I am a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. My focus was primarily on the investigation of human brain with noninvasive methods such as TMS and EEG. I am interested in the mechanisms of decision-making, attention, voluntary movement preparation, and excitability of the cortex, as well as in the investigation of neurophysiological disorders such as epilepsy and depression. I pay respect to the importance of mathematics, physics, and programming in neuroscience research by applying the state-of-the-art methodologies and tools in my work.

My experience includes:
• TMS (single, paired-pulse, rTMS, PAS)
• EEG (ERP, EP, oscillations)

Institute Affiliations

Professional Education

  • Master of Science, St Petersburg State University (2010)
  • Bachelor of Science, St Petersburg State University (2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Aalto University (2022)
  • B. A., Saint Petersburg State University, Alpha rhythm (2007)
  • M.Sc., Saint Petersburg State University, Decision-making, conformity, mirror neurons (2011)
  • Ph.D., Aalto University, Motor cortex, visual cortex, TMS, EEG (2022)

Stanford Advisors

Research Interests

  • Brain and Learning Sciences
  • Child Development
  • Data Sciences
  • Research Methods

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

The primary goal of my research is to develop effective novel treatments of epilepsy and expand my skill set and knowledge base to non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) in epilepsy. During my PostDoc, I plan to take part in the development of personalized and effective treatment methods for the improvement of motor, language, and attention skills in patients. My research my allow to improve the lives and general wellbeing of children that suffer from this ailment by developing and testing neuromodulatory treatments to reduce or eliminate seizures and improve motor and linguistic functioning impairments that stem from this debilitating condition. Another important part is the current study is obtaining experience with the closed-loop, adaptive paradigm, which involves real-time adaption of TMS stimulation patterns depending on the state of the human brain. Thus, I am gain further analytic, computational, and programming skills necessary to develop a set of novel diagnostic and treatment tools for childhood epilepsy.

All Publications

  • TMS with fast and accurate electronic control: Measuring the orientation sensitivity of corticomotor pathways BRAIN STIMULATION Souza, V., Nieminen, J. O., Tugin, S., Koponen, L. M., Baffa, O., Ilmoniemi, R. J. 2022; 15 (2): 306-315


    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) coils allow only a slow, mechanical adjustment of the stimulating electric field (E-field) orientation in the cerebral tissue. Fast E-field control is needed to synchronize the stimulation with the ongoing brain activity. Also, empirical models that fully describe the relationship between evoked responses and the stimulus orientation and intensity are still missing.We aimed to (1) develop a TMS transducer for manipulating the E-field orientation electronically with high accuracy at the neuronally meaningful millisecond-level time scale and (2) devise and validate a physiologically based model describing the orientation selectivity of neuronal excitability.We designed and manufactured a two-coil TMS transducer. The coil windings were computed with a minimum-energy optimization procedure, and the transducer was controlled with our custom-made electronics. The electronic E-field control was verified with a TMS characterizer. The motor evoked potential amplitude and latency of a hand muscle were mapped in 3° steps of the stimulus orientation in 16 healthy subjects for three stimulation intensities. We fitted a logistic model to the motor response amplitude.The two-coil TMS transducer allows one to manipulate the pulse orientation accurately without manual coil movement. The motor response amplitude followed a logistic function of the stimulus orientation; this dependency was strongly affected by the stimulus intensity.The developed electronic control of the E-field orientation allows exploring new stimulation paradigms and probing neuronal mechanisms. The presented model helps to disentangle the neuronal mechanisms of brain function and guide future non-invasive stimulation protocols.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.brs.2022.01.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000792490000005

    View details for PubMedID 35038592

  • A New Paired Associative Stimulation Protocol with High-Frequency Peripheral Component and High-Intensity 20 Hz Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation-A Pilot Study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH Sathyan, S., Tolmacheva, A., Tugin, S., Maekelae, J. P., Shulga, A., Lioumis, P. 2021; 18 (21)


