Explaining variability of tACS effects.

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Integrating electric field modeling and neuroimaging to explain inter-individual variability of tACS effects.

Abstract
Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) of the brain can have variable effects, plausibly driven by individual differences in neuroanatomy and resulting differences of the electric fields inside the brain. Here, we integrated individual simulations of electric fields during tES with source localization to predict variability of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) aftereffects on α-oscillations. In two experiments, participants received 20-min of either α-tACS (1 mA) or sham stimulation. Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) was recorded for 10-min before and after stimulation. tACS caused a larger power increase in the α-band compared to sham. The variability of this effect was significantly predicted by measures derived from individual electric field modeling. Our results directly link electric field variability to variability of tACS outcomes, underline the importance of individualizing stimulation protocols, and provide a novel approach to analyze tACS effects in terms of dose-response relationships.

PMID: 31780668 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Commun. 2019 11 28;10(1):5427

Authors: Kasten FH, Duecker K, Maack MC, Meiser A, Herrmann CS

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