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Brain Res Bull. 2006 Feb 15;68(6):459-63. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Transcranial direct current stimulation and the visual cortex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Georg-August University of Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany. Aantal@gwdg.de


Neuroplastic changes are defined as enduring changes in the organization of the central nervous system, such as the strength of connections, representational patterns, or neuronal properties, either morphological or functional. In recent years, new tools have emerged to induce and manipulate ongoing neuroplastic changes by external stimulation, either by modification of synchronized neuronal activity or modulation of the spontaneous firing rate. The first is performed by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the latter by direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS as a tool aims to induce prolonged neuronal excitability and activity alterations in the human brain via alterations of the neuronal membrane potential and results in prolonged synaptic efficacy changes. Apart from its impressive persistent excitability effects, it is a non-invasive method and can be applied painlessly. Most likely that up- or downregulation of different cortical areas by tDCS will open a new branch in the area of visual psychophysics.

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