Connecting European Neuroscience

Nicolas Caesar Petersen

Communication committee member (2018 - 2022)


Professional and academic career

2012- Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia

2007/08 Visiting professor at University of Rochester Medical Research Centre, New York

2002-04 A/prof, Medical Physiology, University of Copenhagen

2000-02 Post. doc. Prince of Wales Medical Research Institut, Sydney Australia

1999 Post. doc. Physiologishes Institut Kiel University, Germany

1999 Phd in Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen

1995 MSc Human Physiology, University of Copenhagen

1990 BSc Sport Science, University of Copenhagen

1988/89 Visiting student Université Lyon I France


Honors and awards

2001 Paxinos-Watson Prize


General administrative and organisational experience

2013  Scientific committee for the Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize Hindsgavl meeting

2012  Board member of The Danish Society for Neuroscience

2008-11 Initiator and organizer of Midsummer Lectures at The Elsass Centre, Copenhagen

2005 Brain and Mind Forum, University of Copenhagen

2003-14 Initiator and organizer of the Copenhagen Neurodag

2003-06 Co-organizer Neuroscience seminars at The Panum Institute, Copenhagen

2003 Organizer Copenhagen Motor Control symposium

2001-02 Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute Motor Control Seminars, Sydney

2001 Local organizer of IUPS satelite symposium Cairns, Australia

1999 Co-organizer The Copenhagen International Summerschool


Research interests

Understanding the complex brain functions underlying the control of movement.
The neuronal and neuro-glia interactions in the motor cortex and closely connected cortical areas involved in neural plasticity in relation to physical activity.
I study these processes at a cellular level in mice and at an integrated level in awake humans using laser imaging techniques, behavioural approaches and electrophysiology.


  • Petersen, NC, Taylor JL, Murray NPS, Gandevia SC, Butler JE. (2011) Differential effects of low-intensity motor cortical stimulation on the inspiratory activity in scalene muscles during voluntary and involuntary breathing. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 175:265–271.
  • Jian K, Ning K, Petersen NC, Guo-Feng T, Nedergaard M. (2010) Sulforhodamine 101 induces long-tem potentiation of internal excitability and synaptic efficacy in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Neuroscience. 69(4) :1601-9
  • Rasmussen P, Nielsen J, Overgaard M, Krogh-Madsen R, Gjedde A, Secher NH, Petersen NC (2010) Reduced muscle activation during exercise related to brain oxygenation and metabolism in humans. Journal of Physiology 588(11) :1985-95
  • Seifert T, Petersen NC (2010) Changes in Cortical activity during fatiguing muscle contraction in man. Acta Physiologica (Oxford, England) 199(3) :317-26
  • Petersen NC, Butler JE, Taylor JL, Gandevia SC (2010) Probing the corticospinal link between the motor cortex and motoneurones: some neglected aspects of human motor cortical function. Acta Physiologica (Oxford, England) 198(4) :403-16
  • Butler JE, Larsen TS, Gandevia SC, Petersen NT (2007) The Nature of Corticospinal Paths Driving Human Motoneurones During Voluntary Contractions. Journal of Physiology 584(2) :651-9
  • Rasmussen P, Secher NH, Petersen NT (2007) Understanding central fatigue, where to go? Journal of Experimental Physiology 92(2) :369-70
  • Petersen NT, Butler JE, Carpenter MG, Cresswell AG (2007) Ia-afferent input to motoneurones during shortening and lengthening muscle contractions in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology 102(1) :144-8
  • Petersen NT, Taylor JL, Butler JE, Gandevia SC (2003) Depression of activity in the corticospinal pathway during human motor behavior after strong voluntary contractions. Journal of Neuroscience 23 (22) : 7974-7980.
  • Petersen NT, Pyndt HS and Nielsen JB (2003) Investigating human motor control by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Experimental Brain Research 152 (1) :1-16.


Nicolas C. Petersen

Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport (NEXS) Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology University of Copenhagen
Nørre Allé 20
2200 Copenhagen N