Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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Dr. Andres Agudelo-Toro

Group: Theoretical Neurophysics
Phone: +49 551 3851-486
Email: send email
Interests: Electromagnetic stimulation of neurons
2D and 3D models of neurons and the intra-/extra-cellular space
Numerical simulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) induces transient electric fields in a small area of the cortex by using focused magnetic pulses over the skull. TMS has been used to treat neuro-psychiatric disorders increasingly over the past years. Still, after 2 decades of TMS, little is known about which neurons are the primary target and which processes are induced at the level of single neurons and local networks. With very recently developed TMS-responsive, patterned neuronal cultures we now have a model system that is directly accessible to restricted biophysical and electro-physiological experiments. We also better understand the major role of axons over dendrites, the importance of repetitive excitation and the possible effect of drugs in the process. This project will combine those experimental studies with theoretical efforts to elucidate the cellular and synaptic mechanisms of TMS. This efforts include simulations of direct TMS effects in 3D models of neurons in the induced fields, characterization of the field influence on axonal and dendritic morphology, and network effects in idealized balanced networks. Compartmental models of various neuron morphologies will be used to understand better the evoked potentials and results will be compared to the in vitro responses. A better comprehension of this sub-processes after stimulation can serve as a basis for a more systematic, rational design and assessment of clinical treatments with TMS protocols.

Selected Articles:
Publications (chronological - click here to see all publications)