Non-invasive brain stimulation: from basic mechanisms to innovative approaches in clinical and experimental research 2023

Target Group

Members Doctoral school of Social and Behavioural Sciences, (Bioscience) Engineering, Life Sciences and Medicine who are interested in learning new interventional methodologies in both clinical and experimental research.

No prior knowledge is required.

Organizing & Scientific Committee

Prof. Dr. Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt (Universiteit Gent)

Lais Boralli Razza (Universiteit Gent)

Stefanie De Smet (Universiteit Gent)

Sara De Witte (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)


    Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques have neuromodulator effects and have been explored in several research fields. Therefore, in this specialist course students from vast backgrounds will learn in-depth theoretical and practical insights into NIBS and the most innovative methodologies used in the field aiming to use the interventions more effectively for their research question.

    Topic and Objectives

    NIBS are safe and easy-to-apply interventions used by a range of research fields. Yet, this field is rapidly growing, and this course will provide students with the latest knowledge and skills. This course will focus on providing high-quality information about basic and novel precision methodologies in the NIBS field.

    The objective of the course is to teach:

    • mechanisms of action of the techniques (transcranial electric/magnetic stimulation) and
      basic application to improve the insights and understanding in each student research line;
    • what are the most innovative methodologies to be used in the NIBS field (e.g., precision
      interventions and closed loop) and how they can improve the overall researchers’ findings;
    • when and how to combine behavioural and neuroimaging to increase NIBS response;
    • provide a hands-on session, from the basic approaches to innovative methods.

    Dates and Venue

    27-28 September 2023, NIBS laboratory, UZ (K12F) 


    Day 1 - Prof. Dr Andre Brunoni focusing on the basis of NIBS theory and practice.

    8:30: Arrival and lecture introduction

    8:45: Principle and mechanisms of NIBS (tDCS and TMS)

    9:45-10u: Coffee break

    10:00: Ethical and safety aspects

    10:45: NIBS evidence and limitations in the current research field

    11:45: Questions and discussions

    12:00: Lunch Break and informal discussion

    13:30 - 17:30: Hands-on with tDCS and TMS (small groups, rotating system): Target location focusing on 10-20 EEG system and Neuronavigation tDCS


    1. Hands-on with research centre-based devices; home-based tDCS;
    2. Common electrodes’ montage and protocols in healthy and clinical population;
    3. Training on how to apply the electrodes to the scalp;

    Coffee Break


    1. Hands-on with TMS devices and coils;
    2. Motor-threshold;
    3. Positioning TMS coils in the scalp;
    4. TBS and advanced and innovative protocols;


    Day 2: Prof. Dr Andre Brunoni focusing on innovative methods.

    8:30: Arrival and lecture introduction

    9:00: Innovative methods in the NIBS field:

    • Machine learning;
    • Closed looping;
    • Home-based tDCS;
    • Digitalizing interventions;
    • Personalised treatments;
    • Benefits of neuroimaging (EEG; fMRI; computational modelling)
    • Combination of NIBS with cognitive/behavioural interventions and neuroimaging.

    This morning lecture will contain theoretical content (including a coffee break) which will be the basis of the hands-on in the afternoon.

    12:00: Lunch Break and informal discussion

    13:30: Computational modeling analysis using SimNIBS: from theory to practice;

    14:30: Practicalities: Do and Don'ts in NIBS research

    15:00 - 17:30: Students’ Pitches regarding research projects with NIBS


    Follow this link to register.

    Registration fee

    Free of charge for Doctoral School members.

    The no show policy applies.

    Teaching material

    The course consists of theoretical and applied lectures that will be provided by a world-leading researcher in the field of NIBS.

    A week before the start of the training, all attendees will have to prepare an abstract stating the research area and main interest in NIBS interventions. This way, the expert will be able to provide detailed and individual constructive feedback. Moreover, students will pitch their project or research ideas and will receive feedback from the expert. Finally, the hands-on training will allow students to practice with their pairs, therefore, possible errors or flaws regarding the application will be discussed together.

    Number of participants

    Maximum 20



    Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

    100 % attendance and active participation

    After successful participation, the Doctoral Schools will add this course to your curriculum of the Doctoral Training Programme in Oasis. Please note that this takes up to one to two months after completion of the course.