In vivo assessment of human brain oscillations during application of transcranial electric currents

Nat Commun. 2013;4:2032. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3032.


Brain oscillations reflect pattern formation of cell assemblies' activity, which is often disturbed in neurological and psychiatric diseases like depression, schizophrenia and stroke. In the neurobiological analysis and treatment of these conditions, transcranial electric currents applied to the brain proved beneficial. However, the direct effects of these currents on brain oscillations have remained an enigma because of the inability to record them simultaneously. Here we report a novel strategy that resolves this problem. We describe accurate reconstructed localization of dipolar sources and changes of brain oscillatory activity associated with motor actions in primary cortical brain regions undergoing transcranial electric stimulation. This new method allows for the first time direct measurement of the effects of non-invasive electrical brain stimulation on brain oscillatory activity and behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods*
  • Electricity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted