The combination of TMS/TDCS with MR Imaging

Level - Target audience

PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows that are using neuroimaging and neurostimulation/neuromodulation in their PhD project.


    Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques have shown therapeutic potential for a broad variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the exact neuronal mechanisms of action of these techniques are not yet fully understood, which might be one of the reasons for the rather modest overall clinical effectiveness. In this course, experts will explain the value of combining NIBS with various MR imaging techniques with the goal to learn more about the mechanisms of action and to apply NIBS more effectively.


    This course focuses on combining non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques with MR imaging. MR imaging can provide information about patient-specific brain characteristics, such as anatomical geometry, or functional and structural brain connections. Brain stimulation protocols, containing personalized stimulation parameters derived from MR information, might lead to increased clinical efficacy of NIBS.

    At the start of the course, the physical background about imaging techniques will be taught to improve the insights and understanding in the final MRI images. Thereafter, the course will firstly focus on electric field stimulations, which can provide information about the distribution of the stimulation-induced electric fields within the brain. Secondly, the combination of NIBS with resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) will be explained in more detail. The difference between online and offline NIBS-fMRI experiments will be explained and a state-of-the-art TMS imaging coil will be demonstrated. Furthermore, rs-fMRI analyses in combination with NIBS will be explained.

    Organizing and scientific committee

    Spokespersons: Prof. Dr. Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt  & Prof. Dr. Chris Baeken

    Other members: Dr. Deborah Klooster, postdoctoral researcher Ghent University  

    Dates and Tentative programme

    DAY 1: 14 October 2021

    • 9:00 - 9.15u: Welcome at UGent: an introduction by Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt and Chris Baeken
    • 9.15 - 10:15u: Debby Klooster: Introduction to the combination of brain imaging and NIBS
    • 10.15- 11.15u: Christian Windischberger: Basic MRI Physics
    • 11:15 - 11:30u: Break
    • 11:30 - 13:00u: Debby Klooster en Martin Tik: fMRI analysis methods
    • 13:00 - 14:00u: Lunch
    • 14:00-15.30:00u: Daniel Keeser: Prefrontal tDCS-MRI and the possibilities of data analysis, from simulation to in-vivo study
    • 15.45-17.00: Frank Padberg (to be confirmed)
    • 17:00 - 18:00u: Discussion/Round table with the experts

    DAY 2: 15 October 2021

    • 9:00-10:00u Christian Windischberger: Introduction to simultaneous TMS/fMRI
    • 10:00-11:00: Martin Tik: Navigated simultaneous TMS/fMRI: setup & application
    • 11:00 - 11:15: break
    • 11:15u-12.15: Daniel Keeser: TMS-fMRI experiences from Munich: from sequence improvement to the first TBS applications in humans, presentations by two PhD students from the Keeser group: KaiYen Chang and Yuki Mizutani
    • 12.15-13.15u: Lunch
    • 13:00-14:00: Christian Windischberger: Simultaneous tDCS/fMRI: practical considerations
    • 14:00 - 17:00: Alexander Sack: Simultaneous TMS/fMRI set up, including a part by Shanice Janssens (PhD candidate)
    • 17:00 - 18:00: Discussion/Round table with the experts


    Ghent University Hospital, K12F.


    Register here.

    Number of participants

    Maximum 20 participants

    Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

    Evaluation criteria include attendance and active participation.