    Paired associative stimulation (PAS) is a stimulation technique combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) that can induce plastic changes in the human motor system. A PAS protocol consisting of a high-intensity single TMS pulse given at 100% of stimulator output (SO) and high-frequency 100-Hz PNS train, or "the high-PAS" was designed to promote corticomotoneuronal synapses. Such PAS, applied as a long-term intervention, has demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Adding a second TMS pulse, however, rendered this protocol inhibitory. The current study sought for more effective PAS parameters. Here, we added a third TMS pulse, i.e., a 20-Hz rTMS (three pulses at 96% SO) combined with high-frequency PNS (six pulses at 100 Hz). We examined the ability of the proposed stimulation paradigm to induce the potentiation of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in five human subjects and described the safety and tolerability of the new protocol in these subjects. In this study, rTMS alone was used as a control. In addition, we compared the efficacy of the new protocol in five subjects with two PAS protocols consisting of PNS trains of six pulses at 100 Hz combined with (a) single 100% SO TMS pulses (high-PAS) and (b) a 20-Hz rTMS at a lower intensity (three pulses at 120% RMT). The MEPs were measured immediately after, and 30 and 60 min after the stimulation. Although at 0 and 30 min there was no significant difference in the induced MEP potentiation between the new PAS protocol and the rTMS control, the MEP potentiation remained significantly higher at 60 min after the new PAS than after rTMS alone. At 60 min, the new protocol was also more effective than the two other PAS protocols. The new protocol caused strong involuntary twitches in three subjects and, therefore, its further characterization is needed before introducing it for clinical research. Additionally, its mechanism plausibly differs from PAS with high-frequency PNS that has been used in SCI patients.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/ijerph182111224

    View details for Web of Science ID 000726938600001

    View details for PubMedID 34769744

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8583447

  • Effect of stimulus orientation and intensity on short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and facilitation (SICF): A multi-channel transcranial magnetic stimulation study PLOS ONE Tugin, S., Souza, V. H., Nazarova, M. A., Novikov, P. A., Tervo, A. E., Nieminen, J. O., Lioumis, P., Ziemann, U., Nikulin, V. V., Ilmoniemi, R. J. 2021; 16 (9): e0257554


    Besides stimulus intensities and interstimulus intervals (ISI), the electric field (E-field) orientation is known to affect both short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and facilitation (SICF) in paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). However, it has yet to be established how distinct orientations of the conditioning (CS) and test stimuli (TS) affect the SICI and SICF generation. With the use of a multi-channel TMS transducer that provides electronic control of the stimulus orientation and intensity, we aimed to investigate how changes in the CS and TS orientation affect the strength of SICI and SICF. We hypothesized that the CS orientation would play a major role for SICF than for SICI, whereas the CS intensity would be more critical for SICI than for SICF. In eight healthy subjects, we tested two ISIs (1.5 and 2.7 ms), two CS and TS orientations (anteromedial (AM) and posteromedial (PM)), and four CS intensities (50, 70, 90, and 110% of the resting motor threshold (RMT)). The TS intensity was fixed at 110% RMT. The intensities were adjusted to the corresponding RMT in the AM and PM orientations. SICI and SICF were observed in all tested CS and TS orientations. SICI depended on the CS intensity in a U-shaped manner in any combination of the CS and TS orientations. With 70% and 90% RMT CS intensities, stronger PM-oriented CS induced stronger inhibition than weaker AM-oriented CS. Similar SICF was observed for any CS orientation. Neither SICI nor SICF depended on the TS orientation. We demonstrated that SICI and SICF could be elicited by the CS perpendicular to the TS, which indicates that these stimuli affected either overlapping or strongly connected neuronal populations. We concluded that SICI is primarily sensitive to the CS intensity and that CS intensity adjustment resulted in similar SICF for different CS orientations.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0257554

    View details for Web of Science ID 000750679800023

    View details for PubMedID 34550997

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8457500

  • Visual deviant stimuli produce mismatch responses in the amplitude dynamics of neuronal oscillations NEUROIMAGE Tugin, S., Hernandez-Pavon, J. C., Ilmoniemi, R. J., Nikulin, V. V. 2016; 142: 645-655


