A Short Practicum on Deep Learning for EEG-based Brain Computer Interfaces
Presented by Vernon Lawhern of the Army Research Laboratory
Location: CDI 1.352 (First floor conference room)
Date and Time: Thursday, November 30, 2017 from 11am to 2pm
Lunch will be provided! Bring a laptop with Python Installed

Vernon will be available on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning for those who would like to try and obtain feedback on methods outlined in the workshop

See flyer below on how to RSVP and for more information



Dr. Marom Bikson interviewed by US News and World Report for a feature on

Can Transcranial Stimulation Help With Depression?

“Brain zapping”  helps patients who don’t respond to other treatments.

Read it link

“Bikson sees great strides being made in the coming years. “We are at baby aspirin levels of dosage and flip-phone levels of technology,” he says. “We have not even scratched the surface. We haven’t seen anything yet in the potential of electroceuticals.”

New Paper: High-Definition transcranial direct current stimulation in early onset epileptic encephalopathy: a case study

Download: PDF published in Brain Injury doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2017.1390254

Oded Meiron, Rena Gale, Julia Namestnic, Odeya Bennet-Back, Jonathan Davia, Nigel Gebodh, Devin Adair, Zeinab Esmaeilpour, and Marom Bikson


Primary objective: Early onset epileptic encephalopathy is characterized by high daily seizure-frequency, multifocal epileptic discharges, severe psychomotor retardation, and death at infancy. Currently, there are no effective treatments to alleviate seizure frequency and high-voltage epileptic discharges in these catastrophic epilepsy cases. The current study examined the safety and feasibility of High-Definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) in reducing epileptiform activity in a 30-month-old child suffering from early onset epileptic encephalopathy.

Design and Methods: HD-tDCS was administered over 10 intervention days spanning two weeks including pre- and post-intervention video-EEG monitoring. Results: There were no serious adverse events or side effects related to the HD-tDCS intervention. Frequency of clinical seizures was not significantly reduced. However, interictal sharp wave amplitudes were significantly lower during the post-intervention period versus baseline. Vital signs and blood biochemistry remained stable throughout the entire study.

Conclusions: These exploratory findings support the safety and feasibility of 4 × 1 HD-tDCS in early onset epileptic encephalopathy and provide the first evidence of HD-tDCS effects on paroxysmal EEG features in electroclinical cases under the age of 36 months. Extending HD-tDCS treatment may enhance electrographic findings and clinical effects.

Figure 3 from the paper portrays age-matched head models before and during HD-tDCS.

Dr. Marom Bikson co-edited a Frontiers book that assembles a collection of papers from experts in the field of non-invasive brain stimulation that discuss the strength of the evidence regarding the potential of tDCS to modulate different aspects of cognition; methodological caveats associated with the technique that may account for the variability in the reported findings; and a set of challenges and future directions for the use of tDCS that can determine its potential as a reliable method for cognitive rehabilitation, maintenance, or enhancement.

Link to full eBook


This special issue also features an article by a Ph.D. student in our group, Zeinab Esmailpour, titled “Notes on Human Trials of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation between 1960 and 1998”.

Link to Zeinab’s article in tDCS eBook


Event Time and Location: Thursday 11/16 at noon in CDI 3.352

Zeinab Esmaeilpour will present her work on brain stimulation and fMRI

tDCS integration with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive stimulation method that provides clinicians and researchers a tool to modulate central nervous system excitability in human and thereby contribute to exploration of brain-behavior relationship and develop treatment for various neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, despite its obvious promise, the potential of tDCS cannot be fully exploited as there is still a lack of understanding of the neural mechanisms underpinning stimulation. A key methodological advance toward bridging the gap in our understanding of the neural mechanisms of tDCS effects involves integration of tDCS with modern clinical and cognitive neuroscience techniques.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a high degree of spatial resolution regarding both brain structure and function, with the ability to assess brain-behavior questions across the entire brain. Thus, integration of tDCS with functional MRI provides the ability to evaluate not only correlations between brain function and behavior, but also experimentally manipulate brain activity in stimulated brain regions and assess how these observational relationships between the brain and behavior change. Thus, integration of tDCS with functional MRI has the potential to provide greater causal insight into the brain-behavior relationship in contrast to observational studies using these methods in isolation.

