Transcranial focused ultrasound (TUS) is an emerging technique that can modulate brain activity in deep brain regions with high spatial specificity. From our previous work in non-human primates, we know that TUS can affect decision-making processes in the macaque brain. Our previous work in humans has also shown that TUS can be safely and effectively used to modulate brain activity in the human brain and that the effects of TUS may be dependent on brain state, or the underlying brain tissue targeted.
In this new study, we aim to investigate the effects of TUS both behaviourally and on brain activity during a decision-making task. We will use TUS in combination with MRI techniques including functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
This project will be a key step in understanding how TUS can be used to alter decision-making, learning and motivational processes in both health and disease, with the eventually aim of clinical translation to targeted interventions for disorders such as depression, addiction, or anxiety.