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BRAIN STIMULATION

Translational Lab


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Brain Stimulation Translational Lab

The overall goal of our laboratory is to characterize brain mechanisms underlying to non invasive brain stimulation techniques. During last decade, we focused in the generation of new animal models for exploring the mechanisms underlying transcranial electrical stimulation (tDCS, tACS and tRNS) with special interest on somatosensory cortex and cerebellum. Along this time, we have established the necessary research infrastructure for animal brain stimulation studies establishing the Brain Stimulation Translational Lab at the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville (Spain). 

We are currently located at the Pablo Olavide University, at the Central Research Services, building 47 in Seville, Spain. 

Our main expertise is to explore brain mechanisms underlying to non invasive brain stimulation in animal models in order to translate these results to human basic and clinical applications. We have extensive experience in the application of electrophysiological, histological and brain stimulation techniques to the study of basic physiological processes in the alert animal. Among the techniques that we routinely use in the lab we found:

  • Transcranial electrical stimulation
  • Transcranial static magnetic stimulation
  • LFPs, EEG and EMG recordings
  • Extracellular unitary recording in alert animals
  • Multiprobe array recording
  • ERP, ERSP, ITC, FFT analysis
  • Yuxtacellular neurobiotin injection of recorded neurons
  • Local drug perfussion during simultaneous recording
  • Immunohistological analysis and morphological cell reconstruction
  • Eyeblink conditioning in mice

MAIN TARGETS

Our group is particularly interested in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to modulate cerebral activity and neuronal plasticity. Our main work is currently enclosed in two main experimental lines:

Transcranial Electrical Stimulation

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that has been successfully applied for modulation of cortical excitability.

The medical interest in the use of this technique is growing as a cheap non-invasive tool for basic and clinical research in various neurologic pathologies, including chronic pain, stroke, and depression. tES is capable of inducing immediate changes in neuronal membrane potentials in a polarity-dependent manner. When tES is of sufficient length, synaptically driven after-effects are induced. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying these after-effects are largely unknown.

Cerebellar plasticity

The highly stereotyped architecture of the cerebellum has long served as a basis for hypotheses with regard to the functions that it subserves. 

Historically, most clinical observations and experimental work have focused on the involvement of the cerebellum in motor control, with particular emphasis on coordination and learning. Synaptic plasticity occurring at different places in the brain in the form of long-term plasticity (long-term potentiation and depression) has been proposed as the neural substrate to store acquired learning abilities. 

In particular, we are interested in the role of motor and cerebellar cortices in motor task learning and how it can be modulated by non-invasive stimulation.

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