‘How listening to music enhances motor processing’: New research being carried out at University of Nevada in Las Vegas

In August 2017, Brainbox carried out an installation of several neuromodulation, neuroimaging, and neuronavigation devices at the Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV).

UNLV was established in 1967 as a small extension college of the University of Nevada, Reno, but has grown over the last forty years into an independent, world-leading research institution in its own, well-deserved right. We recently spoke to Dr Joel Snyder of UNLV to find out how things have progressed since Brainbox completed the installation, and to find out how the new systems are being put to use in research.

The equipment purchased by UNLV will not be confined to just one department, but will, instead, be shared by ‘trainees and faculty across various departments and colleges’, Dr Joel Snyder told us. UNLV hopes that these new purchases will help broaden the range of students and researchers that cognitive neuroscience is available to as much as possible, and the university was awarded funding specifically to aid with the completion of this goal: ‘the equipment was purchased using funds from a U.S. Department of Defense Equipment/Instrumental Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions titled “Enhancing capacity for cognitive neuroscience research at UNLV”’. Primarily, of course the equipment will be used to help advance the cutting-edge neuroscientific research being carries out at the institution, the funding provided by the award will also support an initiative designed ‘to make available cognitive research to the widest array of UNLV personnel’, and ‘to expose cognitive neuroscience research to high school students and teachers through outreach activities’, helping to introduce and inspire a new generation of students and future researchers to the field.

For his own laboratory, Joel plans to use the equipment across a wide range of different studies over coming years: ‘these include studies to understand how listening to music enhances motor processing using motor evoked potentials [measured using there DuoMAG MP-Dual paired pulse TMS system, with built-in EMG capability] and virtual lesions [using the DuoMAG XT rTMS system], and the role of frontal and parietal areas in auditory scene perception using virtual lesions’. Brainbox’s offering of integrated, multimodal neuroscience solutions was one of the primary reasons behind Joel’s choice to purchase equipment through us, allowing him to easily and effectively ‘establish a laboratory that [not only] had the widest array of brain stimulation [equipment]’ available, but also provided the functionality and multimodal ‘related capabilities’, such as the TMS-compatile EEG offered by the TruScan Research EEG system, to broaden the scope of the research that can be carried out at UNLV. We look forward to seeing the studies that they will be publishing very soon.

Brainbox provides integrated neuroscience solutions to the world’s leading neuroscience groups and researchers. If you’re interested in discussing similar research ideas or equipment requirements with us, please email info@brainbox-neuro.com, or contact us via our website.