SC8: Me and my Brain: How Brain Stimulation Changes your Brain


Brain stimulation offers the unique possibility to modulate brain activity both locally and on a brain network level. It has the potential for boosting cognitive performance and treatment of various cognitive and affective disorders. In this course will focus on the neural underpinnings of brain stimulation and applications in cognitive science, neurology and psychiatry. We will present a range of brain stimulation techniques (e.g. tDCS, TMS, DBS) as well as neuroimaging methods for assessing brain activation and connectivity changes (e.g. fMRI, EEG). The major challenges and innovative ideas in the field will be discussed.


By the end of this course, the students are expected to:

1. Have a basic understanding of the most used brain stimulation techniques, including: deep brain stimulation (DBS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial current stimulation (tCS, including direct and alternating currents).
2. Have a basic understanding of fMRI and EEG.
3. Understand how different neuroimaging techniques (fMRI and EEG) can be used to quantify the effects of brain stimulation.
4. Discuss the main challenges and limitations in imaging the neural effects of brain stimulation


Brain Stimulation: Methodologies and Interventions. Irving Reti. ISBN: 978-1-118-56829-3. (first chapter freely available at:

Bergmann, T. O., Karabanov, A., Hartwigsen, G., Thielscher, A., & Siebner, H. R. (2016). Combining non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation with neuroimaging and electrophysiology: current approaches and future perspectives. NeuroImage, 140, 4-19.

Course location

Hörsaal 4

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Christian Windischberger


Christian Windischberger is Associate Professor at the Medical University of Vienna. He is working on the development and application of methods for pushing the limits of functional MRI in limbic brain areas. A main topic in his research is the assessment of neural activity changes caused be brain stimulation techniques, in particular Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and their application in psychiatric disorders.


Caroline Di Bernardi Luft


Caroline Di Bernardi Luft is a lecturer (Assistant Professor) at Queen Mary University of London. She coordinates the EEG and brain stimulation lab, focusing on the combination of psychophysiological, neuroimaging and brain stimulation methods. Her work combines a range of advanced neuroimaging and brain stimulation methods to understand cognition.