Nivethida, T.

Dr. Nivethida Thirugnanasambandam
Assistant Professor

Phone: +(91-22) 2576 7777
E-mail: nivethida.t [at]
Location: Room No. 503, BSBE Building
Lab web page

Research Interest

  • Human motor neurophysiology
  • Noninvasive neuromodulation
  • Neural signal processing

Academic Background

  • M.B.B.S (Medicine), 2003: Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry
  • M. Tech (Biomedical Engineering), 2007: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai
  • Ph.D. (Systems Neuroscience), 2011: Georg-August University Goettingen, Germany

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay, Mumbai (2022-present)
  • DBT/WT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow, National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), Manesar (2020-2022)
  • DBT/WT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru (2017-2019)
  • Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Human Motor Control Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA (2012-2017)



  • Young Faculty Award, from IIT Bombay, 2022
  • Member of the Indian National Young Academy of Sciences (INYAS) 2021-25
  • Har Gobind Khorana Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award, from DBT, 2020
  • DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Clinical Research Fellowship (Intermediate), 2017-2023
  • Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship, from DBT, 2016 – did not avail
  • Ruth L.Kirschstein National Research Service Award, from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH, USA, 2013-2016
  • DAAD Master’s Sandwich Program Scholarship, IIT Bombay & RWTH Aachen, 2006-07


