Investigating closed loop brain stimulation and next generation brain machine interfaces

The Clinical Neurotechnology Laboratory investigates how neurotechnologies can be used in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Neurotechnologies are technological and computer-assisted tools that analyze brain signals and are capable of modifying them in a targeted manner. These include advanced neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG), non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), such as transcranial electric and magnetic stimulation (tES/TMS), and neuromodulation based on brainstate-dependent sensory feedback.

In its core, the laboratory develops and applies novel brain-computer and machine interfaces (BCI/BMI) translating brain activity into control commands of external devices, and their combination with non-invasive brain stimulation.

Research
Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation
In order to advance the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders, our lab develops methods for noninvasive neuromodulation of electromagnetic brain oscillations. On the one hand, we build upon existing methods such as transcranial electric (tES) or magnetic (TMS) stimulation, as well as sensory stimulation protocols. On the other hand, we develop novel stimulator technology to refine the targeting of specific brain areas using multiple interfering electromagnetic fields. Research has revealed that the effects of noninvasive neuromodulation depend crucially on the ongoing brain state. For this reason, we employ real-time computer systems that obtain ongoing brain activity to ensure that the timing of our stimuli respect these vital windows of opportunity. Our methods are then employed to investigate basic mechanisms of perception (e.g. binocular rivalry) and cognition (e.g. working memory), with an eye towards clinical translations in the context of pathological brain oscillations in psychiatry and neurology.
Real-Time Modeling and Classification of Brain States
To characterize the state of the brain during neuromodulation, we record electromagneticoscillations via electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). We then apply established approaches such as linear classifiers and connectivity measures in combination with source reconstruction methods, but also develop innovative mathematical approaches allowing for the quantification of other aspects of brain physiology, such as its dynamic character. This includes a range of methods such as measure of brain (transfer) entropy and the phase flows (traveling waves) between brain areas. We also work on specialized real-time hardware capable of processing incoming EEG data in under 5 milliseconds and triggering TMS pulses according to the ongoing brain state.
Neural Control of Exoskeletons
For the rehabilitation of neuronal motor function after damage, as in the case of stroke or spinal cord injury, we develop brain-computer interfaces (BCI) that control assistive devices such as exoskeletons. Using EEG and MEG, we read out brain signals from the damaged region in the sensorimotor cortex while patients attempt or imagine movement with the affected hand. This signal is translated in a control signal for a robotic arm, restoring daily living functions while allowing the damaged connections to heal.
Optically Pumped Magnetometers
To develop next-generation brain-computer interfaces, we are establishing ourselves at the forefront of noninvasive sensor technology for the measurement of the brain’s magnetic field. Optically pumped magnetometers (OPM) allow the recording of MEG signals at room temperature, without liquid helium and the costs associated with maintaining large, complex, and expensive equipment. Furthermore, this technology is projected to surpass conventional MEG sensors in terms of resolution and signal quality within the next few years, simultaneously allowing measurements while the participant ismobile. We are therefore developing novel BCI applications with this technology.
Publications
2020

Liew SL, Zavaliangos-Petropulu A, Jahanshad N, Lang CE, Hayward KS, Lohse KR, Juliano JM, Assogna F, Baugh LA, Bhattacharya AK, Bigjahan B, Borich MR, Boyd LA, Brodtmann A, Buetefisch CM, ... ... Soekadar SR, et al.The ENIGMA Stroke Recovery Working Group: Big data neuroimaging to study brain-behavior relationships after stroke. Human Brain Mapping. 2020 (3) PMID 32310331 DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25015

Ros T, Enriquez-Geppert S, Zotev V, Young KD, Wood G, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Wan F, Vuilleumier P, Vialatte F, Van De Ville D, Todder D, Surmeli T, Sulzer JS, Strehl U, Sterman MB, ... ... Soekadar SR, et al.Consensus on the reporting and experimental design of clinical and cognitive-behavioural neurofeedback studies (CRED-nf checklist). Brain : a Journal of Neurology 2020 (3) PMID 32176800 DOI: 10.1093/brain/awaa009

