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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

ConnecToBrain project, illustration by Otto Olavinen

Description of the research

We develop new technology for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to improve targeting accuracy, pulse-shape control, and closed-loop target and timing adjustment based on real-time feedback, e.g., from electroencephalography (EEG) or electromyography (EMG) measurements.

We have pioneered multi-locus TMS (mTMS), in which a set of coils allows rapid electronic stimulation targeting without transducer movement (Koponen et al. 2018). We are pushing the boundaries and aim to integrate our mTMS technology into a 3-tesla human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner at Aalto University and into a small-animal 9.4-tesla MRI device at the University of Eastern Finland ( Our endeavor builds on our recently established understanding on how to design energy-efficient, optimized TMS coils (Koponen et al. 2015, 2017, 2018).

Combined TMS–EEG provides a valuable tool for probing the excitability and connectivity in the brain. For interpreting the recorded data, we develop advanced signal processing techniques for several applications of EEG analysis: artifact rejection (Mutanen et al. 2016, 2018), source localization (Mäkelä et al. 2018), blind source separation (Metsomaa et al. 2017), and connectivity analysis. Artifact rejection is of special interest since TMS-induced artifacts are a great challenge when interpreting EEG data. We use a wide range of tools, from classical deterministic methods to Bayesian inference as well as from physical model-based analysis to fully data-driven approaches.

TMS is used in clinically in diagnostics and therapy. Navigated TMS is nowadays the most accurate noninvasive method to locate brain areas responsible for movement production and is used to locate eloquent cortex preoperatively in brain tumor and epilepsy patients waiting for surgical treatment. Repetitive TMS, on the other hand, is used in the treatment of depression, neuropathic pain, tinnitus, and stroke. We conduct neurophysiological experiments, usually by combining TMS with EEG, EMG, or speech recordings, on healthy subjects and patients to improve the understanding of brain functioning and to develop new paradigms. We develop technology and methods that provide enhanced means for neuroscience as well as for clinical diagnostics and treatment.

6th Science Factory: TMS-EEG Summer School and Workshop

The TMS group will organize a learning event titled 6th Science Factory: TMS–EEG Summer School and Workshop on May 18–23, 2018. With our 6th Science Factory we continue to enhance the interaction and discussion within the international TMS–EEG community.

During the intensive week, top-notch experts and beginners in the field share their ideas and learn from each other. Various learning methods, for example, lectures, whiteboard discussions, small-group work, live programming, and science pitching will be used. In addition, numerous hands-on sessions for experiments and data analysis will be organized to obtain comprehensive TMS–EEG experience and to train well-rounded young researchers.

In 2018, the main venue is Solvalla, Espoo, Finland, located 35 km from Helsinki, in a beautiful place by a lake, just next to the Nuuksio National Park.

Previous Science Factories:

5th Science Factory: TMS-EEG Summer School and Workshop

4th Science Factory: TMS–EEG Summer School

3rd Science Factory: TMS–EEG Summer School

2nd TMS–EEG Summer School: Probing Brain Dynamics (Science Factory)

Coupling to the dynamics of the human brain with TMS–EEG (Science Factory)


Juuso Korhonen
Postdoctoral Researcher
Johanna Metsomaa
Postdoctoral Researcher
Karita Salo
Doctoral Candidate
Victor Hugo Souza
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aino Tervo
Doctoral Candidate
Sergei Tugin
Doctoral Candidate
Selja Vaalto
Postdoctoral Researcher


ConnectToBrain mTMS / Northbay Oy

ERC Synergy Grant worth €10M will help develop new techniques for brain research, disease diagnostics, and patient care

ERC Synergy Grant worth €10M will help develop new techniques for brain research, disease diagnostics, and patient care

Preliminary scheme of the future TMS device. Picture: Northbay, Helsinki.

One million euro for research on electromagnetic brain stimulation

The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation has awarded a grant for a joint project developed by Aalto University and the University of Eastern Finland.

TMS revealed differences between brain activity of people who dream and people who do not dream

Assessment of consciousness may help in treatment of brain injury patients.

Risto Ilmoniemi is one of the original developers of NBS technique. Equipment that utilises navigated brain stimulation is used in the BioMag Laboratory in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.

Neurotechnology can benefit millions

Brain stimulation technology with its roots in Otaniemi is used as an aid in neurosurgery all over the world.