Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 13.03.17Biographical information:

I received my BSc in psychology from Queen’s University Belfast in 2012 and completed my PhD at the Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin in 2015.

My PhD thesis was under the supervision of Professor Richard Carson and was entitled ‘electrophysiological and functional responses to associative brain stimulation’. Several methods of non-invasive electrical and magnetic brain stimulation can bring about plastic change in the human motor system. These changes are detectable in the form of modulated corticospinal excitability responses in electromyographical recordings following the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation. The thesis examined the mechanisms underlying stimulation-induced plasticity effects and the relationship between these electrophysiological outcomes and functional (i.e. behavioural) plasticity responses following stimulation.

I am currently exploring the use of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to elucidate the mechanisms underlying human perceptual decision making.

Research Interests:

  • Human perceptual decision making
  • Motor control, motor learning and motor systems plasticity
  • Non-invasive brain stimulation


Carson, R.G., Ruddy, K.L. & McNickle, E. (2016) What Do TMS-Evoked Motor Potentials Tell Us About Motor Learning? Progress in Motor Control. Book chapter

McNickle, E., & Carson, R.G. (2015) Paired associative transcranial alternating current stimulation increases the excitability of corticospinal projections in humans. Journal of Physiology 593, 1649-66. pdf

Conference presentations:

McNickle, E., & Carson, R.G. (2014) Changes in corticospinal excitability induced by paired associative transcranial alternating current stimulation. Poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Washington DC.

McNickle, E., & Carson, R.G. (2014) Transcranial alternating current stimulation paired with peripheral nerve stimulation induces corticospinal excitability changes. Poster presentation, Magstim Neuroscience Conference, Oxford.

Carson, R.G., McNickle, E., & Davidson, A. (2012) The effects of paired associative transcranial alternating current stimulation (PATACS) on the excitability of corticospinal projections to forearm muscles. Poster presentation – Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, New Orleans

Awards and Scholarships:

  • Neuroscience Ireland Travel Award (2014)
  • Guarantors of Brain Travel Award (2012)
  • Irish Research Council Embark Postgraduate Scholarship (2012-2015)
  • British Psychological Society award for top graduating student (2012)
  • QUB academic achievement scholarship (2011)
  • QUB vacation research studentship (2011)
  • QUB academic achievement scholarship (2010)


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