Research Neurophysiology


Dr. Bindu M. Kutty

Consciousness Research

The department of Neurophysiology has a dedicated research lab facility including Human Sleep research laboratory and Consciousness and Cognition laboratory to study the different aspects of human consciousness. Over the past 15 years, the research carried out in the lab has included polysomnography studies (PSG for sleep), resting state EEG and event related potentials (ERP). We have many collaborations with other departments of NIMHANS and other institutions like NIAS, IISc, Nava Nalanda Maha Vihara (Bihar), Cambridge University and industry-academia collaborations with u Axxonet System Technologies Pvt Ltd and Turteshell Technologies.

The lab has made several novel contributions in:

  • Meditation and Sleep
  • Meditation, well-being and cognition
  • Anxiety disorders and sleep
  • Neurobiology of schizophrenia and sleep
  • Ayurvedic interventions in preserving sleep quality in anxiety
  • Development of novel cognitive and emotion assessment protocols
  • Cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia

Subiculum and Cognition

For the past twenty years, the department has been involved in elaborating the role of subiculum in cognitive functions. The major contributions include

  • Subiculum theta activity in acquisition and consolidation of memory
  • Subiculum and its role in affective behavior and cognition
  • The importance of non-pharmacological strategies such as environmental enrichment, physical exercise and circadian rhythm manipulation in establishing cognitive function following ventral subiculum lesion

For more details, please visit


See the publications on Pubmed

See the publications on Researchgate

Lab members and alumni

  • Dr Bindu M Kutty (PI and Professor and Head of Neurophysiology)
  • Late Dr BL Meti  (Lab founder )
  • Dr Sulekha S (First PhD from the lab, retired technical staff)
  • Dr Basavaraj Tubaki (Professor and Head of Psychiatry, KIMS, Belagavi)
  • Dr Ravindra PN (Professor and Head of Physiology, Gadag Medical College)
  • Dr Harsha Halahalli (Professor of Physiology, NITTE University)
  • Dr Ravi Kiran Kisan (Additional Professor, Madikere)
  • Dr Nirmala M (Senior Scientific Officer, NIMHANS, Bangalore)
  • Dr Arun Sasidharan (Senior Research Officer & Research Program Manager, Axxonet, Bangalore)
  • Dr Ajay Kumar Nair ( Research Associate )
  • Dr Ratna Jyothi Kakumanu
  • Mr Rahul Venugopal
  • Dr Pranay S Yadav
  • Mr Saketh Reddy
  • Dr Gulshan Kumar
  • Ms Anakha Krishna
  • Mr BG Nagaraj (Retired technical staff)
  • Mr Ramachandra (Senior Scientific Assistant)
  • Ms Jimisha C (Junior Technician)

Dr. T. N. Sathyaprabha

  • Autonomic studies in healthy (including effect of age and gender)
  • Autonomic studies in neuropsychiatric disorders (ischemic stroke, General Anxiety disorder)
  • Heart rate and blood pressure variability studies (ischemic stroke, hot water epilepsy, myasthenia gravis, Major depression),
  • Autonomic status evaluation in diseases (Depression, compressive cervical myelopathy, spinocerebellar ataxia, epilepsy)
  • Efficacy evaluation of novel treatment modalities on Autonomic functions [Ayurveda in depression, Ayurveda in General Anxiety disorders, Transcranial magnetic stimulation in depression, yoga in epilepsy,  meditation, physical therapies in Parkinson’s disease, pharmacological treatment (Levodopa) in Parkinson’s disease]
  • In-vitro and In-vivo studies on ALS.
  • Interdisciplinary research:  Study on effect of Ayurvedic therapies on major depression/ stroke. The study has also explored Ayurvedic perspectives of neurophysiology.

Dr. B. S. Shankaranarayana Rao

Dr. Rao’s lab focuses on understanding how neuronal plasticity functions in normal and diseased conditions. Plasticity is a fundamental mechanism by which an organism responds to changes in its environment and learns to adapt to that change and the ability of the brain to undergo plastic changes is compromised in neurodegenerative and/or psychiatric conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, hypoxia, aging and epilepsy. To learn more about plasticity mechanisms, the lab works with animal models of stress, depression and epilepsy and evaluates several parameters such as learning and memory, depressive behaviour, electrophysiological assessment such as long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, molecular studies to understand expression of trophic factors and morphometric studies to analyse alteration in dendritic morphology and structural integrity of brain areas like the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala.

