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leoneAlvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD (Director)

Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation; Program Director of the Harvard-Thorndike Clinical Research Unit; and an Attending Neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - all in Boston. He is a practicing behavioral neurologist and movement disorders specialist.

Dr. Pascual-Leone received his M.D. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1985, both from Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. Following an internship in Medicine at Staedtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe in Germany and residency in Internal Medicine at Hospital Universitario de Valencia in Spain, Dr. Pascual-Leone completed a Neurology residency at the Univeristy of Minnesota, and then trained in Clinical Neurophysiology and Human Motor Control at the University of Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He joined Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1997, after several years at the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council.

Dr. Pascual-Leone is a world leader in research and development, clinical application, and teaching of noninvasive brain stimulation. Through Harvard's continuing medical education program, Dr. Pascual-Leone and the Berenson-Allen Center offer the longest-running medical education course in the world in noninvasive brain stimulation.

Dr. Pascual-Leone's work has been fundamental in establishing noninvasive brain stimulation, particularly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as a valuable tool in cognitive neurology, increasing knowledge about its mechanisms of action, critically improving the technology and its integration with several brain-imaging methodologies, and helping to create the field of therapeutic noninvasive brain stimulation. In clinical trials, he has provided proof-of-principle evidence for the efficacy of noninvasive brain stimulation in treating various neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson disease, chronic pain, autism, and drug-resistant depression. Dr. Pascual-Leone has authored more than 450 scientific papers as well as several books, and is listed inventor in several patents. His work is highly regarded for its innovation and quality and is highly cited. According to the ISI Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar, Pascual-Leone has over 80 papers cited more than 100 times, an average citations per publication of 84, a total number of citations of nearly 30,000, an "h" index of 94 and an i10-index of 319. Dr. Pascual-Leone ranks number 1 among authors worldwide in the specific field of "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" and "Noninvasive Brain Stimulation" (

Dr Pascual-Leone is the recipient of several international honors and awards, including the Ramón y Cajal Award in Neuroscience (Spain), the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), and the Jean-Louis Signoret Prize from the Ipsen Foundation (France). He is an elected member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Science (Farmacia). His work also has wide general public appeal and outreach through dissemination in articles in the lay press (Time Magazine, Newsweek, New Scientist, National Geographic) and documentaries on television and radio (Scientific American, 60 minutes, CNN, BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, etc.)

Dr. Pascual-Leone's current research aims at understanding the mechanisms that control brain plasticity across the life span to be able to modify them for the patient's optimal behavioral outcome, prevent age-related cognitive decline, reduce the risk for dementia, and minimize the impact of developmental disorders such as autism. Presently he is also the principal investigator of two multicenter studies assessing the therapeutic utility of noninvasive brain stimulation in Parkinson disease.

pressDaniel Z. Press, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School

Daniel Press, MD is a cognitive neurologist with a clinical and research interest in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Originally from Vernon, Connecticut he attended the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate studies, where he majored in the Biological Basis of Behavior, an interest that continues to this day. He attended the University of Connecticut School of Medicine for his medical training. During his medical training, he attended the Howard Hughes Medical Institute - National Institutes of Health Research Scholar Program for one year at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. he then trained in neurology in the Harvard Longwood Neurology Training Program. He trained in Cognitive Neurology in the BIDMC Cognitive Neurology Fellowship, a training program that he now directs. His research interests include developing new treatments for the cognitive symptoms in Parkinson's disease; and determining the effect of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease on motor learning.

When he's not seeing patients, doing research, or writing grants, he can enjoys tennis, biking, and trying to convince his 10-year old daughter to go camping!

robisonEdwin M. Robertson, B.M., B.Ch., D.Phil.

Associate Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School

B.A., Medical & Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
D.Phil., Physiological Sciences, University of Oxford
B.M., B.Ch., Medicine, University of Oxford
Full Registration with the General Medical Council (GMC)

My research is focused upon understanding the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying memory. Much of my recent interest has focused upon the "off-line" processes that modify memories after their initial acquisition over sleep and wakefulness. We have begun to understand some of the psychological mechanisms at play during off-line processing, and are seeking to complement this understanding with a greater appreciation for the neurophysiological mechanisms at play. We have recently shown that interference between memories prevents off-line processing over wakefulness, and demonstrated that disrupting the function of brain areas can relieve interference without affecting either of the individual memories. Thus, memory interference may not only impair memory retention it may also provide a means to control memory processing, determining those memories that are, and are not, processed off-line. We have started to define the brain circuits engaged to support off-line learning and to understand how the operation of these neural mechanisms may be controlled by memory interference. Overall, my laboratory seeks to better understand memory processing, and to harness that understanding to enhance human cognition and performance.

