Alpha-tACS on a visuomotor learning task.

tDCS vs tACS

Off-line effects of alpha-frequency transcranial alternating current stimulation on a visuomotor learning task.

INTRODUCTION: It has been suggested that transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) at both alpha and beta frequencies promotes motor function as well as motor learning. However, limited information exists on the aftereffects of tACS on motor learning and neurophysiological profiles such as entrainment and neural plasticity in parallel. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effect of tACS on motor learning and neurophysiological profiles using an off-line tACS condition.
METHODS: Thirty-three healthy participants were randomly assigned to 10 Hz, 20 Hz, or the sham group. Participants performed visuomotor learning tasks consisting of a baseline task (preadaptation task) and training task (adaptation task) to reach a target with a lever-type controller. Electroencephalography was recorded from eight locations during the learning tasks. tACS was performed between the preadaptation task and adaptation task over the left primary motor cortex for 10 min at 1 mA.
RESULTS: As a result, 10 Hz tACS was shown to be effective for initial angular error correction in the visuomotor learning tasks. However, there were no significant differences in neural oscillatory activities among the three groups.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that initial motor learning can be facilitated even when 10 Hz tACS is applied under off-line conditions. However, neurophysiological aftereffects were recently demonstrated to be induced by tACS at individual alpha frequencies rather than fixed alpha tACS, which suggests that the neurophysiological aftereffects by fixed frequency stimulation in the present study may have been insufficient to generate changes in oscillatory neural activity.

PMID: 33460319 [PubMed – in process]

Brain Behav. 2020 Sep;10(9):e01754

Authors: Harada T, Hara M, Matsushita K, Kawakami K, Kawakami K, Anan M, Sugata H




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