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Biasing Motor Movements

TMS-TUS over the primary motor cortex

In our combined TUS-TMS research we conduct fundamental investigations into the efficacy of ultrasonic neuromodulation. Here, we have shown that inhibitory effects of an online 1000 Hz pulsed TUS protocol on corticospinal activity are, in fact, driven by the salient auditory confound associated with this protocol. However, we have also found preliminary evidence for TUS interacting with ongoing neural dynamics beyond an overall shift in global excitation/inhibition balance. Our research will continue to examine ultrasonic neuromodulatory efficacy using different stimulation protocols and outcome measures. We hope this research will guide future experimental designs and procedures and enable the rapid and effective implementation of TUS in research and clinical settings.

Effect of TUS on eye movements

While there is abundant evidence for the effects of transcranial ultrasonic stimulation (TUS) in animal models, the establishment of effective online TUS protocols in humans remains limited. Our current project focuses on the development of an efficient TUS protocol in humans, with the aim of safely and effectively modulating behavior. Specifically, we employ TUS to target the frontal eye fields (FEFs) during a saccade task. The FEFs play a crucial role in voluntary eye movements, and by stimulating or inhibiting this region, we can influence the direction of eye saccades, biasing them either towards the opposite or ipsilateral side. Through an analysis of eye movement direction during the saccade task, we not only seek to assess the efficacy of our TUS protocol but also determine its direction (inhibitory, excitatory, or perturbatory). This endeavor has the potential to demonstrate the viability of online TUS paradigms and contribute valuable insights to the experimental design of future studies.

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