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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 shared resource 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.

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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.