Brain-Computer and Computer-Brain Interfaces: devices for detecting and modifying brain activity

BrainGain is a Dutch research consortium consisting of researchers, industry and potential users of Brain-Computer and Computer-Brain interfaces. The program started in September 2007 and is funded by SmartMix, a Dutch initiative to support applied research.

Project Description

Modulation of abnormal brain activity by neurostimulation

The stimulated nucleus is part of an extensive network involving many brain structures and consisting of several closed loops. Stimulation directly affects neuronal elements within the vicinity of the stimulus site, but indirect excitation or inhibition of connected structures may also play an important role in the therapeutic effect. Nonlinear dynamic neuronal models, based on electrophysiological and anatomical data, will be constructed. We will use empirical neuronal models to capture the relevant neurophysiological behaviour (e.g., burst firing, irregular spiking), in which recordings from relevant in-vitro neuronal networks (brain slices) will form the basis to set our model parameters. Herewith the dynamics of relevant pathways are experimentally investigated and simulated in open-loop. This research will deliver validated models describing the local and indirect effects of stimulation. Moreover, these models will provide a basis for the prediction of stimulation induced therapeutic effects and side effects, based on which optimal stimulation configurations and protocols will be proposed.

Research themes

From Cellular Mechanisms to Neural Circuit Behaviour

Principal Investigator tracks

Ciska Heida: Central Motor Control


Dutch technology foundation STW

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People involved

Dr. Ciska Heida

Prof. dr. Peter Veltink

Dr. Jan Stegenga


2008 - 2012



Project website