Brain-state determines learning improvements after transcranial alternating-current stimulation to frontal cortex
Reinhart, Robert M.G.
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Citation (published version)J. Nguyen, Y. Deng, R. Reinhart. 2018. "Brain-state determines learning improvements after transcranial alternating-current stimulation to frontal cortex." Brain Stimulation, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp. 723 - 726. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2018.02.008
BACKGROUND Theories of executive control propose that communication between medial frontal cortex (MFC) and lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) is critical for learning. 6-Hz phase synchronization may be the mechanism by which neural activity between MFC and lPFC is coordinated into a functional network. Recent evidence suggests that switching from eyes closed to open may induce a change in brain-state reflected by enhanced executive control and related functional connectivity. OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIs To examine whether causal manipulation of MFC and lPFC can improve learning according to the brain-state induced by switching from eyes closed to open. METHODS Within-subjects, sham-controlled, double-blind study of 30 healthy subjects, each receiving 6-Hz in-phase high definition transcranial alternating-current stimulation (HD-tACS) applied to MFC and right lPFC prior to performing a time estimation task. RESULTS HD-tACS with eyes open improved learning ability relative to sham, whereas HD-tACS with eyes closed had no significant effect on behavior. CONCLUSION Results suggest a phase-sensitive mechanism in frontal cortex mediates components of learning performance in a state-dependent manner.
Published in final edited form as: Brain Stimul. 2018 ; 11(4): 723–726. doi:10.1016/j.brs.2018.02.008