Professor Michael Ridding

University Professorial Research Fellow
Professor Michael Ridding
  Org Unit Paediatrics and Reproductive Health
  Telephone +61 8 8313 7592
  Location Floor/Room G 15 ,  WCH - Norwich Centre ,   Womens & Childrens Hospital


1996 PhD. Corticocortical connections in man. University of London.
1991 MSc. Human and Applied Physiology. University of London.
1987 HNC. Medical Physics and Physiological Measurement.
1985 ONC. Medical Physics and Physiological Measurement.

Current Appointments

Professor and Senior Research Fellow (from Jan 2014)
Neuromotor Plasticity & Development Research Group,
School of Medicine,
The Robinson Research Institute,
The University of Adelaide

Research Overview

In 2009, the Human Sensorimotor Plasticity group headed by Associate Professor Mike Ridding and the Developmental Neuromotor Physiology group headed by Dr Julia Pitcher joined the Robinson Institute and formed the Neuromotor Plasticity and Development (NeuroPAD) research group. Mike is internationally-renowned for his pioneering work in human brain plasticity induction, and Julia is attracting increasing recognition for her novel use of neurophysiologic techniques to unravel the links between motor and cognitive development in preterm children. The research interests of the group encompass neuromotor development and neuroplasticity across the human lifespan, from prenatal and early postnatal factors influencing motor development, through to therapeutic uses of induced neuroplasticity in ageing and neuropathological disorders such as stroke and the dystonias. The aim of the group's research is to inform and develop therapeutic interventions to develop, maintain and rehabilitate human motor function. NeuroPAD collaborates widely with clinicians and scientists from a range of disciplines including motor control neuroscientists, neurologists, neonatologists, obstetricians, psychologists, paediatricians, anaesthetists, physiotherapists and clinical epidemiologists. NeuroPAD is housed in four new purpose-built laboratories in the Robinson Research Institute next to the Women's and Children's Hospital, and is fully equipped with state of the art transcranial magnetic brain stimulators with neuronavigation, high-density EEG and human neurophysiological recording systems.

NeuroPAD group members

Prof Michael Ridding: Co-leader

Dr Julia Pitcher: Co-leader

Dr Luke Schneider: Post Doctoral Researcher

Dr Mitchell Goldsworthy: NHMRC raely Career Research Fellow

Dr Michelle Marneweck: NHMRC Early career research fellow

Dr Brenton Hordacre: Post Doctoral Researcher

Ms Bahar Moezzi: Research Officer

Mr Lynton Graetz: Research Assistant

Ms Jessica Martin: Hons student

Ms Samantha Newell: Hons student

Mr Jago Van Dam: Hons student

Ms Olivia Paris Quinn: Hons student

Dr Zhimai Lyu: Visiting Researcher

Ms Ashley Rowland: Summer Scholar


Prof John C Rothwell (University College, London, UK)

Prof Ulf Ziemann (University of Tubingen, Tubingen, Germany)

Prof Angela Clow (University of Westminster, London, UK)

Prof Lorimer Moseley (Univeristy of South Australia)

Dr John Semmler (University of Adelaide)

2008        National Health & Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship
2003   Australian Research Council Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellowship
2003   Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Prize for Neuroscience. Awarded by the Australian Brain Foundation.
2001   Finalist The 2001 Eureka Awards - Prize for Scientific Research
  (Sponsored by the University of New South Wales)

 Current Research Projects

My current research interests lie in the field of motor cortical plasticity or the capacity of the motor cortex to reorganise its connections with experience. Plasticity is important for learning and recovery from brain injury. I employ non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (including transcranial magnetic stimulation) to experimentally induce plasticity in the motor cortex of human subjects. While these approaches have considerable potential for treatment of neurological conditions their efficacy is, at present, limited due to high response variability. Our current research projects include:

  1. The role of neuroplasticity in cognitive impairment
  2. Characterising changes in cortical plasticity after stroke
  3. Physical activity and brain health
  4. Neuroplasticity and the development of chronic pain
  5. Development of novel stimulation paradigms to induce lasting neuroplasticity

PhD student position (2017)

We are looking for a motivated PhD student to work on a project examining the influence of physical activity on human brain plasticity and cognitive function. Experience/interest in non invasive brain stimulation and human neurophysiological techniques desirable.  Please contact Prof Mike Ridding for further information.

