Intermittent tACS during a visual task impacts neural oscillations

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ntermittent tACS during a visual task impacts neural oscillations and LZW complexity.

Abstract
Little is known about how transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) interacts with brain activity. Here, we investigate the effects of tACS using an intermittent tACS-EEG protocol and use, in addition to classical metrics, Lempel-Ziv-Welch complexity (LZW) to characterize the interactions between task, endogenous and exogenous oscillations. In a cross-over study, EEG was recorded from thirty participants engaged in a change-of-speed detection task while receiving multichannel tACS over the visual cortex at 10 Hz, 70 Hz and a control condition. In each session, tACS was applied intermittently during 5 s events interleaved with EEG recordings over multiple trials. We found that, with respect to control, stimulation at 10 Hz ([Formula: see text]) enhanced both [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] power, [Formula: see text]-LZW complexity and [Formula: see text] but not [Formula: see text] phase locking value with respect to tACS onset ([Formula: see text]-PLV, [Formula: see text]-PLV), and increased reaction time (RT). [Formula: see text] increased RT with little impact on other metrics. As trials associated with larger [Formula: see text]-power (and lower [Formula: see text]-LZW) predicted shorter RT, we argue that [Formula: see text] produces a disruption of functionally relevant fast oscillations through an increase in [Formula: see text]-band power, slowing behavioural responses and increasing the complexity of gamma oscillations. Our study highlights the complex interaction between tACS and endogenous brain dynamics, and suggests the use of algorithmic complexity inspired metrics to characterize cortical dynamics in a behaviorally relevant timescale.

PMID: 32367144 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Exp Brain Res. 2020 May 04;:

Authors: Castellano M, Ibañez-Soria D, Kroupi E, Acedo J, Campolo M, Soria-Frisch A, Valls-Sole J, Verma A, Ruffini G

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