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Brain Stimul. 2016 Jan-Feb;9(1):117-23. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2015.08.018. Epub 2015 Sep 9.

Cortical Map Plasticity as a Function of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Intensity.

Author information

1
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road GR41, Richardson, TX 75080, USA. Electronic address: mborla1@gmail.com.
2
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road GR41, Richardson, TX 75080, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pairing sensory or motor events with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can reorganize sensory or motor cortex. Repeatedly pairing a tone with a brief period of VNS increases the proportion of primary auditory cortex (A1) responding to the frequency of the paired tone. However, the relationship between VNS intensity and cortical map plasticity is not known.

OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS:

The primary goal of this study was to determine the range of VNS intensities that can be used to direct cortical map plasticity.

METHODS:

The rats were exposed to a 9 kHz tone paired with VNS at intensities of 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, or 1.6 mA.

RESULTS:

In rats that received moderate (0.4-0.8 mA) intensity VNS, 75% more cortical neurons were tuned to frequencies near the paired tone frequency. A two-fold effective range is broader than expected based on previous VNS studies. Rats that received high (1.2-1.6 mA) intensity VNS had significantly fewer neurons tuned to the same frequency range compared to the moderate intensity group.

CONCLUSION:

This result is consistent with previous results documenting that VNS is memory enhancing as a non-monotonic relationship of VNS intensity.

KEYWORDS:

Auditory cortex; Inverted U function; Plasticity; Vagal nerve stimulation

PMID:
26460200
PMCID:
PMC4724352
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2015.08.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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