Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Cognitive Neuroscience Workshop

  • 20 hours
  • 2.5 days


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers a unique, non-invasive method for investigating causal brain-behaviour relationships.

This two-and-a-half-day workshop provides hands-on training in the fundamentals of TMS and its applications to cognitive neuroscience.

The aim is to equip you with knowledge about the opportunities and limitations TMS can offer your cognitive neuroscience research programme.

By the end of the two days you'll have the knowledge and skills to design and run your own TMS experiments.

Course content

During the course UCL neuroscientists will provide a comprehensive overview of TMS methods and experimental design.

We'll cover:

  • a brief history of brain stimulation
  • the physical and neurophysiological basis of TMS
  • designing functional connectivity experiments using MEPs (motor-evoked potential)
  • designing virtual lesion experiments using both on- and off-line rTMS (repetitive)
  • chronometric TMS and combining TMS with other methodologies
  • how to integrate TMS into your research programme

In addition, you'll obtain hands-on experience using a TMS system as both an experimenter and as a participant.

A programme for the course is available on the TMS for Cognitive Neuroscience website.

Course video

Find out more about the course and hear from previous participants.

Who this course is for

This course is primarily aimed at cognitive neuroscientists in academia at all career stages, from graduate students through to principle investigators.

It's also open to anyone with an interest in the subject area so it would be suitable for professionals considering using TMS such as market research agencies, brand and business consultants, PR firms, and advertising agencies. Please note, however, that the focus is on the methods rather than their application to consumer neuroscience.

There are no prerequisites. The course is offered in English.

Course structure, teaching and certificates

The course is delivered over two and a half days as a combination of presentations, interactive discussions and practical demonstrations

Lectures will be used to present the theoretical material, which will then be reinforced via live demonstrations, journal club discussions, and hands-on experimental sessions.

Interactive components will be done in small groups to maximise the opportunity for questions and personal guidance.

In addition, there will be an ongoing digital forum for you to share ideas, problems, and solutions among the group after completion of the workshop.

You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completion.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, you'll:

  • know how TMS works including the basic physics and physiology of the method
  • be able to successfully design TMS experiments to investigate causal brain-behaviour relations
  • have experience using TMS to collect data
  • be trained in the safety issues relevant to TMS
  • be able to incorporate TMS into your grant applications

Costs and concessions

The fees are:

  • £600 - standard rate
  • £500 - student rate (for all students, post-docs and research assistants)

Lunch is not provided.

What makes this course unique

This workshop is unique in its exclusive focus on the theoretical and practical information and experience necessary to conduct cognitive neuroscience TMS experiments. (In contrast, other workshops tend to focus on the latest development in TMS or how TMS can be used to investigate human motor physiology.)

The course provides:

  • an exclusive focus on TMS for cognitive neuroscience
  • hands-on experience using TMS equipment in an actual experiment
  • honest and open discussion of the capabilities and limitations of TMS that debunks the myths surrounding it
  • guidance on how to integrate TMS into your own research program which doesn’t end when the course ends - it continues with an on-line discussion forum that provides continued support for designing and trouble-shooting TMS experiments

Benefits to you or your employer

The course will allow you to integrate TMS into your cognitive neuroscience research programme.

You'll benefit from:

  • practical advice on setting up your own TMS lab
  • incorporating TMS into studentship/fellowship/grant writing
  • the opportunity to network with other people working in or interested in TMS
  • ongoing support with experimental design and trouble shooting via a bespoke online community forum

Many academic institutions have TMS resources (or the potential for TMS) but do not have the local expertise with the methodology to exploit its benefits. This course will help you develop the knowledge and skills to use TMS in your own research as well as the confidence to incorporate it into your undergraduate and/or graduate teaching.

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Course team

Joseph P. Devlin

Joe is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Head of Experimental Psychology at UCL. He started in artificial intelligence but found himself much more interested in how the human mind works. After training in neuroimaging at Cambridge and Oxford, he established a reputation as a leading researcher in how the human brain processes language. He then took up his current position as Head of Experimental Psychology at UCL. Joe has collaborated on various projects with a variety of media partners, including the BBC, the Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph.

Magdalena Sliwinska

Magdalena is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Since 2009 she's gained substantial experience using both online and offline TMS in its virtual lesion and chronometric modes to investigate different language processes. Although she's used TMS mainly in the context of language research, the vast amount of testing she's performed has armed her with numerous TMS capabilities that are applicable to many other cognitive areas.

Helen Nuttall

Helen is a Lecturer at Lancaster University and an Honorary Lecturer at UCL. Her work involves establishing how motor brain areas work with auditory regions to assist speech perception under challenging listening conditions. She’s currently working on combining TMS with EEG to study temporal integration during auditory-motor connectivity when listening to speech in noisy environments.


Course information last modified: 11 Dec 2018, 13:58