    Auditory and visual deviant stimuli evoke mismatch negativity (MMN) responses, which can be recorded with electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). However, little is known about the role of neuronal oscillations in encoding of rare stimuli. We aimed at verifying the existence of a mechanism for the detection of deviant visual stimuli on the basis of oscillatory responses, so-called visual mismatch oscillatory response (vMOR).Peripheral visual stimuli in an oddball paradigm, standard vs. deviant (7:1), were presented to twenty healthy subjects. The oscillatory responses to an infrequent change in the direction of moving peripheral stimuli were recorded with a 60-channel EEG system. In order to enhance the detection of oscillatory responses, we used the common spatial pattern (CSP) algorithm, designed for the optimal extraction of changes in the amplitude of oscillations.Both standard and deviant visual stimuli produced Event-Related Desynchronization (ERD) and Synchronization (ERS) primarily in the occipito-parietal cortical areas. ERD and ERS had overlapping time-courses and peaked at about 500-730 ms. These oscillatory responses, however, were significantly stronger for the deviant than for the standard stimuli. A difference between the oscillatory responses to deviant and standard stimuli thus reflects the presence of vMOR.The present study shows that the detection of visual deviant stimuli can be reflected in both synchronization and desynchronization of neuronal oscillations. This broadens our knowledge about the brain mechanisms encoding deviant sensory stimuli.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.07.024

    View details for Web of Science ID 000387986000054

    View details for PubMedID 27431760

  • Electrophysiological precursors of social conformity SOCIAL COGNITIVE AND AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE Shestakova, A., Rieskamp, J., Tugin, S., Ossadtchi, A., Krutitskaya, J., Klucharev, V. 2013; 8 (7): 756-763


    Humans often change their beliefs or behavior due to the behavior or opinions of others. This study explored, with the use of human event-related potentials (ERPs), whether social conformity is based on a general performance-monitoring mechanism. We tested the hypothesis that conflicts with a normative group opinion evoke a feedback-related negativity (FRN) often associated with performance monitoring and subsequent adjustment of behavior. The experimental results show that individual judgments of facial attractiveness were adjusted in line with a normative group opinion. A mismatch between individual and group opinions triggered a frontocentral negative deflection with the maximum at 200 ms, similar to FRN. Overall, a conflict with a normative group opinion triggered a cascade of neuronal responses: from an earlier FRN response reflecting a conflict with the normative opinion to a later ERP component (peaking at 380 ms) reflecting a conforming behavioral adjustment. These results add to the growing literature on neuronal mechanisms of social influence by disentangling the conflict-monitoring signal in response to the perceived violation of social norms and the neural signal of a conforming behavioral adjustment.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/scan/nss064

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325778300004

    View details for PubMedID 22683703

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3791064

  • Automatic processing of unattended lexical information in visual oddball presentation: neurophysiological evidence FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE Shtyrov, Y., Goryainova, G., Tugin, S., Ossadtchi, A., Shestakova, A. 2013; 7: 421


    Previous electrophysiological studies of automatic language processing revealed early (100-200 ms) reflections of access to lexical characteristics of speech signal using the so-called mismatch negativity (MMN), a negative ERP deflection elicited by infrequent irregularities in unattended repetitive auditory stimulation. In those studies, lexical processing of spoken stimuli became manifest as an enhanced ERP in response to unattended real words, as opposed to phonologically matched but meaningless pseudoword stimuli. This lexical ERP enhancement was explained by automatic activation of word memory traces realized as distributed strongly intra-connected neuronal circuits, whose robustness guarantees memory trace activation even in the absence of attention on spoken input. Such an account would predict the automatic activation of these memory traces upon any presentation of linguistic information, irrespective of the presentation modality. As previous lexical MMN studies exclusively used auditory stimulation, we here adapted the lexical MMN paradigm to investigate early automatic lexical effects in the visual modality. In a visual oddball sequence, matched short word and pseudoword stimuli were presented tachistoscopically in perifoveal area outside the visual focus of attention, as the subjects' attention was concentrated on a concurrent non-linguistic visual dual task in the center of the screen. Using EEG, we found a visual analogue of the lexical ERP enhancement effect, with unattended written words producing larger brain response amplitudes than matched pseudowords, starting at ~100 ms. Furthermore, we also found significant visual MMN, reported here for the first time for unattended perifoveal lexical stimuli. The data suggest early automatic lexical processing of visually presented language which commences rapidly and can take place outside the focus of attention.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00421

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322868400001

    View details for PubMedID 23950740

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3738864