Selected Publications:
Cohen, D.A. & Robertson, E.M. (2011) Preventing interference between different memory tasks. Nature Neuroscience 14, 953 - 955.

Robertson, E.M. (2009) From creation to consolidation: a novel framework of memory processing. PLoS Biology 7(1): e1000019

Albert, N., Robertson, E.M. & Miall, R.C. (2009) The resting human brain and motor learning. Current Biology 19, 1023-1027

Brown, R.M. & Robertson, E.M. (2007) Off-line processing: reciprocal interactions between declarative and procedural memories. Journal of Neuroscience 27, 10468-10475.

Brown, R. & Robertson, E.M. (2007) Inducing motor skill improvements with a declarative task. Nature Neuroscience 10, 148-149.

Robertson, E.M., Pascual-Leone, A. & Press, D.Z. (2004) Awareness modifies the skill-learning benefits of sleep. Current Biology 14, 208-212.

alonso-alonsoMiguel Alonso-Alonso, MD MPhil

Instructor in Neurology

Education History: Miguel is a physician-scientist working at this Center since October 2005. Originally from Galicia, on the North West coast of Spain, he is board-certified in Neurology in the European Union. Additionally, he holds Master degrees in Clinical Neuroscience (University College London), Neuroscience (University of Vigo), and Clinical Investigation-CITP Program (Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technologies). Miguel has expertise in different methodologies in basic and clinical neuroscience, including functional and structural neuroimaging, computer-based neuropsychological testing and noninvasive brain stimulation techniques. Aside from his position at the Center, he is also a collaborator at the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine (Dr. George L. Blackburn), and the Division of Endocrinology (Dr. Christos S. Mantzoros) of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also a member of the Boston Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and often collaborates with the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. You can contact him at
Personal interests/Hobbies: Traveling, hiking, running, swimming, playing the piano and exploring new restaurants.

Personal Goals: Miguel's research focuses on the neurocognitive basis of eating behavior, using an interdisciplinary approach that combines elements of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, nutrition and ingestive behavior. He is interested in understanding how executive functions shape human eating behavior and food choice in our daily lives, and also how they interact with sensory signals and hormones related to appetite and food intake. He has a special interest for the neurocognitive basis of interindividual differences in this area, and the development of new brain- and cognition-based therapies to enhance eating control in pathological situations, such as obesity. He is also interested in applying this research to various disciplines, even if unrelated, and enjoy innovation, creativity, and technological developments. From a broader angle, Miguel is also interested in the consequences of this research both for the individual and the society.

Research Publications:

Kilner JM, Alonso-Alonso M, Fisher R, Lemon RN. Modulation of synchrony between single motor units during precision grip tasks in humans. Journal of Physiology 2002;541(3):937-948.

Rivas E, Sánchez-Herrero J, Alonso M, Alvarez MJ, Teijeira S, Ballestin C, Tardio A, Navarro C. Miliary brain metastases presenting as rapidly progressive dementia. Neuropathology 2005;25(2):153-8.

Alonso-Alonso M, Sánchez-Herrero J, Lázaro-Quintela M, Gómez-Alonso J. Whole-body positron emission tomography: should official regulations be urgently changed? Revista de Neurología 2005;41(10):639-40.

Alonso-Alonso M, Rodríguez Prada JI, Gómez-Alonso J. Pancreatitis coincident with valproate and olanzapine use. Neurologia. 2006 Jan-Feb;21(1):47-8.

Boggio PS, Alonso-Alonso M, Mansur CG, Rigonatti SP, Pascual-Leone A, Fregni F. Hand Function Improvement with Low-Frequency rTMS of the Unaffected Hemisphere in a Severe Case of Stroke. The American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2006;85:927-30.

Alonso-Alonso M, Pascual-Leone A. The right brain hypothesis for obesity. Journal of the American Medical Association 2007;297(16)1819-1822.

