Noninvasive techniques for probing neurocircuitry and treating illness: vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010 Jan;35(1):301-16. doi: 10.1038/npp.2009.87.


Although the preceding chapters discuss much of the new knowledge of neurocircuitry of neuropsychiatric diseases, and an invasive approach to treatment, this chapter describes and reviews the noninvasive methods of testing circuit-based theories and treating neuropsychiatric diseases that do not involve implanting electrodes into the brain or on its surface. These techniques are transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and transcranial direct current stimulation. Two of these approaches have FDA approval as therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / therapy*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation / methods*