However, in recent years, there has been an increasing interest in using advanced neuroimaging techniques to study the effects of tDCS – both in healthy controls and clinical populations. Once technical difficulties are overcome, the combination of tDCS with functional MRI provides a powerful tool that allows us to study not only brain regions directly stimulated by tDCS, but also how tDCS modulates activity in the rest of the brain. In the literature of tDCS-fMRI, this combination could be categorized into three different groups: Hypothesis testing, outcome measure and response prediction.

Dr. Marom Bikson and Dr. Lucas Parra provided a joint lecture at the NIH NIMH sponsored Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation E-Field Modelling Workshop on Nov 11, 2017

Title: ROAST and HD-Explore: Overview and Hands On Softwares to model transcranial Electrical Stimulation

Download Soterix Medical HDexplore demo here

Download CCNY ROAST here

Download slides: Bikson_Parra_Modeling.compressed

Limited output transcranial electrical stimulation (LOTES-2017): Engineering principles, regulatory statutes, and industry standards for wellness, over-the-counter, or prescription devices with low risk. Download: PDF

Marom Bikson, Bhaskar Paneri, Andoni Mourdoukoutas, Zeinab Esmaeilpour, Bashar W. Badran, Robin Azzam, Devin Adair, Abhishek Datta, Xiao Hui Fang, Brett Wingeiner, Daniel Chao, Miguel Alonso-Alonso, Kiwon Lee, Helena Knotkova, Adam J. Woods, David Hagedorn, Doug Jeffery, James Giordano, William J. Tyler.


We present device standards for low-power non-invasive electrical brain stimulation devices classified as limited output transcranial electrical stimulation (tES). Emerging applications of limited output tES to modulate brain function span techniques to stimulate brain or nerve structures, including transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), and trancranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS), have engendered discussion on how access to technology  should be regulated. In regards to legal regulations and manufacturing standards for comparable technologies, a comprehensive framework already exists, including quality systems (QS), risk management, and (inter) national electrotechnical standards (IEC). In Part 1, relevant statutes are described for medical and wellness application. While agencies overseeing medical devices have broad jurisdiction, enforcement typically focuses on those devices with medical claims or posing significant risk. Consumer protections regarding responsible marketing and manufacture apply regardless. In Part 2 of this paper, we classify the electrical output performance of devices cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription electrostimulation devices, devices available for therapeutic or cosmetic purposes, and devices indicated for stimulationof the body or head. Examples include iontophoresis devices, powered muscle stimulators (PMS), cranial electrotheraphy stimulation (CES), and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices. Spanning over 13 FDA product codes, more than 1200 electrical stimulators have been cleared for marketing since 1977. The output characteristics of conventional tDCS,tACS, and tPCS techniques are well below those of most FDA cleared devices, including devices that are available OTC and those intended for stimulation on the head. This engineering analysis demonstrates that with regard to output performance and standing regulation, the availability of tDCS, tACS, or tPCS to the public would not introduce risk, provided such devices are responsibly manufactured and legally marketed. In Part 3, we develop voluntary manufacturer guidance for limited output tES that is aligned with current regulatory standards. Based on established medical engineering and scientific principles, we outline a robust and transparent technical framework for ensuring limited output tES devices are designed to minimize risks, while also supporting access and innovation. Alongside applicable medical and government activities , this voluntary industry standard (LOTES-2017) further serves an important role in supporting informed decisions by the public.