Camprodon JA, Martínez-Raga J, Alonso-Alonso M, Pascual-Leone A. One session of high frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the right prefrontal cortex transiently reduces cocaine craving. Drug and alcohol dependence 2007;86:91-4.

Bae EH, Schrader LM, Machii K, Alonso-Alonso M, Riviello JJ, Pascual-Leone A, Rotenberg A. Safety and tolerability of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in patients with epilepsy: a review of literature. Epilepsy and Behavior 2007;10(4):521-8.

Alonso-Alonso M, Fregni F, Pascual-Leone A. Brain stimulation in post-stroke rehabilitation. Cerebrovascular Diseases 2007;24 Suppl 1:157-66.

Yozbatiran N, Alonso-Alonso M, See J, Demirtas-Tatlidede A, Luu D, Motiwala RR, Pascual-Leone A, Cramer SC. Safety and behavioral effects of high frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in stroke. Stroke 2009;40:309-12.

Martin PI, Naeser MA, Ho M, Doron KW, Kurland J, Kaplan J, Wang Y, Nicholas M, Baker EH, Alonso M, Fregni F, Pascual-Leone. Overt Naming fMRI Pre- and Post-TMS: Two Nonfluent Aphasia Patients, with and without Improved Naming Post-TMS. Brain and Language 2009;111:20-35.

Naeser MA, Martin P, Lundgren K, Klein R, Kaplan J, Treglia E, Ho M, Nicholas M, Alonso M, Pascual-Leone A. Improved language in a chronic nonfluent aphasia patient following treatment with CPAP and TMS. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 2010;23:29-38.

Alonso-Alonso M, Chang B, Press DZ, Rotenberg A, Pascual-Leone A. Commentary on Kratz et al. "Seizure in a nonpredisposed individual induced by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation". Journal of ECT 2011;27(2):176-7.

Alonso-Alonso M. Quantifying reward with transcranial magnetic stimulation (commentary on Gupta and Aron). European Journal of Neuroscience 2011;33(1):182.

Alonso-Alonso M, Ziemke F, Magkos F, Barrios FA, Brinkoetter M, Boyd I, Rifkin-Graboi A, Yannakoulia M, Rojas R, Pascual-Leone A, Mantzoros CS. Brain responses to food images during the early and late follicular phase of the menstrual cycle in healthy young women: relation to fasting and feeding. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;94(2):377-84.

Joseph RJ, Alonso-Alonso M, Bond DS, Pascual-Leone A, Blackburn GL. The neurocognitive connection between physical activity and eating behavior. Obes Rev. 2011;12(10):800-12.

bashirShahid Bashir

My main research focus is in establishing cortical plasticity biomarkers using noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in combination with electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG). Currently my research revolves around enhancing the concepts of synaptic plasticity in normal individuals either with or without pharmacological interventions with the aim of establishing robust biomarkers that can potentially measure disease phenomenon along the causal pathway and predict disease trajectory. The use of such biomarkers holds special promise for better understanding the pathophysiology behind diseases like Traumatic Brain Injury and Ageing, to name a few. I am also interested in combining navigated TMS with brain imaging to explore cross-modal plasticity following brain lesions. I graduated from the University of Punjab with a degree in Biology in 2000, from the University of Fribourg with a PhD. I am working with Alvaro Pascual-Leone at Harvard Medical School from 2008.

Zaheer A, Akhtar T and Bashir S (1999): Echinoucus granulosus , histopathology of naturally infected sheep liver. Punjab univ.j.zool. Vol. No. 14. 105-111. Record number: PK2001001205

Diserens K , Herrmann F , Perret N , Chatelain S , Filipovic N , Bashir S , Ruegg D , Vuadens, P , Bogousslavsky J , Vingerhoets F (2007): The effect of repetitive arm cycling on post stroke spasticity and motor control. J Neurol Sci. 15; 253(1-2):18-24. PMID: 17241642

Stamoulis C, Praeg E, Bashir S, Chang BS, Pascual-Leone A (2009): Estimation of Brain State Changes Associated with Behavior, Stimulation and Epilepsy. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 4719-22. PMID: 19964837

