New tools for computational modeling of non-invasive brain stimulation in SimNIBS

Sina Shirinpour, Kathleen Mantell, Xinhui Li, Oula Puonti, Kristoffer Madsen, Zachary Haigh, Estefania Cruz Casillo, Ivan Alekseichuk, Timothy Hendrickson, Ting Xu


Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is currently being used as a treatment method for psychiatric disorders and as a research tool for causal manipulations of brain activity. Two of its main methods, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Electric Stimulation (TES) create electric fields in the brain to modulate neural activity. Precise knowledge of these electric fields is crucial for experimental design and choice of stimulation parameters for precise dosing. Computational modeling has been used extensively to predict the induced electric fields. Due to the growing clinical and research applications of NIBS, there is increasing demand in the accessibility of such tools. SimNIBS is one of the leading platforms for NIBS electric field modeling ( ). In this project, we are increasing the functionality and accessibility of SimNIBS. This includes: 1) Developing automatic non-human primate head segmentation as a tool for researchers interested in translational research. 2) Extending the visualization and graphical interfaces of SimNIBS to make the software more user-friendly and bring additional features such as selection of regions of interest. 3) Improving human MRI segmentation to increase accuracy, speed, and robustness of head model generation. 4) Utilizing software containers to provide simple cross-platform high-performance access to SimNIBS. 5) Adding functionality to integrate neuronavigation systems with SimNIBS to assist in accurate targeting of the brain and modeling of test conditions. 6) Generating automated recommendations for optimal coil positions and electrode locations which helps in tailoring experimental and clinical setups.

These developments will widen the pool of users such as clinicians, human, and animal researchers to incorporate modeling platforms in their work. Modeling is crucial to understand the NIBS mechanism of action, to translate the experimental findings between animals and humans, and to find the optimal targeting and dosing of brain stimulation which will help researchers and clinicians increase NIBS treatment efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1644
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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