Cavallo A, Roth V, Haslacher D, Nann N, Soekadar SR. Minimizing Biosignal Recording Sites for Noninvasive Hybrid Brain/Neural Control. IEEE Systems Journal 2020 (in press) DOI:10.1109/JSYST.2020.3021485

Nann N, Cordella F, Trigili F, Lauretti C, Bravi M, Miccinilli S, Catalan JM, Badesa FJ, Crea S, Bressi F, Garcia-Aracil N, Vitiello N, Zollo L, Soekadar SR.Restoring Activities of Daily Living Using an EEG/EOG-Controlled Semiautonomous and Mobile Whole-Arm Exoskeleton in Chronic Stroke. IEEE Systems Journal 2020 (in press) DOI: 10.1109/JSYST.2020.3021751

2019

Dimitrov S, Lange T, Gouttefangeas C, Jensen AT, Szczepanski M, Lehnnolz J, Soekadar SR, Rammensee HG, Jan Born J, Luciana Besedovsky L. Gαs-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine 216 (3) 517-526. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20181169

Finkel S, Veit R, Lotze M, Friberg A, Vuust P, Soekadar SR, Brinbaumer N, Kleber B. Intermittent theta burst stimulation over right somatosensory larynx cortex enhances vocal pitch‐regulation in nonsingers. Hum Brain Mapp; 1– 14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24515

Nann M, Cohen LG, Deecke L, Soekadar SR. To jump or not to jump – The Bereitschaftspotential required to jump into 192-meter abyss. Sci Rep, 9(1): 2243. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-38447-w

Zrenner B, Gordon P, Kempf A, Belardinelli P, McDermott E, Soekadar SR, Fallgatter AJ, Zrenner C, Ziemann U, Müller-Dahlhaus F. Alpha-Synchronized Stimulation of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) in Major Depression: A Proof-of-Principle EEG-TMS Study. Converging Clinical and Engineering Research on Neurorehabilitation III. ICNR 2018. Biosystems & Biorobotics, vol 21. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-01845-0_216

Barios JA, Ezquerro S, Bertomeu-Motos A, Lledó LD, Nann M, Soekadar SR, Garcia-Aracil N. Sensory Feedback with a Hand Exoskeleton Increases EEG Modulation in a Brain-Machine Interface System.Converging Clinical and Engineering Research on Neurorehabilitation III. ICNR 2018. Biosystems & Biorobotics, vol 21. Springer, Cham, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-01845-0_220

Fujiwara T, Ushiba J, Soekadar SR. Neurorehabilitation: Neural Plasticity and Functional Recovery 2018. Neural plasticity, 7812148. DOI: 10.1155/2019/7812148

Bertomeu-Motos A, Ezquerro S, Barios JA, Lledó LD, Domingo S, Nann M, Martin S, Soekadar SR, Garcia-Aracil N. User activity recognition system to improve the performance of environmental control interfaces: a pilot study with patients. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 16:10. DOI: 10.1186/s12984-018-0477-5

Click here to see earlier publications
2018

Morgalla MH, de Barros Filho MF, Chander BS, Soekadar SR, Tatagiba M, Lepski G. Neurophysiological Effects of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation (DRGS) in Pain Processing at the Cortical Level. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 22: 36-43. DOI:10.1111/ner.12900

Ruddy K, Balsters J, Mantini D, Liu Q, Kassraian-Fard P, Enz N, Mihelj E, Subhash Chander B, Soekadar SR, Wenderoth N. Neural activity related to volitional regulation of cortical excitability. eLife, 7, e40843. DOI:10.7554/eLife.40843

Guger C, Del R. Millán J, Mattia D,Ushiba J, Soekadar SR, Prabhakaran V, Mrachacz-Kersting N, Kamada K, Allison BZ. Brain-computer interfaces for stroke rehabilitation: summary of the 2016 BCI Meeting in Asilomar. Brain-Computer Interfaces, 5:2-3, 41-57, DOI: 10.1080/2326263X.2018.1493073

