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Salamanca-Giron, Roberto F.; Raffin, Estelle; Zandvliet, Sarah B.; Seeber, Martin; Michel, Christoph M.; Sauseng, Paul; Huxlin, Krystel R.; Hummel, Friedhelm C. (17. November 2020): Bifocal tACS Enhances Visual Motion Discrimination by Modulating Phase Amplitude Coupling Between V1 and V5 Regions. biorxiv
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Abstract

Visual motion discrimination involves reciprocal interactions in the alpha band between the primary visual cortex (V1) and the mediotemporal area (V5/MT). We investigated whether modulating alpha phase synchronization using individualized multisite transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) over V5 and V1 regions would improve motion discrimination. We tested 3 groups of healthy subjects: 1) an individualized In-Phase V1alpha-V5alpha tACS (0° lag) group, 2) an individualized Anti-Phase V1alpha-V5alpha tACS (180° lag) group and 3) a sham tACS group. Motion discrimination and EEG activity were compared before, during and after tACS. Performance significantly improved in the Anti-Phase group compared to that in the In-Phase group at 10 and 30 minutes after stimulation. This result could be explained by changes in bottom-up alpha-V1 gamma-V5 phase-amplitude coupling. Thus, Anti-Phase V1alpha-V5alpha tACS might impose an optimal phase lag between stimulation sites due to the inherent speed of wave propagation, hereby supporting optimized neuronal communication.