Manipulation of Human Verticality Using High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.
ABSTRACT: Background: Using conventional tDCS over the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) we previously reported that it is possible to manipulate subjective visual vertical (SVV) and postural control. We also demonstrated that high-definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) can achieve substantially greater cortical stimulation focality than conventional tDCS. However, it is critical to establish dose-response effects using well-defined protocols with relevance to clinically meaningful applications. Objective: To conduct three pilot studies investigating polarity and intensity-dependent effects of HD-tDCS over the right TPJ on behavioral and physiological outcome measures in healthy subjects. We additionally aimed to establish the feasibility, safety, and tolerability of this stimulation protocol. Methods: We designed three separate randomized, double-blind, crossover phase I clinical trials in different cohorts of healthy adults using the same stimulation protocol. The primary outcome measure for trial 1 was SVV; trial 2, weight-bearing asymmetry (WBA); and trial 3, electroencephalography power spectral density (EEG-PSD). The HD-tDCS montage comprised a single central, and 3 surround electrodes (HD-tDCS3x1) over the right TPJ. For each study, we tested 3x2 min HD-tDCS3x1 at 1, 2 and 3 mA; with anode center, cathode center, or sham stimulation, in random order across days. Results: We found significant SVV deviation relative to baseline, specific to the cathode center condition, with consistent direction and increasing with stimulation intensity. We further showed significant WBA with direction governed by stimulation polarity (cathode center, left asymmetry; anode center, right asymmetry). EEG-PSD in the gamma band was significantly increased at 3 mA under the cathode. Conclusions: The present series of studies provide converging evidence for focal neuromodulation that can modify physiology and have behavioral consequences with clinical potential.
Project description:Pathologic tilt of subjective visual vertical (SVV) frequently has adverse functional consequences for patients with stroke and vestibular disorders. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the supramarginal gyrus can produce a transitory tilt on SVV in healthy subjects. However, the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on SVV has never been systematically studied. We investigated whether bilateral tDCS over the temporal-parietal region could result in both online and offline SVV misperception in healthy subjects. In a randomized, sham-controlled, single-blind crossover pilot study, thirteen healthy subjects performed tests of SVV before, during and after the tDCS applied over the temporal-parietal region in three conditions used on different days: right anode/left cathode; right cathode/left anode; and sham. Subjects were blind to the tDCS conditions. Montage-specific current flow patterns were investigated using computational models. SVV was significantly displaced towards the anode during both active stimulation conditions when compared to sham condition. Immediately after both active conditions, there were rebound effects. Longer lasting after-effects towards the anode occurred only in the right cathode/left anode condition. Current flow models predicted the stimulation of temporal-parietal regions under the electrodes and deep clusters in the posterior limb of the internal capsule. The present findings indicate that tDCS over the temporal-parietal region can significantly alter human SVV perception. This tDCS approach may be a potential clinical tool for the treatment of SVV misperception in neurological patients.
Project description:Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in patients with schizophrenia are associated with abnormal hyperactivity in the left temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and abnormal connectivity between frontal and temporal areas. Recent findings suggest that fronto-temporal transcranial Direct Current stimulation (tDCS) with the cathode placed over the left TPJ and the anode over the left prefrontal cortex can alleviate treatment-resistant AVH in patients with schizophrenia. However, brain correlates of the AVH reduction are unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of tDCS on the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) of the left TPJ. Twenty-three patients with schizophrenia and treatment-resistant AVH were randomly allocated to receive 10 sessions of active (2 mA, 20 min) or sham tDCS (2 sessions/d for 5 d). We compared the rs-FC of the left TPJ between patients before and after they received active or sham tDCS. Relative to sham tDCS, active tDCS significantly reduced AVH as well as the negative symptoms. Active tDCS also reduced rs-FC of the left TPJ with the left anterior insula and the right inferior frontal gyrus and increased rs-FC of the left TPJ with the left angular gyrus, the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the precuneus. The reduction of AVH severity was correlated with the reduction of the rs-FC between the left TPJ and the left anterior insula. These findings suggest that the reduction of AVH induced by tDCS is associated with a modulation of the rs-FC within an AVH-related brain network, including brain areas involved in inner speech production and monitoring.
Project description:Lesions to brain regions such as the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and inferior frontal cortex (IFC) are thought to cause autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous studies indicated that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the right TPJ improves social cognitive functions such as imitation-inhibition and perspective-taking. Although previous work shows that tDCS of the right IFC improves imitation-inhibition, its effects on perspective-taking have yet to be determined. In addition, the role of the TPJ and IFC in determining the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), which is a measure of autism spectrum traits, is still unclear. Thus, the current study performed tDCS on the right TPJ and the right IFC of healthy adults, and examined its effects on imitation-inhibition, perspective-taking and AQ scores. Based on previous studies, we hypothesized that anodal tDCS of the right IFC and right TPJ would improve imitation-inhibition, perspective-taking and the AQ score. Anodal tDCS of the right TPJ or IFC significantly decreased the interference effect in an imitation-inhibition task and the cost of perspective-taking in a perspective-taking task, in comparison to the sham stimulation control. These findings indicated that both the TPJ and the IFC play a role in imitation-inhibition and perspective-taking, i.e., control of self and other representations. However, anodal stimulation of the right TPJ and the right IFC did not alter participants' AQ. This finding conflicts with results from previous brain imaging studies, which could be attributed to methodological differences such as variation in sex, age and ASD. Therefore, further research is necessary to determine the relationship between the TPJ and IFC, and the AQ.