Crea S, Nann M, Trigili E, Cordella F, Baldoni A, Badesa FJ, Catalán JM, Zollo L, Vitiello N, Aracil NG, Soekadar SR. Feasibility and safety of shared EEG/EOG and vision-guided autonomous whole-arm exoskeleton control to perform activities of daily living. Scientific Reports. 8: 10823. PMID 30018334 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29091-5

Cervera MA, Soekadar SR, Ushiba J, Millán JDR, Liu M, Birbaumer N, Garipelli G. Brain-computer interfaces for post-stroke motor rehabilitation: a meta-analysis. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. 5: 651-663. PMID 29761128 DOI: 10.1002/acn3.544

Liew SL, Anglin JM, Banks NW, et al. A large, open source dataset of stroke anatomical brain images and manual lesion segmentations. Sci Data. 2018;5:180011. DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2018.11

Barios JA, Ezquerro S, Bertomeu-Motos A, Nann M, Badesa FJ, Fernandez E, Soekadar SR, Garcia-Aracil N. Synchronization of Slow Cortical Rhythms During Motor Imagery-Based Brain-Machine Interface Control. International Journal of Neural Systems. DOI: 10.1142/S0129065718500454

Ableitner T, Soekadar SR, Strobbe C, Schilling A, Zimmermann G. Interaction techniques for a neural-guided hand exoskeleton. Procedia Computer Science, 141, 442-446. DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2018.10.164

2017

Klinzing JG, Kugler S, Soekadar SR, Rasch B, Born J, Diekelmann S. Odor cueing during slow-wave sleep benefits memory independently of low cholinergic tone. Psychopharmacology. PMID 29119218 DOI: 10.1007/s00213-017-4768-5

Clausen J, Fetz E, Donoghue J, Ushiba J, Spörhase U, Chandler J, Birbaumer N, Soekadar SR. Help, hope, and hype: Ethical dimensions of neuroprosthetics. Science (New York, N.Y.). 356: 1338-1339. PMID 28663460 DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7731

Barios JA, Ezquerro S, Bertomeu A, Fernández E, Nann M, Soekadar SR, Aracil NG. Delta-Theta Intertrial Phase Coherence Increases During Task Switching in a BCI Paradigm. Biomedical Applications Based on Natural and Artificial Computing. IWINAC 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10338. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-59773-7_11

Thut G, Bergmann TO, Fröhlich F, Soekadar SR, Brittain JS, Valero-Cabré A, Sack AT, Miniussi C, Antal A, Siebner HR, Ziemann U, Herrmann CS. Guiding transcranial brain stimulation by EEG/MEG to interact with ongoing brain activity and associated functions: A position paper. Clinical Neurophysiology, 128;5: 843-857, DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2017.01.003

2016

Soekadar SR, Herring JD, McGonigle D. Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) and NeuroImaging: the state-of-the-art, new insights and prospects in basic and clinical neuroscience. NeuroImage, 140: 1-3. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.08.020.

Chander BS, Witkowski M, Braun C, Robinson SE, Born J, Cohen LG, Birbaumer N, Soekadar SR. tACS Phase Locking of Frontal Midline Theta Oscillations Disrupts Working Memory Performance. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 10: 120. PMID 27199669 DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00120

Deecke L, Soekadar SR. Beyond the point of no return: Last-minute changes in human motor performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID 27147601 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1604257113

Ushiba J, Soekadar SR. Chapter 6 – Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia. Progress in Brain Research. 228:163-183. DOI: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2016.04.020

2015

Liew SL, Rana M, Cornelsen S, Fortunato de Barros Filho M, Birbaumer N, Sitaram R, Cohen LG, Soekadar SR. Improving Motor Corticothalamic Communication After Stroke Using Real-Time fMRI Connectivity-Based Neurofeedback. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. PMID 26671217 DOI: 10.1177/1545968315619699