  • Joshi R, Murali S, Thirugnanasambandam N#. Behavioural validation of individualized low-intensity transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) protocols. eNeuro 2023; 10(12):0374. doi:
  • Rajan R, Anandapadmanabhan R, Vishnoi A, Latorre A, Thirugnanasambandam N, Dipani A, Biswas D, Radhakrishnan DM, Srivastava A, Bhatia KP. Essential Tremor and Essential Tremor Plus Are Essentially Similar Electrophysiologically. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2023. doi:
  • Sarkar A, Dipani A, Leodori G, Popa T, Kassavetis P, Hallett M, Thirugnanasambandam N#. Inter-Individual Variability in Motor Output Is Driven by Recruitment Gain in the Corticospinal Tract Rather Than Motor Threshold. Brain Sci. 2022.12(1401). doi:
  • Shukla S, Thirugnanasambandam N#. Deriving mechanistic insights from machine learning and its possible implications in non-invasive brain stimulation research. Brain Stimul. 14(4): 1035-1037. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2021.06.013.
  • Shukla S, Thirugnanasambandam N#. Tapping the potential of multimodal non-invasive brain stimulation to elucidate the pathophysiology of movement disorders. Front Hum Neurosci. 15:661396. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.661396.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Zimmerman T, Pillai AS, Shields J, Horovitz SG, Hallett M. Task-specific interhemispheric hypoconnectivity in writer’s cramp – an EEG study. Clin Neurophysiol. 2020. 131(5):985-993. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2020.01.011.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Leodori L, Popa T, Kassavetis P, Mandel A, Shaft A, Kee J, Kashyap S, Khodorov G, Hallett M. Parietal conditioning enhances motor surround inhibition. Brain Stimul. 2020. 13(2):447-449. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.12.011.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Contreras-Castro FG, Hallett M. Dual hemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the primary motor cortex does not affect movement selection. PLoS One. 2019. 14(12): e0226103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226103.
  • Leodori G*, Thirugnanasambandam N*, Conn H, Popa T, Berardelli A, Hallett M. Intracortical inhibition and surround inhibition in the motor cortex – a TMS-EEG study. Front Neurosci. 2019; 13:612. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00612.
  • Grundey J, Thirugnanasambandam N, Amu R, Paulus W, Nitsche M. Nicotinic restoration of excitatory neuroplasticity is linked to improved implicit motor learning skills in deprived smokers. Neurol. 2018; 9:367. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00367.
  • Ramos VFML, Srivanitchapoom P, Thirugnanansambandam N, Pandey S, Holmes A, Kukke SN, Paine R, Considine E, Dang N, Wu T, Hallett M. Failed attempt with paired associative stimulation to separate functional and organic dystonia. Mov Disord. 2018; 33(3):495-497. doi: 10.1002/mds.27245.
  • Hussain SJ, Thirugnanasambandam N. Probing phase- and frequency-dependent characteristics of cortical neurons using combined transcranial alternating current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. J Neurophysiol. 2017; 117(6):2085-2087. doi: 10.1152/jn.00060.2017.
  • Muessgens D, Thirugnanasambandam N, Shitara H, Popa T, Hallett M. Dissociable roles of pre-SMA in motor chunking and hand switching – a TMS study. J Neurophysiol. 2016; 116(6):2637-2646. doi: 10.1152/jn.00565.2016.
  • Cho HJ, Panyakaew P, Thirugnanasambandam N, Wu TA, Hallett M. Dynamic modulation of corticospinal excitability and short-latency afferent inhibition during onset and maintenance phase selective finger movement. Clin Neurophysiol. 2016; 127(6):2343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2016.02.020.
  • Shields JA, Park JE, Srivanitchapoom P, Paine R, Thirugnanasambandam N, Kukke SN, Hallett M. Probing the interaction of the ipsilateral posterior parietal cortex with the premotor cortex using a novel transcranial magnetic stimulation technique. Clin Neurophysiol. 2016; 127(2):1475-80. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2015.06.031.
  • Srivanitchapoom P, Park JE, Thirugnanasambandam N, Panyakaew P, Ramos VFM, Pandey S, Wu TA, Hallett M. Inducing LTD-like effect in the human motor cortex with low frequency and very short duration paired associative stimulation. Neural Plast. 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3920298.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Khera R, Wang H, Kukke S, Hallett M. Distinct interneuronal networks influence excitability of the surround during movement initiation. J Neurophysiol. 2015; 114(2): 1102–8. doi: 10.1152/jn.00791.2014.
  • Grundey J, Thirugnanasambandam N, Kaminsky K, Drees A, Skwirba AC, Lang N, Paulus W, Nitsche MA. Rapid effect of nicotine intake on neuroplasticity in non-smoking humans. Front Pharmacol. 2012; 3:186. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2012.00186.
  • Grundey J, Thirugnanasambandam N, Kaminsky K, Drees A, Skwirba AC, Lang N, Paulus W, Nitsche MA. Neuroplasticity in cigarette smokers is altered under withdrawal and partially restituted by nicotine exposition. J Neurosci. 2012; 32(12): 4156-62. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3660-11.2012.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Sparing R, Dafotakis M, Meister IG, Paulus W, Nitsche MA, Fink GR. Isometric contraction interferes with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induced plasticity: evidence of state-dependent neuromodulation in human motor cortex. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2011; 29(5): 311-20. doi: 10.3233/RNN-2011-0601.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Grundey J, Paulus W, Nitsche MA. Dose-dependent nonlinear effect of L-DOPA on paired associative stimulation-induced neuroplasticity in humans. J Neurosci. 2011; 31(14): 5294-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6258-10.2011.
  • Fricke K, Seeber AA, Thirugnanasambandam N, Paulus W, Nitsche MA, Rothwell JC. Time course of the induction of homeostatic plasticity generated by repeated transcranial direct current stimulation of the human motor cortex. J Neurophysiol. 2011; 105(3): 1141-9. doi: 10.1152/jn.00608.2009.
  • Thirugnanasambandam N, Grundey J, Adam K, Drees A, Skwirba AC, Lang N, Paulus W, Nitsche MA. Nicotinergic impact on focal and non-focal neuroplasticity induced by non-invasive brain stimulation in non-smoking humans. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011; 36(4): 879-86. doi: 10.1038/npp.2010.227.
  • Antal A, Chaieb L, Moliadze V, Monte-Silva K, Poreisz C, Thirugnanasambandam N, Nitsche MA, Shoukier M, Ludwig H, Paulus W. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene polymorphisms shape cortical plasticity in humans. Brain Stimul. 2010; 3(4): 230-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2009.12.003.
  • Nitsche MA, Jakoubkova M, Thirugnanasambandam N, Schmalfuss L, Hullemann S, Sonka K, Paulus W, Trenkwalder C, Happe S. Contribution of the premotor cortex to consolidation of motor sequence learning in humans during sleep. J Neurophysiol. 2010; 104(5): 2603-14. doi: 10.1152/jn.00611.2010.
  • Monte-Silva K, Kuo MF, Thirugnanasambandam N, Liebetanz D, Paulus W, Nitsche MA. Dose-dependent inverted U-shaped effect of dopamine (D2-like) receptor activation on focal and nonfocal plasticity in humans. J Neurosci. 2009; 29(19): 6124-31. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0728-09.2009.
  • Meister IG, Weier K, Staedtgen M, Buelte D, Thirugnanasambandam N, Sparing R. Covert word reading induces a late response in the hand motor system of the language dominant hemisphere. Neuroscience. 2009; 161(1): 67-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.03.031.
  • Sparing R, Dafotakis M, Meister IG, Thirugnanasambandam N, Fink GR. Enhancing language performance with non-invasive brain stimulation – a transcranial direct current stimulation study in healthy humans. Neuropsychologia. 2008; 46(1): 261-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.07.009.