Dr. Gihan Weerasinghe

Dr. Gihan Weerasinghe

Postdoctoral Researcher

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Physics from University College London in 2009, and my Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University in 2014. I joined Rafal Bogacz's group in August 2015, where I am now working on computational methods to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of deep brain stimulation.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is known to be an effective therapy for a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease. The technique involves implanting electrodes deep within the brain and then providing stimulation to various sites within the basal ganglia, typically the subthalamic nucleus and/or internal globus pallidus.

Current methods of DBS rely on manually 'tuning' the parameters of stimulation to achieve the desired treatment. A more promising approach is to adapt the stimulation according to ongoing neural activity. Such methods are referred to as 'closed-loop' and have the potential to greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of DBS.

Broadly speaking, my research involves developing methods of closed-loop DBS to treat people with Parkinson's disease. More specifically, my work involves creating models that can accurately predict the brain's response to stimulation. The nature of these models is broad and ranges from statistical models based on machine learning to more detailed computational models of the underlying neural circuitry.