Witkowski M, Garcia-Cossio E, Chander BS, Braun C, Birbaumer N, Robinson SE, Soekadar SR. Mapping entrained brain oscillations during transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). Neuroimage. PMID 26481671 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.10.024

Garcia-Cossio E, Witkowski M, Robinson SE, Cohen LG, Birbaumer N, Soekadar SR. Simultaneous transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG): assessing the impact of tDCS on slow cortical magnetic fields. Neuroimage. PMID 26455796DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.068

Laske C, Sohrabi HR, Frost SM, López-de-Ipiña K, Garrard P, Buscema M, Dauwels J, Soekadar SR, Mueller S, Linnemann C, Bridenbaugh SA, Kanagasingam Y, Martins RN, O’Bryant SE. Innovative diagnostic tools for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 11: 561-78. PMID 25443858 DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2014.06.004

Cortese M, Cempini M, De Almeida Ribeiro PR, Soekadar SR, Carrozza MC, Vitiello N. A Mechatronic System for Robot-Mediated Hand Telerehabilitation. Ieee/Asme Transactions On Mechatronics. 20: 1753-1764. DOI: 10.1109/TMECH.2014.2353298

Soekadar SR, Birbaumer N. Brain–machine interfaces for communication in complete paralysis: Ethical implications and challenges. Handbook of Neuroethics. 705-724. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-4707-4_41

Soekadar SR, Silvoni S, Cohen LG, Birbaumer N. Brain–machine interfaces in stroke neurorehabilitation. Clinical Systems Neuroscience. 3-14. DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-55037-2_1

Soekadar SR, Witkowski M, Birbaumer N, Cohen LG. Enhancing Hebbian Learning to Control Brain Oscillatory Activity. Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). PMID 24626608 DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhu043

2014

Soekadar SR, Witkowski M, Vitiello N, Birbaumer N. An EEG/EOG-based hybrid brain-neural computer interaction (BNCI) system to control an exoskeleton for the paralyzed hand. Biomedical Engineering. 60: 199-205. PMID 25490027 DOI: 10.1515/bmt-2014-0126

Witkowski M, Cortese M, Cempini M, Mellinger J, Vitiello N, Soekadar SR. Enhancing brain-machine interface (BMI) control of a hand exoskeleton using electrooculography (EOG). Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation. 11: 165. PMID 25510922 DOI: 10.1186/1743-0003-11-165

Soekadar SR, Birbaumer N, Slutzky MW, Cohen LG. Brain-machine interfaces in neurorehabilitation of stroke. Neurobiology of Disease. PMID 25489973 DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.11.025

Soekadar SR, Witkowski M, Cossio EG, Birbaumer N, Cohen LG. Learned EEG-based brain self-regulation of motor-related oscillations during application of transcranial electric brain stimulation: feasibility and limitations. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 8: 93. PMID 24672456 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00093

Broetz D, Del Grosso NA, Rea M, Ramos-Murguialday A, Soekadar SR, Birbaumer N. A new hand assessment instrument for severely affected stroke patients. Neurorehabilitation. 34: 409-27. PMID 24518537 DOI: 10.3233/NRE-141063

Birbaumer N, Gallegos-Ayala G, Wildgruber M, Silvoni S, Soekadar SR. Direct brain control and communication in paralysis. Brain Topography. 27: 4-11. PMID 23536247 DOI: 10.1007/s10548-013-0282-1

2013

Soekadar SR, Born J, Birbaumer N, Bensch M, Halder S, Murguialday AR, Gharabaghi A, Nijboer F, Schölkopf B, Martens S. Fragmentation of slow wave sleep after onset of complete locked-in state. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : Jcsm : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 9: 951-3. PMID 23997708 DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.3002

Soekadar SR, Witkowski M, Cossio EG, Birbaumer N, Robinson SE, Cohen LG. In vivo assessment of human brain oscillations during application of transcranial electric currents. Nature Communications. 4: 2032. PMID 23787780 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3032

