Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound
Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound (aka Ultrasonic Neuromodulation) is a new brain stimulation technology which we will be covering a lot in the future. DARPA and Arizona State University researchers are developing the new technology for military and medical applications. Like rTMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimualtion) its non-invasive, but unlike rTMS it has a much higher spatial resolution, allowing it to stimulate deep inside the brain. It would be great if an open source Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound project got started.
Check out this article from Armed With Science: Remote Control of Brain Activity Using Ultrasound
And check out this abstract:
Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound Stimulates Intact Brain Circuits
(Click Here for full PDF)
Tufail, Yusuf; Matyushov, Alexei; Baldwin, Nathan; Tauchmann, Monica L.; Georges, Joseph; Yoshihiro, Anna; Tillery, Stephen I. Helms; Tyler, William J. Neuron doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2010.05.008 (volume 66 issue 5 pp.681 – 694)
Electromagnetic-based methods of stimulating brain activity require invasive procedures or have other limitations. Deep-brain stimulation requires surgically implanted electrodes. Transcranial magnetic stimulation does not require surgery, but suffers from low spatial resolution. Optogenetic-based approaches have unrivaled spatial precision, but require genetic manipulation. In search of a potential solution to these limitations, we began investigating the influence of transcranial pulsed ultrasound on neuronal activity in the intact mouse brain. In motor cortex, ultrasound-stimulated neuronal activity was sufficient to evoke motor behaviors. Deeper in subcortical circuits, we used targeted transcranial ultrasound to stimulate neuronal activity and synchronous oscillations in the intact hippocampus. We found that ultrasound triggers TTX-sensitive neuronal activity in the absence of a rise in brain temperature (<0.01�C). Here, we also report that transcranial pulsed ultrasound for intact brain circuit stimulation has a lateral spatial resolution of approximately 2 mm and does not require exogenous factors or surgical invasion.