Non-invasive brain stimulation and computational models in post-stroke aphasic patients: single session of transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation. A randomized clinical trial

Download: PDF published in São Paulo Medical Journal doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2016.0194060617

Michele Devido dos Santos, Vitor Breseghello Cavenaghi, Ana Paula Machado Goyano Mac-Kay, Vitor Serafim, Alexandre Venturi, Dennis Quangvinh Truong, Yu Huang, Paulo Sérgio Boggio, Felipe Fregni, Marcel Simis, Marom Bikson, Rubens José Gagliardi


CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Patients undergoing the same neuromodulation protocol may present different responses. Computational models may help in understanding such differences. The aims of this study were, firstly, to compare the performance of aphasic patients in naming tasks before and after one session of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and sham, and analyze the results between these neuromodulation techniques; and secondly, through computational model on the cortex and surrounding tissues, to assess current flow distribution and responses among patients who received tDCS and presented different levels of results from naming tasks.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective, descriptive, qualitative and quantitative, double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study conducted at Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo.

METHODS: Patients with aphasia received one session of tDCS, TMS or sham stimulation. The time taken to name pictures and the response time were evaluated before and after neuromodulation. Selected patients from the first intervention underwent a computational model stimulation procedure that simulated tDCS.

RESULTS: The results did not indicate any statistically significant differences from before to after the stimulation.The computational models showed different current flow distributions.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study did not show any statistically significant difference between tDCS, TMS and sham stimulation regarding naming tasks. The patients’ responses to the computational model showed different patterns of current distribution.

Figure 1 from the paper (above) demonstrates peak intensities and distributions of cortical electric field (current density)

tDCS changes in motor excitability are specific to orientation of current flow

Download: PDF published in Brain Stimulation doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2017.11.001

Vishal Rawji, Matteo Ciocca, Andre Zacharia, David Soares, Dennis Truong, Marom Bikson, John Rothwell, Sven Bestmann


Measurements and models of current flow in the brain during transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) indicate stimulation of regions in-between electrodes. Moreover, the cephalic cortex result in local fluctuations in current flow intensity and direction, and animal studies suggest current flow direction relative to cortical columns determines response to tDCS. Here we test this idea by measuring changes in cortico-spinal excitability by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Motor Evoked Potentials (TMS-MEP), following tDCS applied with electrodes aligned orthogonal (across) or parallel to M1 in the central sulcus. Current flow models predicted that the orthogonal electrode montage produces consistently oriented current across the hand region of M1 that flows along cortical columns, while the parallel electrode montage produces none-uniform current directions across the M1 cortical surface. We find that orthogonal, but not parallel, orientated tDCS modulates TMS-MEPs. We also show modulation is sensitive to the orientation of the TMS coil (PA or AP), which is through to select different afferent pathways to M1. Our results are consistent with tDCS producing directionally specific neuromodulation in brain regions in-between electrodes, but shows nuanced changes in excitability that are presumably current direction relative to column and axon pathway specific. We suggest that the direction of current flow through cortical target regions should be considered for targeting and dose-control of tDCS.


Figure 1 from the paper (above) is a comparison of electrical field modelling for montages directing current across and along the cortical surface.

Event Time and Location: Wednesday, October 18th @ 3PM in Steinman Hall Rm 402

David J. Christini, Ph.D. (Vice Dean, Weill Cornell Graduate School Professor, Department of Medicine Weill Cornell Medicine) Utilizing intact cardiac cell electrophysiological protocols to create more robust computational models

Abstract: The traditional paradigm for developing cardiac computational cell models utilizes data from
multiple cell types, species, laboratories, and experimental conditions to create a composite model.
While such models can accurately represent data in limited biological scenarios, their ability to predict
behavior outside of a narrow dynamic window is limited. This talk will describe novel
electrophysiological protocols that aim to densely sample the dynamics of intact cardiac myocytes. The
information-rich data from such protocols are then fit using complex parameter optimization
algorithms to tune multiple model parameters at one time. By so doing, this approach yields cell
models that fit wide-ranging cellular behavior, making them better suited to make physiological and
pathophysiological predictions.