Ramos-Murguialday A, Broetz D, Rea M, Läer L, Yilmaz O, Brasil FL, Liberati G, Curado MR, Garcia-Cossio E, Vyziotis A, Cho W, Agostini M, Soares E, Soekadar S, Caria A, et al. Brain-machine interface in chronic stroke rehabilitation: a controlled study. Annals of Neurology. 74: 100-8. PMID 23494615 DOI: 10.1002/ana.23879

Ruiz S, Lee S, Soekadar SR, Caria A, Veit R, Kircher T, Birbaumer N, Sitaram R. Acquired self-control of insula cortex modulates emotion recognition and brain network connectivity in schizophrenia. Human Brain Mapping. 34: 200-12. PMID 22021045 DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21427

Papadelis C, Braun C, Pantazis D, Soekadar SR, Bamidis P. Using brain waves to control computers and machines. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction. 2013. DOI: 10.1155/2013/802063

De Almeida Ribeiro PR, Lima Brasil F, Witkowski M, Shiman F, Cipriani C, Vitiello N, Carrozza MC, Soekadar SR. Controlling assistive machines in paralysis using brain waves and other biosignals. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction. 2013. DOI: 10.1155/2013/369425

Buyukturkoglu K, Rana M, Ruiz S, Hackley SA, Soekadar SR, Birbaumer N, Sitaram R. Volitional regulation of the supplementary motor area with fMRI-BCI neurofeedback in Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study. International Ieee/Embs Conference On Neural Engineering, Ner. 677-681. DOI: 10.1109/NER.2013.6696025.

2012

Meyer T, Peters J, Brtz D, Zander TO, Scholkopf B, Soekadar SR, Grosse-Wentrup M. A brain-robot interface for studying motor learning after stroke. Ieee International Conference On Intelligent Robots and Systems. 4078-4083. DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2012.6385646

2011

Soekadar SR, Witkowski M, Mellinger J, Ramos A, Birbaumer N, Cohen LG. ERD-based online brain-machine interfaces (BMI) in the context of neurorehabilitation: optimizing BMI learning and performance. Ieee Transactions On Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering : a Publication of the Ieee Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. 19: 542-9. PMID 21984519 DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2011.2166809

ilk AJ, Soekadar SR, Sauseng P, Plewnia C. Alpha coherence predicts accuracy during a visuomotor tracking task. Neuropsychologia. 49: 3704-9. PMID 21964200 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.09.026

2010

Broetz D, Braun C, Weber C, Soekadar SR, Caria A, Birbaumer N. Combination of brain-computer interface training and goal-directed physical therapy in chronic stroke: a case report. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 24: 674-9. PMID 20519741 DOI: 10.1177/1545968310368683

2009

Soekadar SR, Arfeller C, Rilk A, Plontke SK, Plewnia C. Theta burst stimulation in the treatment of incapacitating tinnitus accompanied by severe depression. Cns Spectrums. 14: 208-11. PMID 19407732

2008

Broetz D, Soekadar SR, Birbaumer N. On “a four-week, task-specific neuroprosthesis program…” Dunning K, et al. Phys Ther. 88:397-405. Physical Therapy. 88: 970; author reply 97. PMID 18676380 DOI: 10.2522/ptj.2008.88.8.970.1

Plewnia C, Rilk AJ, Soekadar SR, Arfeller C, Huber HS, Sauseng P, Hummel F, Gerloff C. Enhancement of long-range EEG coherence by synchronous bifocal transcranial magnetic stimulation. The European Journal of Neuroscience. 27: 1577-83. PMID 18336566 DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06124.x

Buch E, Weber C, Cohen LG, Braun C, Dimyan MA, Ard T, Mellinger J, Caria A, Soekadar S, Fourkas A, Birbaumer N. Think to move: a neuromagnetic brain-computer interface (BCI) system for chronic stroke. Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation. 39: 910-7. PMID 18258825 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.505313

