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Understanding Electric Brain Stimulation

Study the clinical applications of electric brain stimulation and event-related potentials in this free online course.

Publisher: NPTEL
Electric brain stimulation has been proven to alleviate depression and Parkinson's symptoms and have even been proven to increase patients’ brain function. On the other hand, brain Event-Related Potentials are used to identify and classify perceptual, memory, and linguistic operations and help diagnose potential disabilities or mental disorders. Learn about Electric Brain Stimulation and ERPs in this free online course.
Understanding Electric Brain Stimulation
  • Duration

    5-6 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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Neurophysiology is the study of how the human brain works. While there is still much to be discovered about our brains, scientists have come a long way in understanding the link between brain dysfunction and mental or even physical disabilities. For example, electrical brain stimulation is a technique used in research and clinical neurobiology to stimulate neural networks or specific regions in the brain using an electric current. If used properly, it can be used for dissecting behavioural and neuro-physiological mechanisms underlying psychological processes. Imagine curing Dementia, Schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's? Envisage using electric brain therapy to enhance mental performance and increase a person’s IQ. Experimental tests have already shown that it is possible! On the other hand, event-related potentials are essential because they can help monitor cognitive function in brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's or stroke. They can monitor the effects of therapeutic interventions and stringently evaluate interventions that augment cognition. This course will teach you all the basics of electric brain stimulation and event-related potentials.

You will start by learning about a technique known as transcranial direct current stimulation and its clinical applications. This technique uses a low-intensity constant current, which is applied directly to the head, partially penetrates the skull, and enters the brain. You will study transcranial magnetic stimulation, a technique that induces localised, relatively small amplitude currents in cortical tissue via the principles of electromagnetic induction. Did you know Air Force pilots use this technique to improve focus and mental awareness?  Explore these techniques and learn about the benefits of a method known as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). This procedure is done under anaesthesia, in which small electric currents pass through the brain. This intentionally triggers a brief seizure that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions, such as Epilepsy and Catatonia . Afterwards, you will learn about event-related potentials, where brain activity is monitored and recorded after a visual or auditory stimulus.

Within the first 48 hours of being born, newborn babies are tested to know whether they can hear or not. Medical experts test the response of the cortical circuits in the auditory pathways of the brain. This is called an auditory evoked potential and is one of many auditory, visual, and somatosensory evoked potential that medical professionals and researchers can use to diagnose infections, disorders, or mental dysfunction. Learn about different event-related and evoked potentials and how they are performed. You will even see a live experiment video where a young child is being tested, and his brain activity is recorded. Towards the end of this course, you will learn about silicon wafer manufacturing. Silicon wafers are used in producing microchips, sensors and electrodes for neuro-instrumentation techniques. This course is challenging and technical but anyone studying neuroscience, or related fields will find it exciting and rewarding. Are you up for a challenge? Take this free online course on Understanding Electric Brain Stimulation today.



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