Kaeser M, Wyss A, Bashir S, Hamadjida A, Liu Y, Bloch J, Brunet JF, Saif AB and Rouiller EM (2010): Long-Term effects of Unilateral Lesion of the Primary Motor Cortex (M1) on Ipsilesional Hand Dexterity in Adult Macaque Monkeys: relationship with functional recovery of the contralesional hand. J Neurophysiol. 103(3):1630-45. PMID: 20071636

Bashir S, Edwards D, and Pascual-Leone A (2010): Neuro-navigation increases the effectiveness of low-frequency rTMS on primary motor cortex in healthy subjects. Brain Topogr. (ahead of press on-line publication Nov 13). PMID: 21076861

Oberman L, Ifert-Miller F, Najib U, Bashir S, Woollacott I, Gonzalez-Heydrich J, Picker J, Rotenberg A and Pascual-Leone A (2010): Transcranial magnetic stimulation provides means to assess cortical plasticity and excitability in humans with fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Front. Syn. Neurosci. 2:26. (ahead of press on-line publication Nov 13) doi:10.3389/fnsyn.2010.00026

Stamoulis S, Oberman L, Praeg E, Bashir S, Pascual-Leone A (2011): Single Pulse TMS-Induced Modulations of Resting Brain Neurodynamics Encoded in EEG Phase. Brain Topogr. PMID: 21203817

Bashir S, Kaeser M, Wyss A, Hamadjida A, Liu Y, Bloch J, Brunet JF, Belhaj-Saif A, Rouiller EM. Short-term effects of unilateral lesion of the primary motor cortex (M1) on ipsilesional hand dexterity in adult macaque monkeys. Brain Struct Funct. 2011 May 20. PMID: 21597965

Freitas C, Perez J, Knobel M, Tormos JM, Oberman L, Eldaief M, Bashir S, Vernet M, Peña-Gómez C, Pascual-Leone A. Changes in cortical plasticity across the lifespan. Front Aging Neurosci. 2011; 3:5. PMID: 21519394

Bashir S , Mizrahi I , Weaver K , Fregni F, Pascual-Leone A (2010): Assessment and modulation of neuroplasticity in rehabilitation with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2 (12) Supplement: S253-S268. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.10.015)

Naeser MA, Martin PI, Treglia E, Ho M, Kaplan E, Bashir S, Hamilton R, Coslett HB, Pascual-Leone A (2010): Research with rTMS in the treatment of aphasia. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 28 (4):511-29. PMID: 20714075

Najib U, Bashir S, Edwards D, Rotenberg A, Pascual-Leone A (2011): Transcranial Brain Stimulation: Clinical Applications and Future Directions. Neurosurgery Clinics of North America

Naeser MA, Martin P , Ho M, Treglia E, Kaplan E, Bhashir S, Pascual-Leone A (2011): Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Aphasia Rehabilitation. Article for Summer Supplement, on Language-based Disorders in Rehabilitation For Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Pascual-Leone A, Freitas C, Oberman L, Horvath JC, Halko M, Eldaief M, Bashir S, Vernet M, Shafi M, Westover B, Vahabzadeh-Hagh AM, Rotenberg A. Characterizing Brain Cortical Plasticity and Network Dynamics Across the Age-Span in Health and Disease with TMS-EEG and TMS-fMRI. Brain Topogr. 2011 Aug 14 

battelliLorella Battelli, PhD

Assistant Professor

Education History:

B.A., Psychology, University of Padova, Italy
M.Sc., Clinical Psychophysiology and Neuropsychology, University of Padova, Italy
Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy

In the lab we study vision in the normal and cortically lesioned human subjects. The major focus of our research has been on the spatial and temporal processing of visual stimuli. We have developed a hypothesis that the right parietal lobe serves a generalized role in visual stimulus timing. These ideas were formulated in studies with parietal lesioned patients. We also use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in an attempt to examine more in detail the neurobiological processing underlying visual timing. The results of these studies have provided evidence of the role of the parietal and temporal cortices in visual timing.

Another line of research regards the use of TMS and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to study early visual functions that modify across the lifespan. Our recently published study on improved motion perception after TMS has provided some insight about the visual mechanisms that are disrupted in the elderly as well as in some affective and neurological disorders, such as severe depression and schizophrenia.

Research publications:

Tadin D., Silvanto J., Pascual-Leone A. and Battelli L. (2011) Improved motion perception and impaired spatial suppression following disruption of cortical area MT/V5. Journal of Neuroscience. 31(4): 1279-83.

