Researchers at the School and CINN use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study the function of the brain in perception, action, cognition, language, and emotion regulation. TMS works by applying a short magnetic pulse directly over a small portion of the brain, inducing weak electrical currents in the nerve cells underneath, and interfering - temporarily! - with their function. TMS is a powerful research technique when used alone, but here in CINN we are also using TMS in conjunction with electroencephalography (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This puts CINN and the University of Reading at the forefront of human neuroscience research and makes us one of a very small number of research institutes with this technological capability.
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Eva Feredoes is researching the cognitive neuroscience of working memory. She is using combinations of neuroimaging approaches (functional magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation) to reveal the mechanisms by which information is maintained across the short term and protected from the effects of interference in the form of distractors in the normal human brain. Understanding these mechanisms can help to address their shortcomings in normal ageing and disease states such as dementia.
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Nicholas Holmes uses TMS to study the brain's role in hand perception and hand actions. TMS is used both to measure and to interfere with the sensory and motor processes that occur during every day behaviours such as touching and grasping objects.
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Lotte Meteyard uses TMS to explore language processing, particularly semantic representation during language production and comprehension.