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Brain stimulation of attention networks

  • Project title: Brain stimulation of attention networks: examining old principles and developing new clinical applications
  • Abstract: Attentional deficits are a frequent consequence of brain damage after stroke. Current treatment approaches using brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are based on two theoretical constructs, namely (1) inter-hemispheric inhibition within the dorsal attention network and (2) the presence of interactions between the ventral and dorsal attention network. The proposed project put these constructs to the test by combining TMS with neuroimaging and, based on these findings, explore novel brain connectivity based TMS treatments. Collectively, these projects advance current neurocognitive models of attentional control and lead to advanced TMS protocols that can alleviate attention deficits in patients. 
  • Project Number: [708492]
  • Period covered by the project: [01/05/2016] to [31/05/2018]
  • The key objectives:

1. Investigating the brain mechanisms underlying attentional control using brain
stimulation and neuroimaging to gain insights into neural correlates of attentional
performance, hemispheric asymmetries in the functional organization of attention
networks, and inter-hemispheric interactions and imbalances.
2. Exploring of a novel brain-based treatment approach to alleviate attention deficits
in stroke patients by boosting connectivity within the brain networks underlying
attentional control.

  • Acknowledgement/Funding:

Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme

  • European impact:

The action has strengthened the collaboration between the University of Coimbra, the
local university hospital, the rehabilitation center in the Coimbra region, and Maastricht
University. Combining expertise across European research institutes is a necessity for
cutting-edge multidisciplinary research and a strong foundation for large-scale studies
aiming at establishing the efficacy of novel brain-based treatment approached. In that
sense, the action certainly contributed to the strengthening of the European position in
translational neuroscience.

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