Project description:Modulating the temporoparietal junction (TPJ), especially the right counterpart, shows promises in enhancing social cognitive ability. However, it is ambiguous whether the functional lateralization of TPJ determines people's responsiveness to brain stimulation. Here, this issue is investigated with an individual difference approach. Forty-five participants attended three sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) experiments and one neuroimaging session. The results support the symmetric mechanism of left and right TPJ stimulation. First, the left and right TPJ stimulation effect are comparable in the group-level analysis. Second, the individual-level analysis reveals that a less right-lateralized TPJ is associated with a higher level of responsiveness. Participants could be classified into positive responders showing cognitive enhancement and negative responders showing cognitive impairment due to stimulation. The positive responders show weaker connectivity between bilateral TPJ and the medial prefrontal cortex, which mediates the prediction of offline responsiveness by the lateralization and the social-related trait. These findings call for a better characterization and predictive models for whom tDCS should be used for, and highlight the necessity and feasibility of prestimulation screening.
Project description:Distributive justice concerns how individuals and societies distribute income in a just or equal manner. We aimed to test the roles of social preference in behavioral distributive justice. We thus provide evidence of a causal link between the neural and behavioral results through the application of bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of our participants. The participants were found to make fairer distributions within the known position after receiving right anodal/left cathodal tDCS and receiving right cathodal/left anodal tDCS over the TPJ than the participants who received the sham stimulation. Simultaneously, we elicited the participants' advantage inequity aversion and found that the participants who received right anodal/left cathodal tDCS and who received right cathodal/left anodal tDCS over the TPJ were more averse to advantage inequity. Additionally, the participants' distributive proportions to the lowest income stratum within the known position were strongly related to their social preference of advantage inequity aversion. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that the modulation of the excitability of the TPJ using tDCS altered the distributive decisions of the participants within the known position, and this effect might be attributable to a change in the individuals' social preferences.
Project description:Judgments about whether an action is morally right or wrong typically depend on our capacity to infer the actor's beliefs and the outcomes of the action. Prior neuroimaging studies have found that mental state (e.g., beliefs, intentions) attribution for moral judgment involves a complex neural network that includes the temporoparietal junction (TPJ). However, neuroimaging studies cannot demonstrate a direct causal relationship between the activity of this brain region and mental state attribution for moral judgment. In the current study, we used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to transiently alter neural activity in the TPJ. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three stimulation treatments (right anodal/left cathodal tDCS, left anodal/right cathodal tDCS, or sham stimulation). Each participant was required to complete two similar tasks of moral judgment before receiving tDCS and after receiving tDCS. We studied whether tDCS to the TPJ altered mental state attribution for moral judgment. The results indicated that restraining the activity of the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) or the left the temporoparietal junction (LTPJ) decreased the role of beliefs in moral judgments and led to an increase in the dependance of the participants' moral judgments on the action's consequences. We also found that the participants exhibited reduced reaction times both in the cases of intentional harms and attempted harms after receiving right cathodal/left anodal tDCS to the TPJ. These findings inform and extend the current neural models of moral judgment and moral development in typically developing people and in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
Project description:Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive, low-cost, well-tolerated technique producing lasting modulation of cortical excitability. Behavioral and therapeutic outcomes of tDCS are linked to the targeted brain regions, but there is little evidence that current reaches the brain as intended. We aimed to: (1) validate a computational model for estimating cortical electric fields in human transcranial stimulation, and (2) assess the magnitude and spread of cortical electric field with a novel High-Definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) scalp montage using a 4 × 1-Ring electrode configuration. In three healthy adults, Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (TES) over primary motor cortex (M1) was delivered using the 4 × 1 montage (4 × cathode, surrounding a single central anode; montage radius ~3 cm) with sufficient intensity to elicit a discrete muscle twitch in the hand. The estimated current distribution in M1 was calculated using the individualized MRI-based model, and compared with the observed motor response across subjects. The response magnitude was quantified with stimulation over motor cortex as well as anterior and posterior to motor cortex. In each case the model data were consistent with the motor