Postgraduate Profiles

Jessica Moretti

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Thesis: Investigating the cognitive effects of low-intensity repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that is used to treat a range of different neurological disorders, such as depression. However there is still a lot we do not yet know about how it achieves its effects. In my research I look at the effects a low-intensity form of rTMS may have on behaviours such as motivation, attention, and perception across both animal and human models. By doing this I aim to improve our understanding both of the mechanisms of rTMS and also whether using a lower intensity stimulation is a possible alternative to the current rTMS protocols.

Why my research is important

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that has lots of potential as a therepeutic treatment - it can be used for treating depression and obsessive compulsive disorder and is also being researched as a treatment for even more disorders, such as stroke, addiction and tinnitus. By improving our understanding of how rTMS works and the scope of its possible effects, we can expand its use as a treatment, optimise its efficacy and develop new, more accessible versions.

Funding

A image of dopamine neurons (red) in an area of the brain important for motivation. Cells that are green were active and we can use this to look at how rTMS may influence brain activity

Feb 2019