Soekadar SR, Haagen K, Birbaumer N. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI): Restoration of movement and thought from neuroelectric and metabolic brain activity. Understanding Complex Systems. 229-252. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74479-5_11

2007

Laske C, Soekadar SR, Laszlo R, Plewnia C. Brugada syndrome in a patient treated with lithium. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 164: 1440-1. PMID 17728436 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07020226

Marano CM, Phatak P, Vemulapalli UR, Sasan A, Nalbandyan MR, Ramanujam S, Soekadar SR, Demosthenous M, Regenold WT. Increased plasma concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor with electroconvulsive therapy: A pilot study in patients with major depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 68: 512-517. PMID 17474805

Laske C, Stransky E, Leyhe T, Eschweiler GW, Maetzler W, Wittorf A, Soekadar SR, Richartz E, Koehler N, Bartels M, Buchkremer G, Schott K. BDNF serum and CSF concentrations in Alzheimer’s disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus and healthy controls. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 41: 387-394. PMID 16554070 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2006.01.014

Media

Video documentation of the German Newsmagazine DER SPIEGEL
“Dream on, Cyborgs”

Video documentation of the Federal Press Office “AI can read minds”

Video documentation of the Einstein Foundation Berlin

Team
Clinical neurotechnology lab team
Prof. Dr. Surjo Soekadar - Group leader

Prof. Dr. Surjo Soekadar
Einstein Professor of Clinical Neurotechnology, Head of Laboratory

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Surjo R. Soekadar is Einstein Professor of Clinical Neurotechnology at the Charité –University Medicine Berlin. After studying medicine in Mainz, Heidelberg and Baltimore, he completed his residency in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Tübingen, Germany. From 2008-2011 he was visiting research fellow at the National Institute ofNeurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in Bethesda, USA. In 2017, he received the venia legendiat the University of Tübingen and, in 2018, he was appointed Germany's first professor of clinical neurotechnology at the Charité in Berlin. For his scientific work, which is also funded by the European Research Council (ERC), Surjo Soekadar has received numerous awards including the International BCI Research Award and the BIOMAG and NARSAD Young Investigator Awards.
Marius Nann - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Marius Nann, MSc
Doctoral Student

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Marius Nann is a research associate and doctoral student at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University of Tübingen, and has been working in the ‘Clinical Neurotechnology Laboratory’ headed by Professor Soekadar since 2015. From 2008-2012, he first studied Medical Technology at Ulm University of Applied Sciences and continued his studies from 2012-2015 at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen/Nuremberg. In 2014, he completed his Master’s thesis at the University of Calgary. During his studies, Marius Nann worked for Otto-Bock Healthcare GmbH in Duderstadt and adidas AG in Herzogenaurach. As Ph.D. candidate, his research interests include the development and clinical use of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to reliably control wearable robotics in daily life environments for patients with neurological disorders.
David Haslacher - Clinical neurotechnology lab

David Haslacher, MSc
Doctoral Student

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David Haslacher is currently working towards a doctoral degree in medical neuroscience at the Charité in Berlin, where he has been employed as a research associate in the Clinical Neurotechnology group headed by Prof. Soekadar since 2018. From 2016 to 2018 he was employed in the Applied Neurotechnology group at the University Clinic Tübingen. During this time, he completed a master’s degree in computational neuroscience at the University of Tübingen. From 2013 to 2015, he completed a master’s degree in artificial intelligence at the University of Utrecht. From 2009 to 2012, he completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Munich. During this time, he worked as a software developer in various industries including aerospace engineering (Silver Atena GmbH), machine tools (Grob-Werke GmbH), pharmaceuticals (Siemens Healthcare GmbH), and automotive (Bosch GmbH). His research interests are centered on the development of noninvasive closed-loop electromagnetic and sensory brain stimulation protocols for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Khaled Nasr - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Kahled Nasr, MSc
Doctoral Student

