Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has been gaining increased popularity in human neuroscience research during the last years. Among the emerging NIBS tools is transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), whose main modalities are transcranial direct, and alternating current stimulation (tDCS, tACS). In tES, a small current (usually less than 3mA) is delivered through the scalp. Depending on its shape, density, and duration, the applied current induces acute or long-lasting effects on excitability and activity of cerebral regions, and brain networks. tES is increasingly applied in different domains to (a) explore human brain physiology with regard to plasticity, and brain oscillations, (b) explore the impact of brain physiology on cognitive processes, and (c) treat clinical symptoms in neurological and psychiatric diseases. In this review, we give a broad overview of the main mechanisms and applications of these brain stimulation tools.
Keywords: Cognitive neuroscience; Human neuroscience; Neurophysiology; Synaptic plasticity; Transcranial alternating current stimulation; Transcranial direct current stimulation; Transcranial electrical stimulation.
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