Battelli L., Alvarez G., Carlson T. and Pascual-Leone A. (2009) The role of the parietal lobe in visual extinction studied with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience; 21(10):1946-55.

Cattaneo Z, Silvanto J, Battelli L. and Pascual-Leone A. (2009) The mental number line modulates visual cortical excitability. Neurosci Lett. 25;462(3):253-6.

Cattaneo Z., Silvanto J., Pascual-Leone A. and Battelli L. (2009) The middle range of the number line orients attention to the left side of visual space. Cogntivie Neuropsychology, 14:1-12.

Cattaneo Z., Silvanto J., Pascual-Leone A. and Battelli L. (2009) The role of the angular gyrus in the modulation of visuospatial attention by the mental number line. Neuroimage, 15; 44(2):563-8.

Merabet L., Battelli L., Obretenova S., Maguire S., Meijer P. and Pascual-Leone A. (2009) Functional Recruitment of Visual Cortex for sound encoded object identification in the Blind: A TMS Case Study. NeuroReport, 28; 20(2):132-8.

Battelli L., Walsh V., Pascual-Leone A. and Cavanagh P. (2008) The 'when' parietal pathway explored by lesion studies. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 18: 120-26.

VanRullen R., Pascual-Leone A. and Battelli L. (2008) The Continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion and the 'When' pathway of the right parietal lobe: a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Plos ONE 3(8) e2911.

Silvanto J., Cattaneo Z., Battelli L. and Pascual-Leone A. (2008) Baseline cortical excitability determines whether TMS disrupts or facilitates behavior. Journal of Neurophysiology, 99: 2725-30.

Battelli L., Pascual-Leone A. and Cavanagh P. (2007) The 'When' pathway of the right parietal lobe. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11(5):204-10.

Grossman E., Battelli L. and Pascual-Leone A. (2005) Repetitive TMS over posterior STS disrupts perception of biological motion. Vision Research, 45, 2847-53.

Battelli L., Cavanagh P., Martini P. and Barton JJS. (2003) Bilateral deficit of transient visual attention in right parietal patients. Brain, 126: 2164-74.

Battelli L., Cavanagh P. and Thornton IM. (2003) Perception of biological motion in parietal patients. Neuropsychologia, 41: 1808-16.

Battelli L., Black K. and Wray S.H. (2002) Transcranial magnetic stimulation of visual area V5 in migraine. Neurology, 58: 1066-1069.

Battelli L., Cavanagh P., Intriligator J, Tramo M.J., Hénaff M-A, Michèl F. and Barton J. (2001) Unilateral right parietal damage leads to bilateral deficit for high-level motion. Neuron, 32: 985-995.

Battelli L. and Humphreys G.W. (1999) Separate encoding of shapes from moving and stationary images. Neuropsychological evidence. In C. Taddei-Ferretti (Ed.), Downward Processes in the Perception Representation Mechanism. Singapore: World Scientific. (NR), 6: 263-269.

Ellison A., Battelli L., Cowey A. and Walsh V. (2003) The effect of expectation on facilitation of color/form conjunction tasks by TMS over area V5. Neuropsychologia, 41: 1794-1801.

Stewart L., Battelli L., Walsh V. and Cowey A. (1999) Motion perception and perceptual learning studied by magnetic stimulation. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 38: 210-220.

Walsh V., Ellison A., Battelli L. and Cowey A. (1998) Task-specific impairment and enhancement induced by magnetic stimulation of human visual area V5. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 265, 537-543.

Battelli L., Casco C. and Sartori G. (1997) Dissociation between contour based and texture based shape perception. A single case study. Visual Cognition, 4 (3), 275-310.

Casco C., Vestri A., Battelli L. and Sartori G. (1997) Temporal segregation deficit in visual perception: a single case study. Neurocase, 3, 349-364.

Mizuno M., Sartori G., Liccione D., Battelli L. and Campo R. (1996) Progressive visual agnosia with posterior cortical atrophy. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, 98, 176-178.

eldiafMark Eldaief, MD

Instructor in Neurology
Harvard Medical School

obermanLindsay M. Oberman, PhD

Instructor in Neurology

Education History:

B.S. Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology/Psychology Emory University
M.A., PhD. Experimental Psychology University of California, San Diego

Research Interests:

EMPATHY: Rather than perceiving something as outside and separate from yourself (duality), empathy is the ability of being that which is perceived, and becoming that which is beheld. Empathy can be experienced for others' actions, thoughts, sensations or emotions. It is the unification of object and subject. Empathy is both a cognitive process (the ability to understand another's emotional state) and an affective capacity (the sharing of the emotional state of another). My research interest lies in empathy disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorders.

