Elucidating the mechanisms of action of transcranial direct current stimulation

Summary

The Brain and Mind Research Institute undertakes neuroimaging research into cognitive functioning and underlying brain processes in neuropsychiatric disorders. Major research themes are the regulation of emotion, attention and consciousness, learning and memory as well as neurotransmitter function. The research techniques used to study these themes include functional-MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electroencephalography, transcranial direct current stimulation and behavioral techniques.

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor Jim Lagopoulos

Research Location

Camperdown - Brain and Mind Research Institute

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

A PhD position is currently available to investigate the mechanisms of action of a novel brain stimulation technique called transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). The tDCS technique has investigative and therapeutic potential in psychiatric research and involves the use of small currents, applied focally through scalp electrodes, to alter the excitability of underlying cortical neurons. Persisting changes in neuronal excitability have been demonstrated in response to tDCS to the motor cortex and the focus of this project is to investigate the therapeutic benefit of tDCS in patients with depression by measuring efficacy and cognitive side effect outcomes. Electrophysiological (EEG) and neuroimaging (fMRI) studies will be undertaken simultaneously with tDCS in healthy control subjects and depressed patients to elucidate the mechanisms of action of tDCS.This project will be conducted at the Brain and Mind Research Institute using a 3-Tesla Siemens MRI scanner.PhD candidates should have a background in science, psychology, medicine, biomedical engineering, or other related neuroscience field. Experience with functional MRI and/or EEG is an advantage.

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Keywords

direct current stimulation, brain, fMRI, EEG, depression, Neuroscience, bipolar disorder, neuroimaging

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 662

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