strüngmann-Institute, Frankfurt, Germany; Birmingham School of Psychology, UK.

2014: 40th Conference on Psychology and the Brain. Lübeck, Germany; SFB936 Methods Academy. Hamburg, Germany.

2013: NVP Winter Conference on Cognition, Brain, and Behaviour, Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands; Neurocolloquium, University of Tübingen, Germany; 11th Dutch Endo-Neuro-Psycho Meeting, Lunteren, Netherlands;

2012: Danish research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR), Copenhagen, Denmark; s38th Conference on Psychology and the Brain. Jena, Germany; 54th Meeting of Experimental Psychologists, Mannheim, Germany.

2011: 84th Meeting of the German Neurological Society, Wiesbaden, Germany; 37th Conference on Psychology and the Brain. Heidelberg, Germany; Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands; Dpt. of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany.

2010: 54th Meeting of the German Society for Neurophysiology and Functional Imaging. Halle, Germany.

2009: Center for Sleep and Consciousness. Madison, WC, USA; Hvidovre Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark; XXIII Sandbjerg Symposium on Neuroplasticity and Neurorehabilitation, Sandbjerg, Denmark.

2008: 81th Meeting of the German Neurological Society, Hamburg, Germany.

2007: 10th Annual meeting of the German Society for Sport Sciences. Giessen, Germany.

2006: 6th MIND Akademie, Marburg, Germany.