MIRROR NEURONS: These neurons, located in the prefrontal cortex (area 44, Broca's area) respond to self-induced actions, imagined action, and the observation of these actions in other individuals. It is thought that similar neurons may exist in the somatosensory, cognitive, and affective systems. It has been argued that these neurons serve as a mechanism for cognitive empathy of other individuals' physical, cognitive, and emotional state and may be dysfunctional in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by a number of impairments including a lack of social empathy, a lack of understanding of other's thoughts and facial expressions, a delayed or complete absence of communication skills, difficulty with imagination, and difficulty with social interaction. Though many theories exist on the neurological basis of this enigmatic disorder, the exact cause is largely unknown. My research interest lies in using imaging and electrophysiological techniques (such as EEG, fMRI, and TMS) to investigate neural circuits whose dysfunction may account for the behavioral pathology seen in Autism Spectrum Disorders with the long term goal of developing novel therapeutic interventions.

Personal Interests:

When Lindsay is not working in the lab, she enjoys spending time with her husband and baby outdoors hiking, skiing, going to the beach, and strolling through neighborhoods.

Personal Goals:
Lindsay hopes to one day discover the cause of Autism and win the Nobel Prize!

Research Publications:

Oberman, L.M. (in press). Repetitive TMS protocols. In Pascual-Leone, A. & Rotenberg, A. (Eds.) Neuromethods: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. New York: Springer.

Oberman, L.M., Edwards, D., Eldaief, M., Pascual-Leone, A. (2011). Safety of Theta Burst Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, 28, 67-74.

Freitas, C., Perez, J., Knobel, M., Tormos, J.M., Oberman, L.M., Eldaief, M., Bashir, S. Vernet, M., Peña-Gómez, C., Pascual-Leone. A. (2011). Changes in cortical plasticity across the lifespan. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 3:5. PMID 21519394.

Pascual-Leone A, Freitas C, Oberman L.M., Horvath JC, Halko M, Eldaief M, Bashir S, Vernet M, Shafi M, Westover B, Vahabzadeh-Hagh AM, Rotenberg A. (in press) Characterizing brain cortical plasticity and network dynamics across the age-span in health and disease with TMS-EEG and TMS-fMRI. Brain Topography.

McClintock, S.M., Freitas, C., Oberman, L.M., Lisanby, S.H., Pascual-Leone, A. (2011). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Neuroscientific Probe of Cortical Function in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry. PMID: 21571254

Fecteau, S., Agosta, S., Oberman, L.M., Pascual-Leone A. (2011) Brain stimulation can improve naming in adults with Asperger's syndrome. Eur. J. Neuroscience, 34, 158-164. PMID: 21676037 Stamoulis, C., Oberman, L.M.,

Praeg, E., Pascual-Leone, A. (2011). Single pulse TMS-Induced modulations of resting brain neurodynamics encoded in EEG Phase. Brain Topography, 24, 105-13. PMID: 21203817 Oberman, L.M., Horvath, J.C., Pascual-

Leone, A. (2010). TMS: Using the Theta-Burst Protocol to Explore Mechasnism of Plasticity in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome and Autism. J. Vis Exp. 46.

Cohen, D.A., Freitas, C., Tormos, J.M., Oberman, L.M., Eldaief, M., Pascual-Leone, A. (2010). Enhancing plasticity through repeated rTMS sessions: timing matters. Clinical Neurophysiology, 121, 2159-64.

Oberman, L.M., Ifert-Miller, F., Najib, U., Bashir, S., Woollacott, I., Gonzalez-Heydrich, J., Picker, J., Rotenberg, A., Pascual-Leone, A. (2010) Transcranial magnetic stimulation provides means to assess cortical plasticity and excitability in humans with fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience, 2.

