New Paper: Lasting modulation of in vitro oscillatory activity with weak direct current stimulation
J Neurophysiol 113: 1334–1341, 2015. Full PDF: ReatoLastingEffectsoftDCS2
Lasting modulation of in vitro oscillatory activity with weak direct current stimulation
Davide Reato, Marom Bikson, Lucas C. Parra
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is emerging as a versatile tool to affect brain function. While the acute neurophysiological effects of stimulation are well under- stood, little is know about the long-term effects. One hypothesis is that stimulation modulates ongoing neural activity, which then translates into lasting effects via physiological plasticity. Here we used carba- chol-induced gamma oscillations in hippocampal rat slices to establish whether prolonged constant current stimulation has a lasting effect on endogenous neural activity. During 10 min of stimulation, the power and frequency of gamma oscillations, as well as multiunit activity, were modulated in a polarity specific manner. Remarkably, the effects on power and multiunit activity persisted for more than 10 min after stimulation terminated. Using a computational model we propose that altered synaptic efficacy in excitatory and inhibitory pathways could be the source of these lasting effects. Future experimental studies using this novel in vitro preparation may be able to confirm or refute the proposed hypothesis.