Another major research focus has been on understanding the role of adult neurogenesis in health and disease. Adult neurogenesis has been studied in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus. The current hypothesis suggests that one of the main functions of adult neurogenesis is to replace degenerating/dying neurons in the brain. Therefore, understanding factors that can trigger and modulate adult neurogenesis by activating the resident stem cells in the adult brain holds great promise in treating psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

Other research areas in the lab include epilepsy research, synaptic plasticity in knockout and transgenic mice and the drug development to treat Fragile X mental retardation and Autism. The lab also focuses on trying to understand the therapeutic potential and mechanism of environmental enrichment, brain stimulation reward, antidepressant and antiepileptic drugs. Further, his lab works on evidence based approaches in treating neuropsychiatric disorders using medicinal plants.

Dr. Laxmi T. Rao

Neural Plasticity Laboratory:

Our research team is interested to understand:

  • The role of prenatal toxicity and early postnatal stress in brain plasticity.
  • The relationship between brain plasticity and emotional behaviour.
  • Ischemic stroke and brain plasticity – following dietary and rehabilitative interventions.

The in vivo lab has developed infrastructural facility to carry out several researches in the department:

The following research facilities have been made available for carrying out the basic science research in the Neurophysiology laboratory:

  • Developed a state-of-the-art facility for in vivo electrophysiology laboratory. This facility is being used to record single/multi- neuronal activities extracellularly from different brain regions while performing different tasks in a freely moving rat.
  • Pavlovian classical fear conditioning model is being used to study the fear memory and extinction in animals. This is one of the best available animal models to demonstrate the clinical features for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in humans.
  • Broad spectrum of animal behavioural paradigms is available to study anxiety-like behaviour, skilled forelimb movements, social interactions, sensorimotor integration, curiosity, exploratory behaviour, locomotion, motor coordination, gait analysis, neurological functions, etc. in rats.
  • Developed focal ischemia model in rats – gross and fine skilled motor deficits is tested using rotarod and reach to grasp task.
  • We also developed an animal model for Obsessive compulsive disorder in collaboration with the department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru.
  • The microdialysis system was procured in June 2013 and is being in use for several researches within departments. In vivo microdialysis system is being used to collect the tissue fluid from different brain regions in a freely moving rats which is being used to assess the neurotransmitters, protein and hormones during exposure to any task.
  • Integrated sensory system to detect rat limb movement: The team has developed hardware and software to document the movements of a rat limb during the course of animal experiments. The automated recording would help standardizing techniques for documenting functional loss and recovery of rat limb movement following ischemic stroke or any movement disorders in rats. Prototype has been developed. Collaborator: Dr. Madhav Rao, IIIT-B.
  • Exoskeleton device-upper limb: An anthropomimetic upper limb exoskeleton is being developed which can supplement upper limb function in patients with neuro-muscular disability. The design is based on the normal anatomical and physiological design of the human hand. The device is expected to have the full functional capability of the human hand. Collaborators: Dr. Vikas V, Dr. Madhav Rao, IIIT-B, Vinay, IIIT-B, Dr. KVL Narasing Rao, Mrs. Sindhu, Prof Sampath, NIMHANS.
  • Micro-electrode Array (MEA) system was established in the laboratory to understand the pharmacological/toxic effects on neuronal cell cultures in a more simple and controlled environment using stem cells, primary cell cultures and cell-lines. This system is being utilized by several investigators for testing the functional viability of the neurons from primary cell culture/stem cells/neural cell lines through electrophysiological recordings. In addition, MEA could also be used to study the biophysical aspect of network function.

Research Contributions

  • Chronic stress during critical time window of the development (early life stress) causes significant increase in anxiety-like behaviour during young adulthood. In addition, early life stress causes fear generalization, exaggerated fear memory, impaired extinction of acquired fear memory, reduced sociability, perseverative behaviour, reduced exploratory behaviour in unfamiliar environment and increased rapid eye movement sleep at young adulthood age.
  • Early life stress-induced impaired fear memory and extinction was due to abnormal functional connectivity in amygdalohippocampal and medial prefrontal circuit during fear memory and extinction process. These animals also show increased cortisol level at baseline.
  • In another project on ischemic stroke in rats, through neurophysiological tools, we show that constraint induced movement therapy can be used as an effective intervention strategy to reduce the upper limb paralysis.
  • In another project on autism spectrum disorder animal model, we have demonstrated that systematic, scheduled training with graded difficult levels of training would improve the attentional performance in autism spectrum disorder animals.


See Pubmed (as T.R. Laxmi) for the publications.

