No Modulation of Visual Cortex Excitability by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Bruckner S; Kammer T. Institution Bruckner, Sabrina. Section for Neurostimulation, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. Kammer, Thomas. Section for Neurostimulation, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.
PLoS ONE [Electronic Resource]. 11(12):e0167697, 2016.
Measuring phosphene thresholds (PTs) is often used to investigate changes in the excitability of the human visual cortex through different brain stimulation methods like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In several studies, PT increase or decrease has been shown after rTMS or tDCS application. Recently, using PT measurements we showed that the state of the neurons in the visual cortex after rTMS might have an influence on the modulatory effects of stimulation. In the present study we aimed to investigate whether visual cortex activity following stimulation influences the modulatory effects of tDCS as well. In a between-group design, anodal or cathodal tDCS was applied to the visual cortex twice per subject, with either high or low visual demand following stimulation. We observed no modulation of PT neither directly following both anodal and cathodal tDCS nor following the visual demand periods. We rather found high inter-individual variability in the response to tDCS, and intra-individual reliability in the direction of modulation was observed for cathodal tDCS only. Thus, our results do not confirm the modulatory effects of tDCS on visual cortex excitability published previously. Moreover, they support the confirmation that tDCS effects have little reliability on varied TMS outcome measurements.
Publication Type Journal Article.