Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Description of the research
TMS group conducts research on three interconnected areas: the group carries out neurophysiological experiments and develops methods for TMS–EEG signal analysis as well as instrumentation for TMS.
TMS is used in hospitals in patient diagnostics and treatment. Navigated TMS is nowadays the most accurate method to noninvasively locate brain areas responsible for movement production and is used to locate motor cortex preoperatively in brain tumor and epilepsy patients waiting for surgical treatment. Repetitive TMS, on the other hand, is used in the treatment of depression, neuropathic pain, tinnitus, and stroke. TMS group conducts neurophysiological experiments, usually by combining TMS with electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), or speech recordings, on healthy subjects and patients in order to better understand the brain functioning and to develop new paradigms.
Combined TMS–EEG provides a valuable tool for probing the excitability and connectivity in the brain. For interpreting the recorded data, TMS group is developing advanced signal processing techniques for several applications of EEG analysis: artifact rejection, source localization, blind source separation, and connectivity analysis. Artifact rejection is of special interest since TMS-induced artifacts are a great challenge when interpreting EEG data. The group uses a wide range of tools extending from classical deterministic methods to Bayesian inference as well as from physical model-based analysis to fully data-driven approaches.
TMS group also develops hardware for transcranial magnetic stimulation. Group’s interest is to develop TMS devices that provide enhanced means for brain research and are better suited for clinical diagnostics and treatment. The group has already demonstrated, e.g., how TMS coils can be made more energy-efficient (Koponen et al. 2015).
4th Science Factory: TMS–EEG Summer School
The TMS group organized a learning event titled 4th Science Factory: TMS–EEG Summer School, on 6–11 June, 2016. With our 4th Science Factory we continued to enhance the interaction and discussion within the international TMS–EEG community.
During the intensive week, top-notch experts and beginners in the field shared their ideas and learnt from each other. Various learning methods, for example, lectures, small-group work, panel discussions, live programming, and science pitching were used. In addition, numerous hands-on sessions for experiments and data analysis were organized to obtain comprehensive TMS–EEG experience and to train well-rounded young researchers.
In 2016 the main venue was Solvalla, Espoo, Finland, located 35 km from Helsinki, in a beautiful place by a lake, just next to the Nuuksio National Park.
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