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Counteracting the Slowdown of Reaction Times in a Vigilance Experiment with 40-Hz Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation

TitleCounteracting the Slowdown of Reaction Times in a Vigilance Experiment with 40-Hz Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLöffler B.S., Stecher H.I., Fudickar S., de Sordi D., Otto-Sobotka F., Hein A., Herrmann C.H.
JournalIEEE - Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering
Date Published2018
Publication Languageeng
Abstract

Indicators for a decrement in vigilance are a slowdown in reaction times and an increase in alpha power in the electroencephalogram (EEG) in posterior regions of the brain. Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a neuropsychological technique that has been found to interact with intrinsic brain oscillations and is able to enhance cognitive and behavioral performance. Recent studies showed that tACS in the gamma frequency range (30-80 Hz) is able to downregulate amplitudes in the alpha frequency range (8-12 Hz), in accordance to the effect referred to as cross-frequency coupling, where intrinsic alpha and gamma waves modulate each other. We applied 40 Hz gamma-tACS to the visual cortex during a vigilance experiment and investigated if stimulation improves reaction times and error rates with time-on-task. In our sham controlled experiment, participants completed two blocks of 30 minutes duration while performing the same visual two-choice task. The first block was used as BASELINE. A statistical analysis with a linear mixed model (LMM) revealed a significantly lower increase of modeled reaction times over time in the INTERVENTION-block of the tACS-group as compared to their BASELINE-block whereas there was no significant change between the BASELINE- and INTERVENTION-block for the SHAM-group. Error rates did not differ between groups. This study indicates that gamma-tACS can enhance performance in vigilance tasks as it significantly decreased the slowdown of reaction times in our study.

URLhttps://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8458158
DOI10.1109/TNSRE.2018.2869471
Created at November 22, 2021 - 2:56pm by Fudickar.

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