response across subjects. The estimated cortical electric fields with the 4 × 1 montage were compared (area, magnitude, direction) for TES and tDCS in each subject. We provide direct evidence in humans that TES with a 4 × 1-Ring configuration can activate motor cortex and that current does not substantially spread outside the stimulation area. Computational models predict that both TES and tDCS waveforms using the 4 × 1-Ring configuration generate electric fields in cortex with comparable gross current distribution, and preferentially directed normal (inward) currents. The agreement of modeling and experimental data for both current delivery and focality support the use of the HD-tDCS 4 × 1-Ring montage for cortically targeted neuromodulation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The ergogenic effects of analgesic substances suggest that pain perception is an important regulator of work-rate during fatiguing exercise. Recent research has shown that endogenous inhibitory responses, which act to attenuate nociceptive input and reduce perceived pain, can be increased following transcranial direct current stimulation of the hand motor cortex. Using high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS; 2 mA, 20 min), the current study aimed to examine the effects of elevated pain inhibitory capacity on endurance exercise performance. It was hypothesised that HD-tDCS would enhance the efficiency of the endogenous pain inhibitory response and improve endurance exercise performance. METHODS:Twelve healthy males between 18 and 40 years of age (M = 24.42 ± 3.85) were recruited for participation. Endogenous pain inhibitory capacity and exercise performance were assessed before and after both active and sham (placebo) stimulation. The conditioned pain modulation protocol was used for the measurement of pain inhibition. Exercise performance assessment consisted of both maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and submaximal muscular endurance performance trials using isometric contractions of the non-dominant leg extensors. RESULTS:Active HD-tDCS (pre-tDCS, -.32 ± 1.33 kg; post-tDCS, -1.23 ± 1.21 kg) significantly increased pain inhibitory responses relative to the effects of sham HD-tDCS (pre-tDCS, -.91 ± .92 kg; post-tDCS, -.26 ± .92 kg; p = .046). Irrespective of condition, peak MVC force and muscular endurance was reduced from pre- to post-stimulation. HD-tDCS did not significantly influence this reduction in maximal force (active: pre-tDCS, 264.89 ± 66.87 Nm; post-tDCS, 236.33 ± 66.51 Nm; sham: pre-tDCS, 249.25 ± 88.56 Nm; post-tDCS, 239.63 ± 67.53 Nm) or muscular endurance (active: pre-tDCS, 104.65 ± 42.36 s; post-tDCS, 93.07 ± 33.73 s; sham: pre-tDCS, 123.42 ± 72.48 s; post-tDCS, 100.27 ± 44.25 s). DISCUSSION:Despite increasing pain inhibitory capacity relative to sham stimulation, active HD-tDCS did not significantly elevate maximal force production or muscular endurance. These findings question the role of endogenous pain inhibitory networks in the regulation of exercise performance.
Project description:Transcutaneous electrical stimulation is applied in a range of biomedical applications including transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS is a non-invasive procedure where a weak direct current (<2 mA) is applied across the scalp to modulate brain function. High-definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) is a technique used to increase the spatial focality of tDCS by passing current across the scalp using <12 mm diameter electrodes. The purpose of this study was to design and optimize "high-definition" electrode-gel parameters for electrode durability, skin safety and subjective pain. Anode and cathode electrode potential, temperature, pH and subjective sensation over time were assessed during application of 2 mA direct current, for up to 22 min on agar gel or subject forearms. A selection of five types of solid-conductors (Ag pellet, Ag/AgCl pellet, rubber pellet, Ag/AgCl ring and Ag/AgCl disc) and seven conductive gels (Signa, Spectra, Tensive, Redux, BioGel, Lectron and CCNY-4) were investigated. The Ag/AgCl ring in combination with CCNY-4 gel resulted in the most favorable outcomes. Under anode stimulations, electrode potential and temperature rises were generally observed in all electrode-gel combinations except for Ag/AgCl ring and disc electrodes. pH remained constant for all solid-conductors except for both Ag and rubber pellet electrodes with Signa and CCNY-4 gels. Sensation ratings were independent of stimulation polarity. Ag/AgCl ring electrodes were found to be the most comfortable followed by Ag, rubber and Ag/AgCl pellet electrodes across all gels.
Project description:Polarising currents can modulate membrane potentials in animals, affecting the after-effect of theta burst stimulation (TBS) on synaptic strength.We examined whether a similar phenomenon could also be observed in human motor cortex (M1) using transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) during monophasic intermittent TBS (iTBS).TDCS was applied during posterior-anterior iTBS using three different conditions: posterior-anterior TDCS (anode 3.5 cm posterior to M1, cathode 3.5 cm anterior to M1), anterior-posterior TDCS (cathode 3.5 cm posterior to M1, anode 3.5 cm anterior to M1), and sham TDCS.When the direction of TDCS (posterior-anterior) matched the direction of the electrical field induced by iTBS, we found a 19% non-significant increase in excitability changes in comparison with iTBS combined with sham TDCS. When the TDCS was reversed (anterior-posterior), the excitatory effect of iTBS was abolished.Our findings suggest that excitatory after-effects of iTBS can be modulated by directionally-specific TDCS.