Ultrasonic neuromodulation by brain stimulation with transcranial ultrasound

Yusuf Tufail, Anna Yoshihiro, Sandipan Pati, Monica M. Li, William J. Tyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

328 Scopus citations


Brain stimulation methods are indispensable to the study of brain function. They have also proven effective for treating some neurological disorders. Historically used for medical imaging, ultrasound (US) has recently been shown to be capable of noninvasively stimulating brain activity. Here we provide a general protocol for the stimulation of intact mouse brain circuits using transcranial US, and, using a traditional mouse model of epilepsy, we describe how to use transcranial US to disrupt electrographic seizure activity. The advantages of US for brain stimulation are that it does not necessitate surgery or genetic alteration, but it confers spatial resolutions superior to other noninvasive methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. With a basic working knowledge of electrophysiology, and after an initial setup, ultrasonic neuromodulation (UNMOD) can be implemented in less than 1 h. Using the general protocol that we describe, UNMOD can be readily adapted to support a broad range of studies on brain circuit function and dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1470
Number of pages18
JournalNature protocols
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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