Oberman, L.M., Ramachandran, V.S., Niedenthal, P.M., Wikielman, P. (2010). Embodied Simulation-A conduit for converting perception into understanding and high-level social skills. In Balcetis, E. & Lassiter, D. (Eds.) The Social Psychology of Visual Perception. New York: Psychology Press.

Oberman, L.M. & Pascual-Leone, A. (2009) Report of Seizure Induced by Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation. Brain Stimulation, 2, 246-247.

Oberman, L.M., Winkielman, P., Ramachandran, V.S. (2009). Slow Echo: Facial EMG evidence for the delay of spontaneous, but not voluntary emotional mimicry in children with autism spectrum disorders. Developmental Science,12, 510-520.

Winkielman, P., McIntosh, D. N., & Oberman, L.M. (2009). Embodied and disembodied emotion processing: Learning from and about typical and autistic individuals. Emotion Review, 1, 178-190.

Oberman, L.M. & Ramachandran, V.S. (2008) Reflections on the mirror neuron system: Their evolutionary functions beyond motor representation. In Pineda, J.A. (Ed.) Role of Mirroring in Social Cognition. Totowa, New Jersey: Humana Press.

Winkielman, P., Niedenthal, P.M., Oberman, L.M. (2008). Embodied Perspective on Emotion-Cognition Interactions. In Pineda, J.A. (Ed.) Role of Mirroring in Social Cognition. Totowa, New Jersey: Humana Press.

Oberman, L.M. & Pascual-Leone, A. (2008). Cortical plasticity: A proposed mechanism by which genomic factors lead to the behavioral and neurological phenotype of autism spectrum and psychotic spectrum disorders. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 241-320.

Oberman, L.M., Ramachandran, V.S. (2008). How do Shared Circuits develop? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 1-58.

Oberman, L.M., Ramachandran, V.S. & Pineda, J.A. (2008). Modulation of mu suppression in children with autism spectrum disorders in response to familiar or unfamiliar stimuli: The mirror neuron hypothesis. Neuropsychologia, 46,1558-1565.

Winkielman, P., Niedenthal, P.M., Oberman, L.M (2008). The embodied emotional mind. In Semin, G. R., & Smith, E. R. (Eds.) Embodied grounding: Social, cognitive, affective, and neuroscientific approaches. (pp. 263-288). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Oberman, L.M. & Ramachandran, V.S. (2007) Evidence for deficits in mirror neuron functioning, multisensory integration, and sound-form symbolism in autism spectrum disorders. Social Neuroscience.

Oberman, L.M., Winkielman, P., Ramachandran, V.S. (2007) Face to Face: Blocking facial muscles selectively impairs recognition of emotional faces. Social Neuroscience, 2, 167-178.

Oberman, L.M., McCleery, J.P, Ramachandran, V.S., Pineda, J.A. (2007). EEG evidence for mirror neuron activity during the observation of human and robot actions: Toward an analysis of the human qualities of interactive robots. Neurocomputing, 70, 2194-2203.

Oberman, L.M., Pineda, J.A. & Ramachandran, V.S. (2007) The Human Mirror Neuron System: A Link Between Action Observation and Social Skills. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2, 62-66.

Oberman, L.M. & Ramachandran, V.S. (2007) The simulating social mind: The role of simulation in the social and communicative deficits of autism spectrum disorders, Psychological Bulletin, 133, 310-327.

Pineda, J.A & Oberman, L.M. (2006) What Goads Nicotine Addicts to Smoke? Brain Research,1121, 128-135.

Oberman, L.M., Hubbard, E.M., McCleery, J.P., Altschuler, E.L., Ramachandran, V.S., Pineda, J.A. (2005). EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism. Cognitive Brain Research, 24, 190-198.

rotenbergAlexander Rotenberg, MD, PhD

Alexander Rotenberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School

Education History:

B.A., Johns Hopkins
M.D., PhD, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center

Alexander Rotenberg, M.D., Ph.D. is a practicing neurologist and epileptologist at Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where he heads the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) service within the department of Neurology. He received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and combined graduate degrees from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, before completing the residency in Child Neurology and fellowship in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology at Children's Hospital. Dr. Rotenberg leads local efforts to adapt methods for TMS and other forms of noninvasive brain stimulation to the pediatric population, particularly to children with epilepsy. He also heads a basic science laboratory where experiments focus on translational applications of noninvasive brain stimulation in animal models of epilepsy and brain injury.

