Changes in resting-state functional MRI connectivity during and after transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy adults.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Front Hum Neurosci, Volume 17, p.1229618 (2023)


<p><b>INTRODUCTION: </b>Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) at rest can influence behaviors. However, its mechanisms remain poorly understood. This study examined the effect of a single session of tDCS over the bilateral DLPFC on resting-state functional connectivity using fMRI (rs-fcMRI) during and after stimulation in healthy adults. We also investigated whether baseline rs-fcMRI predicted tDCS-induced changes in rs-fcMRI.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>This was a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. We delivered tDCS for 30 min at 1 mA with the anode and cathode over the left and right DLPFC, respectively. We used seed-based analyses to measure tDCS-induced effects on whole-brain rs-fcMRI using a 3 (before, during, after stimulation) × 2 (active, sham stimulation) ANOVA.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>There were four significant Time × Stimulation interactions on the connectivity scores with the left DLPFC seed (under the anode electrode) and no interactions for the right DLPFC seed (under the cathode electrode). tDCS changed rs-fcMRI between the left DLPFC seed and parieto-occipital, parietal, parieto-occipitotemporal, and frontal clusters during and after stimulation, as compared to sham. Furthermore, rs-fcMRI prior to stimulation predicted some of these tDCS-induced changes in rs-fcMRI during and after stimulation. For instance, rs-fcMRI of the fronto-parietooccipital network predicted changes observed after active stimulation, rs-fcMRI of the fronto-parietal network predicted changes during active stimulation, whereas rs-fcMRI of the fronto-parieto-occipitotemporal and the frontal networks predicted changes both during and after active stimulation.</p><p><b>DISCUSSION: </b>Our findings reveal that tDCS modulated rs-fcMRI both during and after stimulation mainly in regions distal, but also in those proximal to the area under the anode electrode, which were predicted by rs-fcMRI prior to tDCS. It might be worth considering rs-fcMRI to optimize response to tDCS.</p>

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