Renowned neural engineer Risto Ilmoniemi will be speaking on Friday 4/21 at 3 pm in CDI 3rd floor conference room (3.352)

Professor Risto Ilmoniemi is a physicist and neuroscientist at Aalto University, Finland; he is the Head of the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. He built and designed multichannel MEG instruments in the 1980’s and invented for MEG use the minimum-norm estimate (together with Matti Hämäläinen), the signal-space projection, formulas for the forward problem, the channel-capacity measure for comparing sensor arrays, the triangle phantom, and several TMS techniques. He is the founder and former CEO of Nexstim Ltd., a company where he introduced navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and the combined use of TMS and EEG. As a professor of Applied Physics since 2006, he has led the development of new technologies for MEG–MRI and for a new generation of TMS. He is currently the Chair of the Biodesign Finland Program, which started in 2016.

See the complete Details here: Download Full Bio and Research Focus

April 7, 2017. 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, 333 Curry Student Center, Northeastern University, Boston

“Translational Neural Engineering: Accelerated medical device design for treatment of neuro-psychiatric disorders and brain injury”

The design and clinical deployment of new medical devices on an accelerated time scale (as little at 6 months) requires an interdisciplinary team and skill set spanning basic science, biomedical engineering, regulatory, and clinical trials. This talk uses a series of case-studies to diagram a process for rapid translational medical device design, with a focus on non-invasive electrical stimulation technology. This generalizable medical design process is translational because basic science stages are already informed by regulatory and clinical challenges, while clinical trials are designed around engineering features and limitations.

Slides: BiksonDesign

Prof. Luca Parra (CCNY Biomedical Engineering), On Brainwaves and Videos and Video Games

Thursday, February 09, 2017, 03:30 PM, NAC 4/156

What are the immediate neural response of the brain to natural stimuli, in particular audiovisual narratives and video games? To answer this question we record EEG while subjects are exposed to the identical audiovisual narratives and measure inter-subject correlation, which captures how similarly and reliably different people respond to the same natural stimulus. We find that inter-subject correlation of EEG is strongly modulated by attention, correlates with long term memory, and provides a quantitative estimate for “audience engagement”. In children and adolescents watching videos we find changes with age and gender that are consistent with an increase in diversity of brain responses as they mature. During video game play, which are unique experiences that preclude correlation across subjects, we measure the strength of stimulus-response correlations instead. We found that correlation with both auditory and visual responses drive the correlation observed between subjects for video and that they are are modulated by attention in video game play. Importantly, the strongest response to visual and auditory features had nearly identical neural origin suggesting that the dominant response of the brain to natural stimuli is supramodal.

Congrats on Yu (Andy) Huang, Marom Bikson, and Lucas Parra’s paper on TES model validation accepted to be published on eLife. Also thank Anli Liu’s team from NYU School of Medicine for all the experimental recordings.

Measurements and models of electric fields in the in vivo human brain during transcranial electric stimulation

Here is the link to the LINK, and a summary video.

OR Download the PDF here: e18834-download (3)  and the associated Commentary here: e25812-download


Remotely Supervised Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Increases the Benefit of At-Home Cognitive Training in Multiple Sclerosis

Neuromodulation. 2017 Feb 22. doi: 10.1111/ner.12583. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 28225155

Leigh Charvet, PhD; Michael Shaw, BS; Bryan Dobbs, MS; Ariana Frontario, BS; Kathleen Sherman, MS; Marom Bikson, PhD; Abhishek Datta, PhD; Lauren Krupp, MD; Esmail Zeinapour, MS; Margaret Kasschau, BS

Full paper PDF: 10.1111@ner.12583

Objective: To explore the efficacy of remotely-supervised transcranial direct current stimulation (RS-tDCS) paired with cognitive training (CT) exercise in participants with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: In a feasibility study of RS-tDCS in MS, participants completed ten sessions of tDCS paired with CT (1.5 mA 3 20 min, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex montage). RS-tDCS participants were compared to a control group of adults with MS who underwent ten 20-min CT sessions through the same remotely supervised procedures. Cognitive outcomes were tested by composite scores measuring change in performance on standard tests (Brief International Cognitive Assessment in MS or BICAMS), basic attention (ANT-I Orienting and Attention Networks, Cogstate Detection), complex attention (ANT-I Executive Network, Cogstate Identification and One-Back), and intra-individual response variability (ANT-I and Cogstate identification; sensitive markers of disease status). Results: After ten sessions, the tDCS group (n 5 25) compared to the CT only group (n 5 20) had significantly greater improvement in complex attention (p 5 0.01) and response variability (p 5 0.01) composites. The groups did not differ in measures of basic attention (p 5 0.95) or standard cognitive measures (p 5 0.99). Conclusions: These initial findings indicate benefit for RS-tDCS paired with CT in MS. Exploratory analyses indicate that the earliest tDCS cognitive benefit is seen in complex attention and response variability. Telerehabilitation using RS-tDCS combined with CT may lead to improved outcomes in MS.

Higher-order power harmonics of pulsed electrical stimulation modulates corticospinal contribution of peripheral nerve stimulation.
Chen CF, Bikson M, Chou LW, Shan C, Khadka N, Chen WS, Fregni F.
Nature Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 3;7:43619. doi: 10.1038/srep43619.
PMID: 28256638  Download Full Paper: srep43619

Abstract: It is well established that electrical-stimulation frequency is crucial to determining the scale of induced neuromodulation, particularly when attempting to modulate corticospinal excitability. However, the modulatory effects of stimulation frequency are not only determined by its absolute value but also by other parameters such as power at harmonics. The stimulus pulse shape further influences parameters such as excitation threshold and fiber selectivity. The explicit role of the power in these harmonics in determining the outcome of stimulation has not previously been analyzed. In this study, we adopted an animal model of peripheral electrical stimulation that includes an amplitude-adapted pulse train which induces force enhancements with a corticospinal contribution. We report that the electrical-stimulation-induced force enhancements were correlated with the amplitude of stimulation power harmonics during the amplitude-adapted pulse train. This is a pilot, but important first demonstration that power at high order harmonics in the frequency spectrum of electrical stimulation pulses may contribute to neuromodulation, thus warrant explicit attention in therapy design and analysis.

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 Scientists, entrepreneurs in Chicago area tackle ‘brain hacking’

March 3, 2017, by Ted Gregory

Link to article

Selection: “Marom Bikson is optimistic and pragmatic. A biomedical engineering professor and co-director of Neural Engineering at the City College of New York, Bikson said it is clear that tDCS can change the brain. Many prospective users are unwilling to wait for lengthy human trials and related research before trying the technology.

“Among scientists who are incredulous or skeptical, the concern is often that we’re moving too fast,” Bikson said. But people who are suffering from depression, chronic pain and cognitive decline “have a different time scale,” he said. “They don’t have 10 years, and I don’t blame them for looking for alternatives.”


Shown equipment by Soterix Medical.