August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) reveals causal role of brain oscillations in visual attention
Author Affiliations
  • Daniel Baldauf
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • Nir Grossman
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • An-Ming Hu
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • Ed Boyden
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • Robert Desimone
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 937. doi:10.1167/16.12.937
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      Daniel Baldauf, Nir Grossman, An-Ming Hu, Ed Boyden, Robert Desimone; Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) reveals causal role of brain oscillations in visual attention. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):937. doi: 10.1167/16.12.937.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

We combined tACS with MEG recordings to directly test the causal role of local alpha oscillations in visual spatial attention. After stimulating occipital cortex in one hemisphere for 15min we used evoked responses to evaluate the effects of alpha entrainment on the attentional weighting of visual input (dot probes). Our data describe in detail the spatial specificity as well as the exact time course of lasting rhythmic entrainment in early visual cortex. By analyzing both phase and power spectra of the entrained rhythms we show how experimentally induced alpha rhythms lead to lasting inhibition and, in consequence, to suppressed visual responses. The specific stimulation setup and additional control experiments rule out alternative possibilities of stimulation effects by retinal activation, proving that it is the actual (direct) entrainment of extrastriate cortex the leads to attentional weighting.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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