The Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation (LCNS) is a cognitive neurology laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. Our lab uses non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to look at how the brain works and recovers from injury. We are interested in how the brain recovers language abilities after a stroke and how we can use brain stimulation to assist in recovery.

Our lab uses two type of noninvasive brain stimulation: 1) transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and 2) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).


TMS uses a magnetic pulses to stimulate specific areas of the brain from outside the head. TMS is performed with a copper-and-plastic coil that is held directly on top of the scalp. The coil creates a magnetic field, which can affect brain cells in specific brains locations. In fact, TMS is powerful enough to make brain cells fire!


tDCS uses a mild electrical current to stimulate large areas of the brain from outside the head. tDCS is typically performed with two electrodes, placed inside saline soaked sponges, which are held on the head with a headband. tDCS changes how responsive certain areas of the brain are by increasing the likelihood that brain cells will fire.


Our lab focuses our research efforts on investigating the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to improve language symptoms of aphasia. Our lab does work with both post-stroke aphasia and primary progressive aphasia. Mainly, we are interested in whether TMS and tDCS can be used as a therapeutic technique to improve speech production. We are also interested in the brain’s ability to adapt to change, which is called “neuroplasticity.” We explore what factors make some people more likely to regain language functioning after a stroke.

If you are interested in learning more about our research or participating, please visit our website: https://www.med.upenn.edu/lcns/


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