Neurophysiology and Brain Stimulation
Brain stimulation techniques have emerged as valuable tools for investigating brain function and treating various disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, Epilepsy, and Depression. These techniques can be broadly categorized into Invasive Brain Stimulation (IBS) and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS). While IBS methods like Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and Intracortical Microstimulation (ICMS) require surgical intervention, Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation techniques, particularly Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), have become widely used for the investigation and modulation of human brain functions.
However, a challenge in TMS research has been the limited access to the activity of individual neurons evoked by TMS due to the substantial electromagnetic fields generated during stimulation. To overcome this limitation and advance our understanding of brain function, we are currently developing in cooperation with the Max-Planck for biological cybernetics TMS-grade electrophysiology equipment.
This equipment aims to provide researchers with the necessary technology to simultaneously record neuronal activity during TMS. By integrating electrophysiology capabilities into the TMS setup, we can capture the precise responses and dynamics of individual neurons in real-time. This development will enable a more comprehensive understanding of how TMS influences neural circuits and facilitate the investigation of the underlying mechanisms of TMS-induced effects.
The development of TMS-grade electrophysiology equipment holds great promise for advancing TMS research, improving our understanding of brain function, and optimizing therapeutic interventions. By combining the benefits of TMS with the ability to directly observe neuronal activity, we can unlock new insights into the complex dynamics of the brain and pave the way for more targeted and effective brain stimulation treatments.