Authors: Zachary Player, Guita Banan, Thomas Mareci
Faculty Mentor: Thomas Mareci
College: College of Medicine
Electric stimulation of the brain may be useful in stroke rehabilitation, epilepsy treatment, and improvements of cognitive performance, but current methods are not well suited to specific brain regions. Recently a focused stimulation method was introduced, which uses temporally and spatially interfering (TSI) electric fields, to focus the location of stimulation in the brain without stimulating other brain regions. The ultimate goal of this project is to study the distribution of focused stimulation of electric current flow in the brain using magnetic resonance imaging. Current density distributions and conductivity in the brain can be reconstructed using a method called magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography (MREIT), a capability recently demonstrated in humans. We can use MREIT to visualize TSI electric field currents. We have simulated these temporally interfering electric fields using square wave stimulations. We are looking at multiple experimental setups with spatially distributed electrode pairs, evaluating the current distribution of each and its suitability for applications. The simulated data has matched the theoretical expectations accurately, and is indicative of the best experimental setup for verification. Further research will include experiments on phantoms and in humans, using MREIT to visualize the current.