Research Scholars


  • Kumari Anshu (UGC Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Maltesh Kambali (NIMHANS Fellowship) (PhD)
  • UD Kumaresan (NIMHANS Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Shruthi Sharma (NIMHANS Fellowship) (MPhil)


  • Nesin Mathew (UGC Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Pradeep K Mishra (ICMR Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Debasish Majumdar (NIMHANS Fellowship) (MPhil)
  • Saravanan (NIMHANS Fellowship (PhD)
  • Dayalan K Sampath (NIMHANS Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Preethi Hegde (NIMHANS Fellowship) (M.Phil and PhD)

Collaborative Research project for M.Phil and PhD:

  • Sanjay Das (ICMR Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Merlin PB (NIMHANS Fellowship) (M.Phil)
  • Shweta Rastogi (UGC Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Sankaranarayani R (NIMHANS Fellowship) (PhD)
  • Neethi Prem (NIMHANS Fellowship) (PhD)

Funded Research Project as of 2019

  • Department of Science and Technology (DST) (Principal Investigator)
  • CSIR, New Delhi (Principal Investigator)
  • ICMR, New Delhi (Principal Investigator)
  • ITC-Life Sciences, Bengaluru (Principal Investigator)
  • DBT, New Delhi (Joint Principal Investigator)
  • IBM, India (Joint Principal Investigator)
  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, New Delhi (Joint Principal Investigator)

Dr. Kaviraja Udupa

  • Physiology of Brain stimulation in Neurological and Psychiatric disorders
  • Neuromodulation in Mood and Movement Disorders
  • Neurophysiology of Non-Invasive brain stimulation Techniques such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
  • Optimizing the Invasive deep brain stimulation (DBS) based on micro recording guided selective targeting
  • Cardiac Autonomic  functions in neurological and psychiatric disorders
  • Utilizing various physiological measures as biomarkers or prognostic measures of clinical conditions
  • Integrating Indian Systems of Medicine (Yoga, Ayurveda and Naturopathy) with Evidence Based Medicine
  • Neurophysiology of Yoga and Ayurveda in improving neurological and psychiatric disorders


Dr. Yoganarasimha Doreswamy


Research Area:

Network mechanisms underlying spatial navigation and memory.

Spatial information processing during aging, brain injury, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.


See PUBMED for research publications.

Dr. K. Vijayalakshmi

My major area of research interest is to delineate the pathophysiology of the devastating degenerative disorder of motor neurons namely, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). My current research areas to address this are:

  • Modeling sporadic ALS using patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Patient specific drug screening using the “Humanized Dish Model” of sporadic ALS
  • Identify the right targets and cellular pathways for therapeutic approaches.
  • To examine the potential of combinatorial drugs involving alternative medicine using the in-vitro and in-vivo models of ALS

My future research interests include:

  • Neurobiology of Madras Motor Neuron Disease
  • Neurobiology of Traumatic Brain Injury


Please see the publications on Pubmed

Please see the publications on Researchgate

Please see the publications on Googlescholar

Dr. B. N. Srikumar


Research Areas

  • Neurosteroids in depression and cognitive function
  • NMDARs in synaptic plasticity and treatment of depression
  • Neurobiology of addiction
  • Neurobiology of exercise and breathing


More Details on


Dr. PN Ravindra MD, PhD

Neuroscience of Consciousness (Sleep and Meditation) and its applications

Research Areas:

  • Understanding the age associated changes in sleep and its impact on wellness
  • Integrating yoga/ Indian philosophical insight of Mind, Sleep and Consciousness with Neuroscience.
  • Impact of Yoga/meditation on developing brain (with adolescent depression as model)
  • Exploring the neuroscience aspect of sleep disorders (Insomnia) and impact of Yoga based module as therapeutic adjunct.
  • Exploring different therapeutic yoga modules at gross root.



Dr. Arun


Research Areas:

  • Understanding how brain’s predictive processing and synchronous activity shape mental illness & wellness, crossing conventional boundaries
  • Interdisciplinary research incorporating insights from Indian traditional science for a holistic and simplistic understanding of Consciousness
  • Examining the cognitive continuum across Sleep and Wake, and finding novel applications of Neuromodulation in both these states
  • Innovations in EEG-based acquisition techniques, paradigm designing and analysis, and applying them into research and development in Neurotechnology


Dr. Ramajayam G

Yoga/Meditation, Well-Being and Consciousness

Research Areas:

  • Exploring consciousness from eastern and western perspective and its implications on health and well being
  • Neuroscience of Yoga/Meditation
  • Self and social cognition from Yoga/Meditation perspective
  • Yoga/Meditation based therapy for Neuropsychiatric disorders