National Health and Medical Research Council
Australian Research Council
Australian Academy of Science
Wellcome Trust
Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation
Ian Potter Foundation

Publications in last 5 years

Book chapters
1. W. Paulus, A.V. Peterchev and M. Ridding (2013). Transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation: techniques and paradigms Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 116 (3rd series). Brain Stimulation. Edited by Andres M Lozano and Mark Hallett. Elsevier B.V.
2. P.M. Rossini & M.C. Ridding. (2012). Neurophysiological (Mainly Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Techniques to Test Functional Neuroanatomy of Cortico-Cortical Connectivity. In Transcranial Brain Stimulation. Frontiers in Neuroscience Series. Editors Carlo Miniussi, Walter Paulus, Paolo M Rossini. CRC Press. (978-1-43-987570-4).

Invited reviews
3. B. Hordacre, M.C.Ridding, L. Bradnam. The potential for non-invasive brain stimulation to improve function after amputation. Accepted for publication 2/10/15 Disability and Rehabilitation (ms # TIDS-02-2015-074.R1).
4. A. Suppa, Y.Z. Huang, K. Funke, M.C. Ridding, B. Cheeran, V. Di Lazzaro, U. Ziemann and J.C. Rothwell. Ten Years of Theta Burst Stimulation in Humans: Established Knowledge, Unknowns and Prospects. Accepted for publication Brain Stimulation (ms# BRS-D-15-00500R1).
5. M.R. Goldsworthy, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. Spaced Noninvasive Brain Stimulation: Prospects for Inducing Long-Lasting Human Cortical Plasticity. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2015 29: 714-21.
6. A.M. Vallence & M.C. Ridding. Non-invasive induction of plasticity in the human cortex: Uses and limitations. Cortex 2014 58C: 261-271.
7. L. Chipchase, S. Schabrun, L.G. Cohen, P. Hodges, M. C. Ridding, J. Rothwell, J. Taylor, U. Ziemann. A checklist for assessing the methodological quality of studies using transcranial magnetic stimulation to study the motor system: an international consensus study. Clin Neurophysiol 2012 123(9): 1698-1704.

8. M.R. Goldsworthy, M.C. Ridding, B. Hordacre. Response Variability to Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Protocols. (Editorial), Clin Neurophysiol 2015 126, 2249-50.

Refereed Journal articles

9. G.M. Opie, N.C. Rogasch, M.R. Goldsworthy, M.C. Ridding, J.G. Semmler. Investigating TMS-EEG Indices of Long-Interval Intracortical Inhibition at Different Interstimulus Intervals. In press Brain Stimul 2016 Aug 8. pii: S1935-861X(16)30207-8.

10. G.M. Opie, E. Vosnakis, M.C. Ridding, U. Ziemann, J.G. Semmler. Priming theta burst stimulation enhances motor cortex plasticity in young but not old adults. Accepted for publication (17/11/16) Brain Stimul (ms# BRS-D-16-00469).

