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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012;2012:735-8. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2012.6346036.

A pilot study on effects of 4×1 high-definition tDCS on motor cortex excitability.

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Departmento de Ciencias Fisiologicas, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, UERJ. Av. Professor Manuel de Abreu 444, Pavilhao Americo Piquet Carneiro, 5 andar Vila Isabel, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP: 20550-170.


High-Definition transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS) using specialized small electrodes has been proposed as a focal, non-invasive neuromodulatory technique. Here we provide the first evidence of a change in cortical excitability after HD-tDCS of the motor cortex, using TMS motor evoked potential (MEP) as the measure of excitability. Stimulation for 20 minutes at 1 mA with an anode centered over the hand area of the motor cortex and four surrounding return electrodes (anodal 4×1 montage) produced a significant increase in MEP amplitude and variability after stimulation, compared to sham stimulation. Stimulation was well tolerated by all subjects with adverse effects limited to transient sensation under the electrodes. A high-resolution computational model confirmed predictions of increased focality using the 4×1 HD tDCS montage compared to conventional tDCS. Simulations also indicated that variability in placement of the center electrode relative to the location of the target (central sulcus) could account for increasing variability. These results provide support for the careful use of this technique where focal tDCS is desired.

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