Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) modulates cortical excitability as assessed by TMS-induced phosphene thresholds

Kanai, Ryota, Paulus, Walter and Walsh, Vincent (2010) Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) modulates cortical excitability as assessed by TMS-induced phosphene thresholds. Clinical Neurophysiology, 121 (9). pp. 1551-1554. ISSN 1388-2457

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Recent developments in transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) provide a powerful approach to establish the functional roles of neuronal oscillatory activities in the human brain. Here, we investigated whether tACS can reach and modulate the excitability of the visual cortex in a frequency-dependent manner.

METHODS

We measured the cortical excitability of the visual cortex using single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while delivering tACS to the occipital region at different frequencies (5, 10, 20 and 40 Hz).

RESULTS

We found that tACS at 20 Hz decreased TMS-phosphene threshold (i.e., increased the excitability of the visual cortex) during the stimulation, whereas other frequencies did not affect TMS-phosphene thresholds.

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings demonstrate direct interactions of tACS with the visual cortex in a frequency-dependent manner.

SIGNIFICANCE

Our present work provides further demonstration of the potential of tACS as a method to selectively modulate the excitability of the visual cortex.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Ryota Kanai
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 08:36
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 13:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43972
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