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Wynn Legon, Ph.D.

Wynn Legon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Wynn Legon, Ph.D.  portrait

“We have this amazing opportunity to probe the brain non-invasively that we didn’t have before. We hope ultrasound becomes a new tool that neuroscientists can use to map the brain or apply to their specific questions and translate this to efficacious clinical therapies.”


Using sound waves to treat brain disorders

Can focused ultrasound cure addiction and eliminate pain? 

Wynn Legon, Ph.D., has been at the forefront of the use of focused ultrasound to modulate human brain activity for a decade. He co-authored one of the seminal papers on use of the technology in humans, which showed ultrasound aimed at a specific area of the brain selectively changes neuronal activity that can boost sensory discrimination performance. It was the first demonstration that the technology can modify human brain activity to enhance perception. Legon's research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute will focus on using low-intensity focused ultrasound to treat addiction and pain. His lab employs several techniques including electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), behavioral testing, empirical acoustic testing, and computer modelling.  ​

  • Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Assistant Professor, School of Neuroscience, College of Science

Prada, F., Franzini, A., Moosa, S., Padilla, F., Moore, D., Solbiati, L., ... & Legon, W. (2020). In vitro and in vivo characterization of a cranial window prosthesis for diagnostic and therapeutic cerebral ultrasound. Journal of Neurosurgery, 1(aop), 1-13.

Legon W. Ai L. Bansal P. Mueller J.K. (2018). Neuromodulation with single-element transcranial focused ultrasound in human thalamus. Hum Brain Mapp. 2018; 00:1-12. 

Mueller J.K. Ai L. Bansal P. Legon W. (2016). Computational exploration of wave propagation and heating from transcranial focused ultrasound for neuromodulation. J.Neural Eng. 13 056002.

Legon W. Sato T.F. Opitz A. Mueller J. Barbour A. Williams A. Tyler W.J. (2014). Transcranial focused ultrasound modulates the activity of primary somatosensory cortex in humans. Nature Neuroscience. 17, 322-329. doi:10.1038/nn.3620

University of Virginia School of Medicine, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery

University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

  • University of Waterloo, Ph.D., Kinesiology and Cognitive and Behavioural Science, Ontario, Canada.
  • York University, M.S., Kinesiology and Health Science, Ontario, Canada
  • York University, B.A., Kinesiology and Health Science, Ontario, Canada
  • Wiley top cited article for 2018 – 2019, Neuromodulation with single-element transcranial focused ultrasound in human thalamus
  • Visiting Scholar Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, 2017
  • Outstanding poster award. Organization for Human Brain Mapping, Geneva, CH., 2016 
  • Outstanding poster award. University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine Annual retreat, 2016 
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post-Graduate Scholarship, 2009
  • University of Waterloo Post-Graduate Scholarship, 2009 
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post-Graduate Scholarship, 2008 
  • University of Waterloo Post-Graduate Scholarship, 2008 


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