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I started my studies with a bachelor in mechatronics engineering because I was always interested in robotics and artificial intelligence. My interests gradually shifted towards the brain and so I did my master's in computational neuroscience in Tübingen. Now I've settled on working at the intersection of technology and neuroscience. My goal is to develop reliable and specific methods for the noninvasive interaction with human brain activity, and that constitutes the bulk of my work as a doctoral student at the clinical neurotechnology lab. My main project is about developing a novel method for transcranial magnetic stimulation that combines the magnetic fields from multiple coils to obtain improved spatial resolution. I'm also interested in other noninvasive technologies such as optically-pumped magnetometers and generally in closed-loop brain stimulation methods.
Anne Wrana - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Anne Wrana
Medical-laboratory
assistant

Annalsia Collucci - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Annalisa Colucci, MSc
Doctoral Student

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Ms. Annalisa Colucci graduated from the BSc program in Psychological Sciences and Techniques at the University of Turin (Italy) in 2016 and graduated from the MSc degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Padua (Italy) in 2018. In 2019 Ms. Colucci joined the Clinical Neurotechnology Lab at the Charité –University Medicine Berlin as research assistant, where she is now pursuing a PhD in “Experimental Medicine”. She has been involved in the development and testing of a context-aware, brain-controlled hand exoskeleton for quadriplegic and stroke patients and on the development of a novel entropy-driven Brain Computer Interface. Her current work focuses on combining BCI and closed-loop brain electrical stimulation to foster neuroplasticity and healing processes for damaged neural substrates of sensorimotor functions.
Mareike Vermehren - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Mareike Vermehren, MSc
Doctoral Student

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After completing my studies of Cognitive Science and Neural and Behavioural Science in Tübingen, I joined the team in Berlin, where I am currently working on the combination of BCI technology and tACS for rehabilitation of motor function in stroke patients. My research interests lie in neurorehabilitation, brain-computer interfaces and bio-signal processing.
Orestis Rakitzis - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Orestis Rakitzis, MSc
Research Associate

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I studied Medicine at the A.U.Th (GR) from 2009 to 2015. After a period of working in hospital clinics, I decided to follow my passion for brain research and moved to Berlin for a two-year M.Sc. in Medical Neurosciences at the Charite Universitätsmedizin Berlin. My scientific interests include NIBS, Psychiatry and Decision making.
Joel Aftreth - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Joel Aftreth, BSc
Research Associate

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Joel is finishing his masters in Computational Neuroscience and is currently working on a deep learning based brain computer interface using convolutional neural networks, and is also exploring how to more precisely stimulate the brain with temporal interference electrical stimulation. He is an amazing dancer as well, like really, wow.
Alessia Cavallo - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Alessia Cavallo, BSc
Research Associate

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Alessia Cavallo studied Cognitive Science in Tübingen and is currently a master student in Computational Neuroscience at the BCCN Berlin. Since she joined the "Clinical Neurotechnology" lab she has been working on the enhancement of Brain-Computer-Interfaces and Closed-Loop electrical stimulation. Also, she created this nice website.
Jan Zerfowski - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Jan Zerfowski, BSc
Research Associate

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Jan studied Computer Science and Cognitive Science in Münster, Osnabrück and Nijmegen. He is currently working on his Master's thesis, researching the feasibility of exoskeleton control with Optically Pumped Magnetometers.
Cornelius Angerhöfer - Clinical neurotechnology lab

Cornelius Angerhöfer
Medical Doctoral Student

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Cornelius Angerhöfer joined the lab in 2019 and is currently doing his doctoral thesis alongside his medical studies at Tuebingen University. In his work, he developes clinical methods to evaluate neural hand exoskeletons on their real benefits for stroke patients and persons with spinal cord injury.
Contact
We are always looking for researcher and motivated students who want to join our group.
Feel free to contact us via the e-mail:
Or directly contact the the team member that is currently working on the topic you are interested in!
You can find us at:
Neurowissenschaftliches Forschungszentrum (NWFZ)
Campus Charité Mitte
Hufelandweg 14
10117 Berlin
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