CBBM Lecture "Brain-state-dependent non-invasive stimulation of human cortex - an advanced approach for treating brain network disorders" by

Prof. Dr. Ulf Ziemann,

Clinical Director of the Department Neurology & Stroke,

Co-Director of the Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research,

University of Tübingen

will take place on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours in CBBM, Ground Floor, Seminar Room B1/B2.

Host: Prof. Dr. Thomas Münte
Department of Neurology
University of Lübeck


Open-loop therapeutic non-invasive brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS) has been employed for more than two decades, but success is still limited by low effect size and high inter-subject variability. Using real-time analysis of EEG data, we have demonstrated that coupling TMS with specific brain states such as the trough or peak of the µ-rhythm in sensorimotor cortex reveals states of high- versus low-excitability of the corticospinal system, respectively. Applying  repetitive TMS consistently to the high-excitability but not low-excitability state results in long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity of the corticospinal system, with significantly less inter-subject variability compared to open-loop protocols. A first pilot trial in treatment-resistant major depression disorder (MDD) demonstrated that brain-state-dependent repetitive TMS, targeting the trough of the theta rhythm over dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex, resulted in significant reduction of alpha-power, a MDD disease marker, while this was not the case in open-loop repetitive TMS control conditions. The lecture will take the outlook that therapeutic brain stimulation will soon face a paradigm-shift from open-loop to closed-loop approaches.


Clinical expertise: Clinical Neurophysiology, stroke, emergency neurology, multiple sclerosis, neurooncology, peripheral neurology.

Research focus: Human motor cortex, excitability, plasticity, motor learning, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), non-invasive brain stimulation, brain-state dependent stimulation, closed-loop stimulation, neuropharmacology, TMS-EEG, neuroimaging.

Current positions: Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Neurophysiology; member of ExCo of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) and of the German Society of Clinical Neurophysiology and Functional Neuroimaging (DKGN).

Awards: Richard-Jung Prize of the DGKN, NIH Merit Award, NIH Fellowship Award for Research Excellence.