Computational modeling of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in obesity: Impact of head fat and dose guidelines

NeuroImage: Clinical 2 (2013) 759–766

Dennis Q. Truong, Greta Magerowski, George L. Blackburn, Marom Bikson,Miguel Alonso-Alonso

Full PDF: Bikson_Obestity_Neuroimage_2013a


Recent studies show that acute neuromodulation of the prefrontal cortex with transcranial direct current stim- ulation (tDCS) can decrease food craving, attentional bias to food, and actual food intake. These data suggest po- tential clinical applications for tDCS in the field of obesity. However, optimal stimulation parameters in obese individuals are uncertain. One fundamental concern is whether a thick, low-conductivity layer of subcutaneous fat around the head can affect current density distribution and require dose adjustments during tDCS adminis- tration. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of head fat on the distribution of current during tDCS and evaluate whether dosing standards for tDCS developed for adult individuals in general are adequate for the obese population. We used MRI-derived high-resolution computational models that delineated fat layers in five human heads from subjects with body mass index (BMI) ranging from “normal-lean” to “super-obese” (20.9 to 53.5 kg/m2). Data derived from these simulations suggest that head fat influences tDCS current density across the brain, but its relative contribution is small when other components of head anatomy are added. Cur- rent density variability between subjects does not appear to have a direct and/or simple link to BMI. These results indicate that guidelines for the use of tDCS can be extrapolated to obese subjects without sacrificing efficacy and/ or treatment safety; the recommended standard parameters can lead to the delivery of adequate current flow to induce neuromodulation of brain activity in the obese population.

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-Tuesday May 21, 2012, Steinman Lecture Hall –

Please join us for a very special event at the Grove School of Engineering on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 – the 3rd Annual Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship at The City College of New York.   In topics ranging from using online tools to change how we wait in lines, changing paper recycling with disappearing ink, to wall-climbing robots in the subway, to innovations in medical technology, the Kaylie semi-finalist teams will compete in fast-paced presentations and physical demonstrations – culminating in the selection of a winner.

The Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship was established in 2010 through an endowment by alumnus Harvey Kaylie.  Mr. Kaylie is president and founder of Mini-Circuits, a Brooklyn-based RF and microwave electronic components design, manufacture, and distribution company.  The Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship has developed into one of the most innovative and exciting entrepreneurship mechanisms in New York City. It has facilitated rapid acceleration of commercialization of student-generated ideas. The prize is directed by Prof. Marom Bikson.

This event is an opportunity to experience an intensive one-day competition and join a network of NYC area business and engineering leaders.

 So please join us in the Steinman Lecture Hall:

3:30 pm               Opening remarks by President Coico, Mr. Kaylie and Dean Barba

3:44 pm               Introduction of teams by Prof. Marom Bikson

3:45 – 4:45 pm     Short presentations by each of the 5 teams
4:45 – 6:45 pm     Reception and judging

6:45 – 7:00 pm     Announcement of the winners by Mr. Kaylie  


Physiological and modeling evidence for focal transcranial electrical brain stimulation in humans: A basis for high-definition tDCS

Edwards_Bikson_2013_physiological+modeling evidence for 4×1 humans_edwards_2013


J. Neural Eng. 10 (2013) 036018 (10pp) doi:10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/036018
Validation of finite element model
of transcranial electrical stimulation
using scalp potentials: implications
for clinical dose

Bikson_Datta_validation model scalp potentials_2013

We have three openings tenure-track faculty positions in “Translational Neuroscience” here at CCNY encompassing clinical, basic, and computational neuroscience. The home department for each position is fairly flexible, though we envision one hire in Biomedical Engineering, one in Psychology and one in the Medical School. Joint appointments with Math, Biology, etc. are also possible. The search will consider all ranks from Assistant to Full professor.

Please also distribute this announcement to students or collaborators who may be interested.

PRISM Lecture/Neuroscience joint talk:

“The tongue as visual surrogate: experiences with sensory substitution for blindness”


University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Tuesday April 30, 2013, Time: 12:35 – 1:45 PM  Location: NAC 7/236 

Abstract: Sensory substitution is a newer concept for restoring a sense of the environment to the completely blind.  How to test performance for states of ultra low vision in the context of artificial vision, particularly those mediated through non-visual pathways is a new area of research.  This lecture will provide an overview of experiences using the BrainPort and some method to conduct objective and quantifiable assessments of behavioral performances.  In addition, preliminary results of neuroimaging studies using diffusion tensor MR imaging (DTI) and functional positron emission tomography (PET) will be shown to suggest that the visual brain becomes less organized as a function of blindness duration.

Biography: Dr. Nau is the Director of optometric and low vision services for the UPMC Eye Center, and the founder of the Sensory Substitution Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated from the New England College of Optometry and completed a residency in ocular disease at the VAMC in Boston. She practiced at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston for five years and has been at the University of Pittsburgh since 2003.  Clinically, she specializes in medical contact lenses for ocular surface and corneal disease, including scleral lenses and contacts for artificial corneas. Her research interests primarily center on artificial vision technologies for the blind, including sensory substitution. Her laboratory has conducted the largest human studies to date of the BrainPort Vision Device, which uses the tongue as a means to convey visual information to the brain.