Challenges of P300 Modulation Using tACS

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Challenges of P300 Modulation Using Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS).

Front Psychol. 2019;10:476

Authors: Popp F, Dallmer-Zerbe I, Philipsen A, Herrmann CS

Abstract
The P300 component of the event-related potential (ERP) is a well investigated phenomenon in the human electroencephalogram (EEG) and has been related to stimulus processing and attentional mechanisms. Event-related oscillations (ERO) represent a potential mechanism responsible for generating the ERP. In particular, oscillatory activity in the delta and theta frequency range has been associated with the generation of the P300 component. Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) is capable of modulating oscillatory brain activity in a frequency-specific manner. In this study, we aimed to modulate P300 amplitude using tACS by stimulating the individual ERO involved in the generation of the P300 component. TACS was applied precisely in time to the target P300 occurring in a visual oddball task. In order to achieve an appropriate current distribution, we designed an electrode configuration consisting of two clusters of stimulation electrodes on central-parietal locations. We could not demonstrate a group difference in P300 amplitude after applying tACS in the stimulation condition (N = 17) vs. the sham condition (N = 11). TACS condition and sham condition did not differ regarding their reaction times in response to target stimuli or their event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) at stimulation frequency. Although a significant influence of stimulation could not yet be revealed on a statistical level, we suggest that the proposed method of using tACS for modulating EROs merits further investigation. Modulation of the P300 component in the ERP could help to gain further insights in the role of EROs generating ERPs and the functional relevance of the P300 component. In this study, we propose a novel approach of applying tACS and provide advice on using tACS for the modulation of EROs.

PMID: 30890990 [PubMed]

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