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J Neural Eng. 2013 Jun;10(3):036018. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/036018. Epub 2013 May 7.

Validation of finite element model of transcranial electrical stimulation using scalp potentials: implications for clinical dose.

Author information

1
Neural Engineering Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, The City College of New York of City University of New York, NY 10031, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

During transcranial electrical stimulation, current passage across the scalp generates voltage across the scalp surface. The goal was to characterize these scalp voltages for the purpose of validating subject-specific finite element method (FEM) models of current flow.

APPROACH:

Using a recording electrode array, we mapped skin voltages resulting from low-intensity transcranial electrical stimulation. These voltage recordings were used to compare the predictions obtained from the high-resolution model based on the subject undergoing transcranial stimulation.

MAIN RESULTS:

Each of the four stimulation electrode configurations tested resulted in a distinct distribution of scalp voltages; these spatial maps were linear with applied current amplitude (0.1 to 1 mA) over low frequencies (1 to 10 Hz). The FEM model accurately predicted the distinct voltage distributions and correlated the induced scalp voltages with current flow through cortex.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Our results provide the first direct model validation for these subject-specific modeling approaches. In addition, the monitoring of scalp voltages may be used to verify electrode placement to increase transcranial electrical stimulation safety and reproducibility.

PMID:
23649036
DOI:
10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/036018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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