in a Neurorehabilitation group at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK under supervision of Dr Aleksandra Vuckovic and Professor Gregor Thut.
The project is a collaboration between School of Engineering and Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Glasgow.
Funding should be provided by the Doctoral Training Centre. The deadline for application is 15th February
Neurofeedback and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) are well established techniques for cortical neuromodulation (neuromodulation=influencing how the brain works). Neurofeedback relies on the voluntary modulation of brain activity while rTMS requires an external stimulus to modulate the activity of the brain. Both neuromodulation modalities can be used to up-regulate insufficient activity or to down-regulate excessive brain activity thereby affecting the underlying neurophysiological processes such as attention, motor control, pain, depression, etc.
Based on the effect of neurofeedback and rTMS, it is believed that they share a basic neurophysiological mechanism but systematic analysis and comparison of the methods has never been performed. Likewise, as these two methods are not mutually exclusive, it is hypothesised that their combination may result in enhanced neuromodulatory effect.
The aim of this experimentally based project will be to
i) understand the relation between neuromodulatory effect of neurofeedback and rTMS
ii) create and test an automatic system for neurofeedback guided rTMS that will be used to modulate activity of cortical areas such as motor or parietal cortex, with application in motor control (and related neurological deficits such as spasm central neuropathic pain) and spatial awareness.
This can lead to creation of novel neurorehabilitation protocols for treatments of motor, sensory and cognitive impairments in neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson disease.