Lab News

Our Mission


The Center for Brain Stimulation (CBS) is a joint research program between the AbilityLab and Northwestern University. Our goal is to improve the function and quality of life for individuals with neurological and/or psychiatric disorders by developing novel transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) techniques.

Our interdisciplinary team includes neuroscientists, physicians, psychologists, engineers, post-doctoral fellows, technicians, and students. With help from our patients, we focus on creating brain stimulation techniques that advance motor, sensory-perceptual, cognitive, and affective well-being.

CBS is a Northwestern University (NU) Core, meaning that its resources are available to academic investigators at Northwestern University and beyond. In addition to brain stimulation, we simultaneously record brain activity with electroencephalography (EEG) and/or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand how brain connectivity changes as a result of TMS and to optimize our stimulation parameters.

Our state-of-the-art MRI-navigated multi-channel TMS system was built with a 2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Shared Instrumentation Grant. To cover our running costs, we receive funds from AbilityLab and the NU Core, as well as collect user fees. To see a full list of our state-of-the art instrumentation, click the "Projects/Resources at CBS" link. 

We also arrange brain stimulation safety training (TMS 1-Day Basic Safety Course) 3 times a year for all area investigators and clinicians interested in learning how to apply TMS safely and efficiently. Please email to ask about timing of the next course.

If you are interested in learning more or donating to keep us running, please contact the CBS Director Tommi Raij. 

Projects - Clinical Research


  • Treatment atlases for brain stimulation. This research project aims at computing maps that indicate which brain areas and networks should be stimulated for best therapeutic efficacy. Principal Investigators: Tommi Raij (AbilityLab/NU), Aapo Nummenmaa (MGH/Harvard Medical School)
  • Re-wiring the human brain. In this project, we develop multi-channel brain stimulation techniques in neurological patients to re-connect brain areas previously disconnected by disease. Principal Investigator: Tommi Raij (AbilityLab/NU)
  • Enhancing memory in humans. This project utilizes MRI connectivity information to stimulate the human hippocampus to improve memory in memory-impaired individuals. Principal Investigator: Joel Voss (NU) 
  • Brain excitability in epilepsy. This research project utilizes TMS-EEG to understand excitability changes in patients with epilepsy. Principal Investigators: Stephen VanHaerents (NU), Mouhsin Shafi (BIDMC/Harvard Medical School) 
  • Neuro-navigated rTMS as an adjuvant to therapy after stroke. This project aims to determine therapeutic effects of repetitive non-invasive stimulation administered to the contralateral cortical hemisphere prior to task-oriented occupational therapy. Principal Investigator: Richard Harvey (AbilityLab/NU), Co-I: Lynn Rogers (AbilityLab/NU)

Projects - Methods Research


Next generation TMS navigation. This projects aims at developing more accurate methods for estimating the distribution of TMS-induced electric fields for TMS navigation and targeting purposes. Principal Investigators: Tommi Raij (AbilityLab/NU), Aapo Nummenmaa (MGH/Harvard Medical School)

Publications, Funding, and Acknowledgements


The research conducted at CBS is currently being funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Falk Medical Research Trust. 

Projects using CBS resources are required to acknowledge the following funding sources in all publications: NIH (S10-OD020080), AbilityLab, and NU Core Support. 

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