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Brain Stimulation & Neurophysiology

OptiLab Researcher Applies Electrodes to Man's HandDuke's Brain Stimulation & Neurophysiology is a leading program with experts in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), neuromodulatory neuroscience and other areas. The Brain Stimulation Clinic provides cutting-edge clinical care, and the Brain Stimulation Service Center offers brain stimulation research services for members of the Duke community. 

Two continuing medical education fellowships are offered:

Brain Stimulation Research Center

The Brain Stimulation Research Center (BSRC) is a core research facility in the Duke University School of Medicine that provides equipment, and technical services to carry out noninvasive neuromodulatory research studies using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (tDCS and tACS). The BSRC also provides training and certification of users so that they can operate our equipment, and we host a quarterly research working group were members of the Duke, UNC, Wake Forest and surrounding community can share ideas and discuss research.



State-of-the-art neurostimulation, electrophysiological, neuronavigation and targeting technology includes:

Magnetic Stimulation

  • Three Magventure stimulators: a MagPro X100 with MagOption, and two MagPro R30 MR-compatible systems; associated coils including a B70, a Cool-B65, two Cool-B65 A/P for that provides both active and electrical sham stimulation, and an MRI-compatible B91 Air cooled coil for TMS-fMRI studies.

  • One MagStim stimulator: Rapid2 associated active and sham coils 

Electrical Stimulation

  • Solterix 1x1 CT tDCS stimulator
  • Two Halo Neuroscience Headsets


  • Two 64-channel Brain Products Acti64Champ systems, configured with Arduino communication for simultaneous TMS-EEG studies.
  • One 128-channel TMS-Compatible Brain Products DC BrainAmp system


  • Three Brainsight Stereotactic Neuronavigation Systems
  • Advanced NeuroTechnologies Adept ViperS850 robotic arm 


TMS Training and Clinical Research Workshops

TMS Training

The BSSC offers a 10-session certification program in transcranial magnetic stimulation. This program includes instruction on motor threshold procedures and the use of all related equipment as well as a seizure training to learn how to react to any adverse event. Over the course of these sessions, participants learn to successfully identify the hotspot over the motor cortex which elicits a response in the First Dorsal Interosseous (FDI) muscle and define the motor threshold relative to this spot. This training includes the use of TMS stimulators and coils, Brainsight neuronavigation systems, EMG recording systems and the robotic arm. Upon completion of this training program individuals are awarded a certificate allowing for unsupervised access and use of the BSRC facilities and equipment.

TMS Clinical Research Workshop

The BSRC holds a quarterly research working group meeting that aims to increasing knowledge of state-of-the-art TMS procedures. This working group is attended by members of the surrounding community including attendees from Duke, UNC and Wake Forest who discuss new papers and ideas for new projects, present research and getting feedbacks on new and existing projects.


Through close collaboration with the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (BIAC) researchers can efficiently use information from their neuroimaging protocols (fMRI, MRI and DTI) towards the implementation of advanced TMS and tDCS targeting. In addition to facilitating brain stimulation research studies, BSRC participates in the quarterly TMS CME Fellowship offered through the Brain Stimulation and Neurophysiology Division of the Department of Psychiatry.


Researchers can apply to use the center and can apply for pilot time by contacting Greg Appelbaum at




Contact Information

Please contact Ellie Wood at (919) 684-5939 for further information.


Facility Hours

The facility is staffed Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm. The Brain Stimulation Service Center is located at:

Duke University Hospital,
Rooms 54209-12, 54236, 54237
South Building, 5th Floor of the Red Zone
40 Duke Medicine Circle
Durham, NC 27710

Brain Stimulation Engineering Lab

Transcranial brain stimulation is increasingly used to study brain function, treat psychiatric and neurological disorders, and enhance cognitive performance. The Brain Stimulation Engineering Lab (BSEL) develops new devices and technologies to further the field of brain stimulation.

Human Performance Optimization Lab (OptiLab)

The Human Performance Optimization Laboratory (OptiLab) is an applied cognitive neuroscience lab, led by ​Greg Appelbaum, PhD, researching innovative approaches for accelerating learning and remediating deficits. Our research studies involve behavioral psychometrics done in conjunction with neuroscience approaches such as EEG and fMRI, or neurostimulation techniques such as TMS and tDCS. We are involved in numerous research studies that transcend clinical, athletic and military domains to investigate approaches to optimize human performance while also shedding light on the neural mechanisms underlying learning and expertise.

Our team supports the Brain Stimulation Research Center and we collaborate with many other groups including colleagues in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment, the James R. Urbaniak Sports Sciences Institute, the Duke Surgical Education and Activities Lab, and the Matthew Gfeller Traumatic Brain Injury Center at UNC.


Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering

Our mission is to use engineering approaches to uncover how changes in brain circuits lead to psychiatric illness. The lab also aims to develop new devices to repair brain circuits in individuals suffering from these devastating illnesses.

Learn More about this Research

Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD, the K. Ranga Rama Krishnan Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the head of the Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering, conducts pioneering brain research that aims to help people with disorders like Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Watch this video to learn more!

Sleep Clinic

Duke's Sleep Clinic is a leader in sleep research and clinical treatments for patients with sleep disorders. Researchers and clinicians in the DSC focus on understanding the functions of normal sleep, in order to understand sleeping disorders and develop better treatments for sleep disorders.