In the basic science laboratory, Dr. Rotenberg and his staff have developed novel methods for TMS and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in vivo in rodents and in vitro in isolated brain slice preparations. TMS and tDCS have in common the capacity to safely induce durable changes in neuronal activity. Limited experience with human patients, including those treated at Children's Hospital and the Berenson-Allen Center, show that TMS and tDCS have realistic prospects for suppressing seizures. Yet TMS and tDCS mechanisms of action are incompletely understood, and whether these techniques can prevent the onset of epilepsy after various forms of brain injury has not been tested. To characterize the cellular mechanisms by which TMS and tDCS exert their effect, and ultimately to optimize their clinical efficacy, Dr. Rotenberg's laboratory studies them in rat epilepsy models, including models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic epilepsy. Also, to determine how best to match noninvasive brain stimulation mechanisms to those of brain injury and epilepsy, his laboratory studies the molecular changes associated with TBI in rats.

In parallel to Dr. Rotenberg's basic science experiments, he and his staff are enrolling subjects into ongoing clinical trials aimed to further develop techniques for noninvasive brain stimulation, particularly TMS, as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in child neurology.

Children's Hospital website:

Selected Publications:

Kabakov A, Muller PA, Pascual-Leone A, Jensen FE, Rotenberg A. Contribution of axonal orientation to pathway-dependent modulation of excitatory transmission by direct current stimulation in isolated rat hippocampus. Journal of Neurophysiology 2012; [Epub ahead of print]

Hsieh TH, Dhamne SC, Chen JJ, Pascual-Leone A, Jensen FE, Rotenberg A. A new measure of cortical inhibition by mechanomyography and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation in unanesthetized rats. Journal of Neurophysiology 2012;107(3):966-72.

Rotenberg A. Prospects for transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with online EEG in epilepsy. Brain Topography 2010; 22:257-25.

Rotenberg A, Muller PA, Vahabzadeh-Hagh AM, Navarro X, Lopez-Vales R, Pascual-Leone A, Jensen FE. Lateralized forelimb motor-evoked potentials by transcranial magnetic stimulation in rat. Clin Neurophysiol 2010 Jan; 121(1):104-8.

Rotenberg A, Bae E, Muller PA, Riviello JJ, Bourgeois BF, Blum AS, Pascual-Leone A. In-session seizures during low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy and Behav 2009; 16:353-5.

Rotenberg A, Bae E, Takeoka M, Tormos J, Scachter S, Pascual-Leone A. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment of epilepsia partialis continua. Epilepsy and Behav 2009; 14:253-7.

Rotenberg A, Muller P, Birnbaum D, Harrington MJ, Riviello JJ, Pascual-Leone A, Jensen FE. Seizure suppression by EEG-guided repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the rat. Clinical Neurophysiology 2008; 119:2697-702.

Bae EH, Schrader LM, Machii K, Alonso-Alonso M, Riviello JJ, Pascual-Leone A, Rotenberg A. Safety and tolerability of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in patients with epilepsy: a review of literature. Epilepsy Behav 2007; 10:521-28.

Rotenberg A, Abel T, Kandel ER, Muller RU. Parallel instabilities of long-term potentiation, place cells, and learning caused by decreased protein kinase A activity. J Neurosci 2000; 21:8096-102.

Rotenberg A, Mayford M, Hawkins RD, Kandel ER, Muller RU. Mice expressing activated CaMKII lack low frequency LTP and do not form stable place cells in the CAI region of the hippocampus. Cell 1996; 87:1351-61.

Dylan Edwards, PhD

Dylan Edwards received his qualifications in Western Australia, completing the B.Appl.Sc (Honors) degree at Edith Cowan University in 1995, the B.Sc. (Honors) degree in Physiotherapy from Curtin University of Technology in 2001, and the Ph.D. degree in Clinical Neurophysiology from The University of Western Australia in 2004. He holds an appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor of Neurology, and is the Co-Director and lecturer in the Harvard CME Course in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. His research uses established and developing technologies, such as non-invasive brain stimulation and robotics, to understand control of human voluntary movement and functional recovery following neurological damage. He is currently the Director of the Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Human Motor Control Laboratory at the Burke Medical Research Institute in New York, and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Contact Information

Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Kirstein Building 158
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-667-0307
Fax: 617-975-5322