We are testing whether noninvasive brain stimulation via repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can alleviate craving and withdrawal symptoms in people who smoke cigarettes. The current project is designed to compare efficacy of four different stimulation sites.
Brain imaging is a big part of this. We use structural images to improve target localization via neuronavigation, and we're also trying out individualized targets within each region that are selected on the basis of resting-state network connectivity.
We are also curious about how neurofeedback (DecNef, closed-loop decoded neurofeedback) might be used to help people with substance use disorders.
Ovarian hormones affect brain structure and function. But we still lack fundamental knowledge about this system -- knowledge that is needed to develop clinical interventions. We continue to do basic science investigations into the neurobiology of ovarian hormones in humans so that we can someday use this information to improve quality of life and clinical outcomes.