With Dr. Marom Bikson as PI, the CCNY Neural Engineering group was awarded a major 3 years grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

During transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), low-intensity DC current is applied across the scalp to enhance specific performance or training efficacy on a range of complex cognitive tasks; moreover tDCS has been suggested to produce minimal side-effects (undesired cognitive changes).  The central premise of this proposal if that tDCS achieves task-specific modulation through a cellular mechanism where only neuronal circuits primed during tDCS (for example by training) are modulated by tDCS, while none primed mechanisms are not modulated.  The specific goal of this proposal is thus to establish a cellular substrate for DCS mediated activation-specific changes.


New York City tDCS workshop on April 1, co-directed by Dr. Marom Bikson, hosted at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital by Soterix Medical Inc.

We will be there!  The workshop is expected to sell out so reserve a spot ASAP.

Talk by Dr. Marom Bikson, Dr. Felipe Fregni, and Dr. Dylan Awards,

Hands-on workshop on tDCS and HD-tDCS (!) plus demonstration of HDexplore and HDtargets,

Our lab will be running an hands-on modeling tutorial during one of the break-out sessions.

More details at the Soterix Medical website here 

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PubMed link and read the PRESS RELEASE at Soterix Medical.

J Pain. 2013 Feb 14. pii: S1526-5900(12)00967-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2012.12.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Focal Modulation of the Primary Motor Cortex in Fibromyalgia Using 4×1-Ring High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS): Immediate and Delayed Analgesic Effects of Cathodal and Anodal Stimulation.

Laboratory of Neuromodulation, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; School of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.

Abstract: Fibromyalgia is a prevalent chronic pain syndrome characterized by altered pain and sensory processing in the central nervous system, which is often refractory to multiple therapeutic approaches. Given previous evidence supporting analgesic properties of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques in this condition, this study examined the effects of a novel, more focal method of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), using the 4×1-ring configuration of high-definition (HD)-tDCS, on overall perceived pain in fibromyalgia patients. In this patient- and assessor-blind, sham-controlled, crossover trial, 18 patients were randomized to undergo single 20-minute sessions of anodal, cathodal, and sham HD-tDCS at 2.0 mA in a counterbalanced fashion. The center electrode was positioned over the left primary motor cortex. Pain scales and sensory testing were assessed before and after each intervention. A finite element method brain model was generated to predict electric field distribution. We found that both active stimulation conditions led to significant reduction in overall perceived pain as compared to sham. This effect occurred immediately after cathodal HD-tDCS and was evident for both anodal and cathodal HD-tDCS 30 minutes after stimulation. Furthermore, active anodal stimulation induced a significant bilateral increase in mechanical detection thresholds. These interventions proved well tolerated in our patient population. PERSPECTIVE: 4×1-ring HD-tDCS, a novel noninvasive brain stimulation technique capable of more focal and targeted stimulation, provides significant reduction in overall perceived pain in fibromyalgia patients as compared to sham stimulation, irrespective of current polarity. This technique may have other applications in research and clinical settings, which should be further explored.

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Prof. Marom Bikson to give lectures in Germany March 13, March 19

March 13: Symposium at the the 10th Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society on Non-invasive brain stimulation: mechanisms, effects and opportunities  

Complete slides: DoseBikson2013  Complete references listed available HERE

German Neuroscience Society: conference link 


March 19: 5th International Conference on Non-invasive Brain Stimulation 2013. Prof. Bikson to chair the modeling workshop and also lecture on “Using computational models in tDCS research and clinical trials

Complete slides: UsingModelsBikson_2013_Germany

conference link 

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The point spread function of the human head and its implications for transcranial current stimulation

Dmochowski JP, Bikson M, Parra LC

Phys Med Biol. 2012 Oct 21;57(20):6459-77. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/57/20/6459. Epub 2012 Sep 21.
Pubmed link
Abstract: Rational development of transcranial current stimulation (tCS) requires solving the ‘forward problem’: the computation of the electric field distribution in the head resulting from the application of scalp currents. Derivation of forward models has represented a major effort in brain stimulation research, with model complexity ranging from spherical shells to individualized head models based on magnetic resonance imagery. Despite such effort, an easily accessible benchmark head model is greatly needed when individualized modeling is either undesired (to observe general population trends as opposed to individual differences) or unfeasible. Here, we derive a closed-form linear system which relates the applied current to the induced electric potential. It is shown that in the spherical harmonic (Fourier) domain, a simple scalar multiplication relates the current density on the scalp to the electric potential in the brain. Equivalently, the current density in the head follows as the spherical convolution between the scalp current distribution and the point spread function of the head, which we derive. Thus, if one knows the spherical harmonic representation of the scalp current (i.e. the electrode locations and current intensity to be employed), one can easily compute the resulting electric field at any point inside the head. Conversely, one may also readily determine the scalp current distribution required to generate an arbitrary electric field in the brain (the ‘backward problem’ in tCS). We demonstrate the simplicity and utility of the model with a series of characteristic curves which sweep across a variety of stimulation parameters: electrode size, depth of stimulation, head size and anode-cathode separation. Finally, theoretically optimal montages for targeting an infinitesimal point in the brain are shown.
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