Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation

Brief overview of the modality

The Brain Stimulation Lab houses all the equipment required for both transcranial magnetic (TMS) and electrical (TES) non-invasive brain-stimulation experiments (NIBS).

Equipment in the lab:

TMS
Magstim Bistim - Used for intracortical inhibition as well as facilitation and brain connectivity studies

  • Monophasic
  • Paired Pulses

Magstim Rapid - Used for rTMS studies

  • Biphasic
  • Repetitive Protocols
  • Theta Burst (Super Rapid2 and Plus1)
  • <100Hz frequency stimulation

Brainsight        

  • Neuronavigation
  • EMG

TDCS
Neuroconn DC-Stimulator MR

  • MR compatible
  • Direct-current stimulation
  • Alternating-current stimulation

How researchers can access equipment within modality?

To gain access on the Imagent fNIRS system there are procedures for training, ethics and project proposals. For the procedures please see the CHBH Operating Procedures and Local Rules.

What research data is produced and what can we understand from this?

In general, brain stimulation studies probe the excitability of the brain. They can also be used to increase or decrease the excitability of the targeted brain area. Brain stimulation studies produce behavioural and physiological data. For example, increases in excitability may be demonstrated by increases in the amplitude of EMGs induced by TMS over the motor cortex. Alternatively, stimulation of a brain area may induce changes in behaviour, such as an increase or decrease in learning rate, or the ability to perceive a given stimulus.

How is the modality important in contributing to the CHBH values and principles?

Non-invasive brain stimulation allows us to probe the links between brain areas and behaviour. This allows us to make causal inferences about brain areas and their function. Brain stimulation can also be used in combination with neuroimaging studies, where imaging can take place following disruption of a brain region to generate a short-lived “virtual lesion.” Such studies further our understanding of the relationship between brain regions and behaviour.

For further information, please contact the Modality Lead - Dr Ned Jenkinson