Parietal alpha tACS shows inconsistent effects on visuospatial attention

Coldea, A., Morand, S. , Veneiro, D., Harvey, M. and Thut, G. (2021) Parietal alpha tACS shows inconsistent effects on visuospatial attention. PLoS ONE, 16(8), e0255424. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255424) (PMID:34351972) (PMCID:PMC8341497)

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Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a popular technique that has been used for manipulating brain oscillations and inferring causality regarding the brain-behaviour relationship. Although it is a promising tool, the variability of tACS results has raised questions regarding the robustness and reproducibility of its effects. Building on recent research using tACS to modulate visuospatial attention, we here attempted to replicate findings of lateralized parietal tACS at alpha frequency to induce a change in attention bias away from the contra- towards the ipsilateral visual hemifield. 40 healthy participants underwent tACS in two separate sessions where either 10 Hz tACS or sham was applied via a high-density montage over the left parietal cortex at 1.5 mA for 20 min, while performance was assessed in an endogenous attention task. Task and tACS parameters were chosen to match those of previous studies reporting positive effects. Unlike these studies, we did not observe lateralized parietal alpha tACS to affect attention deployment or visual processing across the hemifields as compared to sham. Likewise, additional resting electroencephalography immediately offline to tACS did not reveal any notable effects on individual alpha power or frequency. Our study emphasizes the need for more replication studies and systematic investigations of the factors that drive tACS effects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thut, Professor Gregor and Harvey, Dr Monika and Morand, Dr Stephanie and Coldea, Andra
Creator Roles:
Coldea, A.Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Software, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Morand, S.Conceptualization, Data curation, Writing – review and editing
Harvey, M.Conceptualization, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Thut, G.Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Coldea, A., Morand, S., Veneiro, D., Harvey, M., and Thut, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Coldea et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 16(8): e0255424
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5255/UKDA-SN-855052

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303166Scottish Graduate School Science Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)Mary Beth KneafseyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/P000681/1SS - Academic & Student Administration