11. L. Bradnam, M.N. McDonnell, M.C. Ridding. Cerebellar intermittent theta-burst stimulation and motor control training in people with cervical dystonia. Accepted for publication (18/11/16) Brain Sciences (Manuscript ID: brainsci-152849).
12. G.M. Opie, E. Vosnakis, M.C. Ridding, U. Ziemann, J.G. Semmler. Priming theta burst stimulation enhances motor cortex plasticity in young but not old adults. In press Brain Stimul 2016 Nov 17
13. K.L. Kremer, A.E. Smith, L. Sanderman, J. Inglis, M.C. Ridding, S.A. Koblar. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of human adult stem cells in the mammalian brain. Frontiers in neural Circuits 2016 10:17.
14. G.M. Opie, A. Evans, M.C. Ridding, J.G. Semmler. Short-term immobilization influences use-dependent cortical plasticity and fine motor performance. Neuroscience 2016 330:247-56.
15. B. Hordacre, M.A. Immink, M.C. Ridding, S.Hillier. Perceptual-motor learning benefits from increased stress and anxiety. Human Movement Science 2016 49:36-46.
16. M.R. Goldsworthy, B. Hordacre, M.C. Ridding. Minimum number of trials required for within- and between-session reliability of TMS measures of corticospinal excitability. Neuroscience 2016 320:205-9.
17. M.R. Goldsworthy, AM Vallence, R Yang, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding Combined transcranial alternating current stimulation and cTBS: a novel approach for neuroplasticity induction. Eur J Neurosci. 2016 43(4): 572-9.
18. N.A. Hodyl, L.A. Schneider, AM. Vallence, A. Clow, M.C. Ridding, J.B. Pitcher. The cortisol awakening response influences performance of a serial sequence reaction time task. International Journal of Psychophysiology 2016 100:12-8.
19. M.R. Goldsworthy, AM. Vallence, N.A. Hodyl, J.G. Semmler, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. Probing changes in corticospinal excitability following theta burst stimulation of the human primary motor cortex. Clin Neurophysiol 2016 127(1): 740-7.
20. L.A. Schneider, N.R. Burns, L.C. Giles, T.J. Nettelbeck, I.L. Hudson, M.C. Ridding, J.B. Pitcher. The influence of motor function on processing speed in preterm and term born children. Child Neuropsychology 2015 27:1-16.
21. L.A. Schneider, M.R. Goldsworthy, J.P. Cole, M.C. Ridding, J.B. Pitcher. The influence of short-interval intracortical facilitation when assessing developmental changes in short-interval intracortical inhibition. Neuroscience 2015 312:19-25.
22. M.N. McDonnell, S Koblar, N.S. Ward, J.C. Rothwell, B. Hordacre, M.C. Ridding. An investigation of cortical neuroplasticity following stroke in adults: is there evidence for a critical window for rehabilitation? BMC Neurology 2015 15:109.
23. AM. Vallence, M.R. Goldsworthy, N.A. Hodyl, J.G. Semmler, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. Inter- and intra-subject variability of motor cortex plasticity following continuous theta-burst stimulation. Neuroscience 2015 304: 266-278.
24. G.M. Opie, M.C. Ridding, J.G. Semmler. Age-related differences in pre- and post-synaptic motor cortex inhibition are task dependent. Brain Stimulation 2015 8: 926-36.
25. L. Bradnam, L. Graetz, M. N. McDonnell, M.C. Ridding. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation to the cerebellum improves handwriting and cyclic drawing kinematics in focal hand dystonia. Accepted for publication, Front Hum Neurosci 2015 9: 286.
26. G.M. Opie, M.C. Ridding, J.G. Semmler. Task-related changes in intracortical inhibition assessed with paired- and triple-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. J Neurophysiol. 2015 113: 1470-9.
27. J.B. Pitcher, S.H. Doeltgen, M.R. Goldsworthy, L.A. Schneider, A.M. Vallence, A.E. Smith, J.G. Semmler, M.N. McDonnell and M.C. Ridding. A comparison of two methods for estimating 50% of the maximal motor evoked potential. Clin Neurophysiol 2015 126(12): 2337-41.
28. M.R. Goldsworthy, F. Müller-Dahlhaus, M.C. Ridding, U. Ziemann. Resistant against de-depression: LTD-like plasticity in the human motor cortex induced by spaced cTBS. Cerebral Cortex 2015 25(7): 1724-34. Note: M.C.R and U.Z. contributed equally to this work.
29. AM Vallence, L.A. Schneider, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. Long-interval facilitation and inhibition are differentially affected by conditioning stimulus intensity over different time courses. Neurosci Lett. 2014 570: 114-8.
30. M.R. Goldsworthy, F. Müller-Dahlhaus, M.C. Ridding, U. Ziemann. Inter-subject Variability of LTD-like Plasticity in Human Motor Cortex: A Matter of Preceding Motor Activation. Brain Stimul. 2014 7: 864-70. Note: M.C.R and U.Z. contributed equally to this work.
