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  Transient amplitude modulation of alpha-band oscillations by short-time intermittent closed-loop tACS

Zarubin, G., Gundlach, C., Nikulin, V. V., Villringer, A., & Bogdan, M. (2020). Transient amplitude modulation of alpha-band oscillations by short-time intermittent closed-loop tACS. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14: 366. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2020.00366.

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Zarubin, Georgy1, 2, Author              
Gundlach, Christopher2, 3, Author              
Nikulin, Vadim V.2, 4, Author              
Villringer, Arno2, 5, 6, 7, Author              
Bogdan, Martin1, Author
1Institute of Informatics, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
3Institute of Psychology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Centre for Cognition and Decision Making, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ou_persistent22              
5Neurophysics Group, Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: tACS; Closed-loop; Alpha; EEG; Stimulation; Neural oscillations
 Abstract: Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques such as transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) have recently become extensively utilized due to their potential to modulate ongoing neuronal oscillatory activity and consequently to induce cortical plasticity relevant for various cognitive functions. However, the neurophysiological basis for stimulation effects as well as their inter-individual differences is not yet understood. In the present study, we used a closed-loop electroencephalography-tACS(EEG-tACS) protocol to examine the modulation of alpha oscillations generated in occipito-parietal areas. In particular, we investigated the effects of a repeated short-time intermittent stimulation protocol (1 s in every trial) applied over the visual cortex (Cz and Oz) and adjusted according to the phase and frequency of visual alpha oscillations on the amplitude of these oscillations. Based on previous findings, we expected higher increases in alpha amplitudes for tACS applied in-phase with ongoing oscillations as compared to an application in anti-phase and this modulation to be present in low-alpha amplitude states of the visual system (eyes opened, EO) but not high (eyes closed, EC). Contrary to our expectations, we found a transient suppression of alpha power in inter-individually derived spatially specific parieto-occipital components obtained via the estimation of spatial filters by using the common spatial patterns approach. The amplitude modulation was independent of the phase relationship between the tACS signal and alpha oscillations, and the state of the visual system manipulated via closed- and open-eye conditions. It was also absent in conventionally analyzed single-channel and multi-channel data from an average parieto-occipital region. The fact that the tACS modulation of oscillations was phase-independent suggests that mechanisms driving the effects of tACS may not be explained by entrainment alone, but rather require neuroplastic changes or transient disruption of neural oscillations. Our study also supports the notion that the response to tACS is subject-specific, where the modulatory effects are shaped by the interplay between the stimulation and different alpha generators. This favors stimulation protocols as well as analysis regimes exploiting inter-individual differences, such as spatial filters to reveal otherwise hidden stimulation effects and, thereby, comprehensively induce and study the effects and underlying mechanisms of tACS.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-01-222020-08-102020-09-04
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.00366
 Degree: -



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Grant ID : 5-100
Funding program : Russian Academic Excellence Project
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Source 1

Title: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Hum Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 14 Sequence Number: 366 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1662-5161
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1662-5161