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Low-frequency alternating current stimulation rhythmically suppresses gamma-band oscillations and impairs perceptual performance

Herring, Jim D., Esterer, Sophie, Marshall, Tom R., Jensen, Ole and Bergmann, Til O. 2019. Low-frequency alternating current stimulation rhythmically suppresses gamma-band oscillations and impairs perceptual performance. NeuroImage 184 , pp. 440-449. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.09.047

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Abstract

Low frequency oscillations such as alpha (8–12 Hz) are hypothesized to rhythmically gate sensory processing, reflected by 40–100 Hz gamma band activity, via the mechanism of pulsed inhibition. We applied transcranial alternating current stimulation (TACS) at individual alpha frequency (IAF) and flanking frequencies (IAF-4 Hz, IAF+4 Hz) to the occipital cortex of healthy human volunteers during concurrent magnetoencephalography (MEG), while participants performed a visual detection task inducing strong gamma-band responses. Occipital (but not retinal) TACS phasically suppressed stimulus-induced gamma oscillations in the visual cortex and impaired target detection, with stronger phase-to-amplitude coupling predicting behavioral impairments. Retinal control TACS ruled out retino-thalamo-cortical entrainment resulting from (subthreshold) retinal stimulation. All TACS frequencies tested were effective, suggesting that visual gamma-band responses can be modulated by a range of low frequency oscillations. We propose that TACS-induced membrane potential modulations mimic the rhythmic change in cortical excitability by which spontaneous low frequency oscillations may eventually exert their impact when gating sensory processing via pulsed inhibition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 18 September 2018
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 10:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/120350

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