About the Program

The Research Program on Cognition and Neuromodulation Based Interventions (RP-CNBI) employs neuropsychological assessment, neuroimaging, transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), and cognitive rehabilitation strategies to understand and assess the aging brain in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. 

This research is also an excellent training opportunity and will integrate trainees from all levels in order to enhance their educational experience and increase awareness of this important line of work.

Research Methods 


Neuromodulation is a field of science, medicine, and bioengineering that uses electrical, chemical, or mechanical systems to increase, decrease, or regulate nervous system activity, within and outside of the brain, with the therapeutic intent of improving nervous system functioning1 . At the RP-CNBI, we use neuromodulatory intervention in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type (DAT), and other forms of neurodegenerative diseases.


Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that uses a weak electric current to influence brain activity2 . There are various forms of tES, such as transcranial alternating current stimulation (tAS) and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS)3 . Studies at the RP-CNBI make use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), coupled with cognitive rehabilitation strategies, to influence brain activity.


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of tES that involves a one-way, constant flow of current into the brain2. In tDCS, current flows from electrodes placed on the scalp, through a conductive buffer, and into the brain, to make brain regions more or less likely to help with a cognitive task, such as learning and memory. The amount of current is very small since the devices used to administer tDCS are powered by 9V batteries, similar to what you would find in a standard smoke detector. tDCS has been used in thousands of studies throughout the world and is considered very safe. At the RP-CNBI, we employ high definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS). This, coupled with the use of a multi-electrode set-up, offers greater precision to target a specific brain region than traditional tDCS. 

For more information on our active projects, click here.

For citations, see bottom of page. 

Abbreviations Key:

RP-CNBI = Research Program on Cognition and Neuromodulation Based Interventions

MCI = Mild Cognitive Impairment

DAT = Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type

tES = Transcranial Electric Stimulation

tDCS = Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

TMS = Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation 

STIM = Stimulation to Improve Memory

PCN = Patient Centered Neurorehabilitation 

fMRI = functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

PET = Positron Emmission Tomography 

Associated Research 

Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Our program works in collaboration with the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center. More information about the Center and the other research opportunities they offer can be found here. 

Cognitive Intervention, Design, Evaluation, and Reporting (CIDER)

CIDER's purpose is the advancement of methodological quality in cognitive-oriented treatments (COTs). It was created during the Alzheimer's Association International conference in 2014 with the Non-pharmacological interventions PIA (NPI-PIA) or ISTAART, by a group of researchers committed to credible and reliable knowledge in the COT field. To read more, please visit the CIDER website here.  


CogTale is a database comprising specific elements of all relevant cognitive intervention trials for aging adults. To read more about COGTALE, please click here


[1] Krames, E. S., Peckham, P.H., Rezai, A.R., & Aboelsaad, F. (2009). Chapter 1—What Is Neuromodulation? In E. S. Krames, P. H. Peckham, & A. R. Rezai (Eds.), Neuromodulation (pp. 3–8). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-374248-3.00002-1
[2] Reed, T., & Cohen Kadosh, R. (2018). Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) mechanisms and its effects on cortical excitability and connectivity. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, 41(6), 1123–1130. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10545-018-0181-4
[3] Inukai, Y., Saito, K., Sasaki, R., Tsuiki, S., Miyaguchi, S., Kojima, S., Masaki, M., Otsuru, N., & Onishi, H. (2016). Comparison of Three Non-Invasive Transcranial Electrical Stimulation Methods for Increasing Cortical Excitability. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 668. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00668