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CIMeC - Center for Mind/Brain Sciences

Overview | Research directions | Members | Publications | Grants | Ongoing Collaborations

Overview

Increasing evidence supports the notion that brain plasticity involves distinct functional and structural components but their relationship is still unclear and its explanation is a major challenge within modern neuroscience. Transcranial non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS, rTMS) or transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) allow us to causally investigate how the modification of some parameters leads to a change in the outcomes. The idea is that the activity of the system, the state of the network involved in the task and the stimulation parameters interact to produce a specific result. TMS-EEG (TMS and electroencephalographic) coregistration allow us to study the interaction between neural areas during cognition, the causal role of specific brain area in behaviour, but also the relationship and connectivity between activities in different brain areas. By means of TMS-EEG is possible to establish the causal role in the communication between cortical areas and the impact upon effective interactions of neuronal networks.

Research directions

  • TMS-EEG coregistration in the exploration of the human cortical connectome
    Understanding the mechanisms, which underlie brain connectivity, plays a central role in our studies. To pursue this aim we propose an integrative approach, composed of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG). With this method, from the stimulated area, actions potentials can propagate to the interconnected brain regions directly or indirectly, enabling the investigation of causal relationship, the temporal evolution of the communication between and within brain areas and the nature of the connections, excitatory or inhibitory.  In that way, the features of TMS-EEG recordings provides a fascinating tool to study the causal relationships in the connections across brain areas and can reveal their activation at the time of stimulation.
  • Neurostimulation and neuromodulation for the induction of plasticity phenomena
    The core of the group activity is driven by the goal to understand if cortical plasticity can be induced and manipulated by means of non-invasive brain stimulation in healthy adult brains, to understand what is the relation between induced synaptic plasticity and cognitive plasticity, and how cognitive plasticity can be sustained by the activity of a “functional neuronal network” and how this network is related with the condition of the subject. To achieve these objectives we use non invasive brain stimulation techniques like TMS, rTMS and tES (i.e., tDCS, tACS, tRNS) combined with other research methods (i.e., TMS-EEG co-registration)

Members

Publications

For a complete list see Carlo Miniussi personal page

Grants

2017-2019, Bial Foundation Grants 2016/2017: Cognitive plasticity: modulation and monitoring through a neurophysiological approach. PI Carlo Miniussi

Ongoing Collaborations

  • Nadia Bolognini, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Milano Bicocca, Italy.
  • Clara Casco, Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, Università di Padova, Italy.
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Section, The Saint John of God Clinical Research Centre, Brescia, Italy.
  • Carlo Alberto Defanti, Ospedale “Briolini” – Centro Alzheimer, Gazzaniga, Italy.
  • Irina Harris, School of Psychology, Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Justin A. Harris, School of Psychology, Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Keiichi Kitajo, RIKEN Brain Science Institute Tokyo, Japan.
  • Raffaella Rumiati, Sector of Cognitive Neuroscience, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy.
  • Gregor Thut, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.