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Munich Centre for Brain Stimulation

Main areas of interest

  • Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS)
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Multimodal imaging


Prof. Dr. med. Frank Padberg, PD Dr. med. Alkomiet Hasan

  • Clinical focus, stimulation outpatient clinic

Head: PD Dr. med. Ulrich Palm

  • Junior research group: Multimodal Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation

Head: Dr. hum. biol. Daniel Keeser

Main focus:

’What fires together, wires together‘. Our brain contains more than 86 billion neurons, which are connected to each other in an enormous variety of ways. There are strong and weak connections, fast and slow ones – resulting in highly complex networks. The more often connections are activated, the stronger they become.

Non-invasive brain stimulation can activate or inhibit the connections between neurons. In recent years promising applications of non-invasive brain stimulation have emerged, for example in the treatment of depression. However, it remains unclear exactly which mechanisms contribute to the effects of the stimulation.

Our working group studies the clinical, behavioural, neurophysiological and molecular effects of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, for example transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We use multimodal imaging, including resting-state functional magnetic resonance tomography (resting-state fMRT) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), to search for explanatory models for the mechanisms of effect of these brain stimulation techniques.


  • Nora Behler, Junior doctor
  • Lucia Bulubas, Junior doctor, IMPRS-TP MD/PhD Programme (Else-Kröner-Fresenius Foundation) CV
  • Chris Friemel, Dr. sc. hum, Research assistant
  • Beatrice Kirsch, Junior doctor
  • Dr. med. Ulrike Kumpf, Junior doctor
  • Tabea Matt, Junior doctor, CV
  • Eva Mezger, MSc, PhD student, CV_DECV_ENG
  • Dr. med. Wolfgang Strube, Junior doctor
  • Dipl.Psych. Linda Wulf, Psychologist, Research assistant, CV

Visiting scientists:

Andre Brunoni, MD, PhD, Visiting Scientist, University of São Paolo, Brazil (Capes-Humboldt Research grant)

Ongoing projects

  • Pathophysiology-specific development of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex – studies on functional MRT connectivity (GCBS, Work Package 5)
  • Augmentation of cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy with prefrontal direct current stimulation in major depression (PsychotherapyPlus) (GCBS, Work Package 6)
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a treatment for major depression – A prospective multicentre double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial (Depression DC) (GCBS, Work Package 7)
  • The impact of nicotinergic modulation on brain excitability, plasticity and cognition in schizophrenia (German Research Foundation [DFG], applicant)
  • Treatment of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia with bilateral theta burst stimulation (German Research Foundation [DFG], co-applicant)
  • Efficacy and mechanisms of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)-enhanced cognitive training in schizophrenia (Federal Ministry of Education and Research [BMBF], co-applicant)