University of Minnesota
IGERT-Neuroengineering Training Program

IGERT-NE home page.

Modulating the Brain

Brain stimulation represents an increasingly powerful and important tool to probe the functional connectivity between brain regions and investigate the role information passing between brain regions has on perception, behavior, and cognition. Stimulation-based devices can interact with the brain across a range of spatial scales, from single neurons with intracellular stimulation to networks of neurons with extracellular stimulation and transcranial stimulation.

Coupling computational models with in vivo electrophysiology during deep brain stimulation.

Students will advance several stimulation-based approaches including deep brain stimulation (DBS), sub-cranial surface stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) through computational models, device design, and experimental investigation. These opportunities will enable IGERT fellows to examine spatial targeting of neurostimulation and explore how the brain responds and adapts to stimulation.

This IGERT research theme is aimed at advancing the state of the art of neuromodulation, including:

  1. Understanding the mechanisms of neuromodulation

  2. Imaging of brain stimulation systems

  3. Multi-scale modeling of neuromodulation

  4. Applications of neuromodulation to basic and clinical neuroscience

Students will have opportunities to advance and integrate techniques from several disciplines, including imaging, modeling, instrumentation, electrophysiology, and behavioral analysis in the context of neuromodulation. IGERT students will obtain unparalleled training and opportunities to bridge the knowledge gap between how stimulation alters information encoded by neurons and neuronal networks, and how these changes relate to behavior. A new core course entitled Neuromodulation will train IGERT students on the fundamentals of bioelectric, biomagnetic, and optogenetic brain stimulation. IGERT students will leverage strong research programs in neuromodulation at the University of Minnesota and a world-class neuromodulation device industry located within the Twin Cities.