31. L.A. Schneider, N.R. Burns, L.C. Giles, R.D. Higgins, T.J. Nettelbeck, M.C. Ridding, J.B. Pitcher. Cognitive Abilities in Preterm and Term-Born Adolescents. J Pediatr. 2014 165 (1): 170-7.
32. A.E. Smith, M.R. Goldsworthy, T. Garside, F.M. Wood, M.C. Ridding. The influence of a single bout of aerobic exercise on short-interval intracortical excitability. Exp Brain Res 2014 232(6): 1875-82.
33. A. Clow, R. Law, P. Evans, A.M. Vallence, N. Hodyl, M.R. Goldsworthy, J.C. Rothwell, M.C. Ridding. Day differences in the cortisol awakening response predict day differences in synaptic plasticity in the brain. Stress 2014 17(3): 219-23).
34. M.N. McDonnell, J.D. Buckley, G.M. Opie, M.C. Ridding, J.G. Semmler. A single bout of aerobic exercise promotes motor cortical neuroplasticity. J Appl Physiol 2013 114(9): 1174-82.
35. D.T. Weise, J.J. Mann, M.C. Ridding, K. Eskandar, M. Huss, J. Rumpf, V. Di Lazzaro, P. Mazzone, F. Ranieri, and J. Classen. Microcircuit mechanisms involved in paired associative stimulation-induced depression of corticospinal excitability. J Physiol 2013 591(19): 4903-20.
36. A.M. Vallence, L. Kurylowicz, M.C. Ridding. A comparison of neuroplastic responses to non-invasive brain stimulation protocols and motor learning in healthy adults. Neurosci Lett 2013 549: 151-6.
37. R.K. Andrews, S.M. Schabrun, M.C. Ridding, M. Galea, P.W. Hodges and L.S. Chipchase. The effect of electrical stimulation on corticospinal excitability is dependent on application duration: a same subject pre-post test design. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2013 10:51.
38. M.V. Sale, M.C. Ridding, M.A. Nordstrom. Time of day does not modulate improvements in motor performance following a repetitive ballistic motor training task. Neural Plasticity 2013, 396865.
39. G.M. Opie, P.G. Catcheside, Z.A. Usmani, M.C. Ridding, J.G. Semmler. Motor Cortex Plasticity induced by Theta Burst Stimulation is Impaired in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Eur J Neurosci 2013 37(11): 1844-52.
40. S.M. Schabrun, L.S. Chipchase, M.C. Ridding. Harnessing the brain's potential to change. Accepted for publication 13/09/12 Physiotherapy Practice and Research (# 12-12-R).
41. S. M. Schabrun, D Weise, M.C. Ridding, J Classen. A new temporal window for inducing depressant associative plasticity in human primary motor cortex. Clinical Neurophysiology 2013 124(6): 1196-203.
42. A.M. Vallence, A. Smith, A. Tabor, P. Rolan, M.C. Ridding. Chronic tension-type headache is associated with impaired motor learning. Cephalgia 2013 33(12): 1048-54.
43. S.M. Schabrun, M.C. Ridding, M. Galea, P.W. Hodges, L.S. Chipchase. Primary sensory and motor cortex excitability are co-modulated in response to peripheral electrical nerve stimulation. PLOS One 2012 7(12): e51298.
44. Julia B. Pitcher, Alysha M. Riley, Sebastian H. Doeltgen, Lisa Kurylowicz, John C. Rothwell, Suzanne M. McAllister, Ashleigh E. Smith, Angela Clow, David J. Kennaway, Michael C. Ridding. Physiological evidence consistent with reduced neuroplasticity in human adolescents born preterm. J Neurosci 2012 32(46): 16410-16416.
45. J.B. Pitcher, L.A. Schneider, N.R. Burns, J.L. Drysdale, R.D.Higgins, M.C. Ridding, T.J. Nettelbeck, R.R. Haslam, & J.S.Robinson. Reduced corticomotor excitability and motor skills in children born preterm. J Physiol 2012 590(22): 5827-44.
46. M. Goldsworthy, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. A comparison of two different continuous theta burst stimulation paradigms applied to the human primary motor cortex. Clin Neurophysiol 2012 123(11): 2256-2263.
47. M. Goldsworthy, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. Neuroplastic modulation of inhibitory motor cortical networks by spaced theta burst stimulation protocols. Brain Stim 2013 6(3): 340-5.
48. S.H. Doeltgen, S.H. McAllister, M.C. Ridding. Simultaneous application of slow-oscillation transcranial direct current stimulation and theta burst stimulation prolongs theta burst stimulation-induced suppression of corticomotor excitability in humans. Eur J Neurosci. 2012 36(5): 2661-2668.
49. M. Goldsworthy, J.B. Pitcher, M.C. Ridding. The application of spaced rTMS protocols induces long-lasting neuroplastic changes in the human motor cortex. Eur J Neurosci 2012 35(1): 125-34.
50. J. Cirillo, J. Hughes, M.C. Ridding, P. Q. Thomas and J.G. Semmler. Differential modulation of motor cortex excitability in BDNF Met allele carriers following experimentally induced and use-dependent plasticity. Eur J Neurosci 2012 36: 2640-2649.

Australian Neuroscience Society

Society for Neuroscience (USA)

Movement Disorder Society

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Friday, 23 Jun 2017

To link to this page, please use the following URL: