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Section 1

Neuro-Stimulation Technology

Major advances in neuro-stimulation exist in clinical applications such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, in neuro-implants as well as in the field of optical stimulation of neuronal cells and tissues. In the human nervous system, neuro-stimulation using TMS and neuro-implants has become a therapeutic strategy employed to treat a wide range of neurological, sensory, and psychiatric disorders. An individualized and adaptive use of these approaches is clinically demanded and necessitates the construction of Neuro-Bionic Closed-Loop Systems. Most promising for the development of novel research instrumentation is the fundamentally new approach towards neuro-stimulation that has emerged over the last 5 years from the identification of light sensitive ion channels and pumps. This development enables the construction of Neuro-Bionic Closed-Loop-Systems that control the activity of nervous systems at the network level by recording and stimulating neuronal tissues using purely optical means.

Projects involved:

1a - Optical Imaging and Stimulation in the Inner Ear

Tobias Moser, Ernst Bamberg, and MED-EL GmbH

1c - Establishing Auditory Midbrain Prosthetics

Thomas Lenarz and J. Michael Herrmann

1d - TMS in cell culture and brain

Andreas Neef and Walter Paulus