This study proposes to design and build a neural imager/stimulator which will let us obtain information about brain circuits and pathways by acquiring electrical and fMRI signals from the brain at the same time. By adding magnetic stimulation to the instrument we will be able to perturb these circuits at precise times and locations in order to both improve how TMS is used as an anti-depression treatment as well as to better understand how our brains function. This research has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of how best to use TMS as a treatment as well as learning how our brains function. This study simply proposes to develop the combined instrument. The use of the new instrument as a anti-depressive treatment will be presented independently after we have developed a working instrument.
Researchers of the Radiology Department at the Medical University of South Carolina are conducting this study. Although some of the procedures of magnetic resonance are now routinely used in hospitals (i.e. magnetic resonance imaging or MRI), some others still are under investigation to fully determine their clinical uses. This study is designed to evaluate and extend the effectiveness of advanced magnetic resonance imaging.