Completing the puzzle: Why studies in non-human primates are needed to better understand the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation

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Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

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Brain stimulation is a core method in neuroscience. Numerous non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques are currently in use in basic and clinical research, and recent advances promise the ability to non-invasively access deep brain structures. While encouraging, there is a surprising gap in our understanding of precisely how NIBS perturbs neural activity throughout an interconnected network, and how such perturbed neural activity ultimately links to behaviour. In this review, we will consider why non-human primate (NHP) models of NIBS are ideally situated to address this gap in knowledge, and why the oculomotor network that moves our line of sight offers a particularly valuable platform in which to empirically test hypothesis regarding NIBS-induced changes in brain and behaviour. NHP models of NIBS will enable investigation of the complex, dynamic effects of brain stimulation across multiple hierarchically interconnected brain areas, networks, and effectors. By establishing such links between brain and behavioural output, work in NHPs can help optimize experimental and therapeutic approaches, improve NIBS efficacy, and reduce side-effects of NIBS.