We are interested in understanding how brain responses to an external stimulus are differentially affected by ongoing brain states. We are also interested in modulating plasticity mechanisms in an optimal way by applying brain state-dependent, closed loop real time network stimulation. To this aim, we are performing non-invasive brain stimulation (EEG-TMS: TMS triggered by EEG states) in healthy and pathological adult brains. Some major issues still need to be addressed in order to achieve a profound understanding of the mechanisms of action of brain state-dependent stimulation. First, a deeper insight of the relationship between anatomy and function needs to be undertaken. This will allow us to ground the neurophysiological mechanisms to the anatomy of cortex in future researches in this field. Second, the definition of what represents a “brain state” suitable for stimulation presents several technical and neuroscientific issues. Our aim is to systematically study how the state of a brain network right before the stimulus influences both peripheral (muscles) and cortical outcomes. The final goal of this research line is represented by a new real-time application of EEG-TMS, for understanding the main brain functions and improving the outcomes of restorative and rehabilitative approaches in patients with Stroke or psychiatric diseases.

Research directions

  • Non-invasive Real-Time Brain State Dependent Stimulation;
  • Brain Plasticity Mechanisms with a Focus on Stroke;
  • Anatomical and Functional Correlates of Aging.



For a complete list, see Paolo Belardinelli personal webpage.


  • Connect2Brain, 2018-2024, Risto Ilmoniemi, Ulf Ziemann, Gianluca Romani

Ongoing collaborations

  • Ulf Ziemann (Head of Department of Neurology, University Clinics of Tuebingen, Germany);
  • Christoph Zrenner (Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada);
  • Giulia Liberati (Institute of Neuroscience - IoNS - Université Catholique de Louvain).