Modulating oscillatory brain activity correlates of behavioral inhibition using transcranial direct current stimulation

Liron Jacobson, Adi Ezra, Uri Berger, Michal Lavidor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Objective: Studies have mainly documented behavioral changes induced by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), but recently cortical modulations of tDCS have also been investigated. Our previous work revealed behavioral inhibition modulation by anodal tDCS over the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG); however, the electrophysiological correlates underlying this stimulation montage have yet to be established. The current work aimed to evaluate the distribution of neuronal oscillations changes following anodal tDCS over rIFG coupled with cathodal tDCS over left orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) using spectral power analysis. Methods: Healthy subjects underwent sham and real tDCS (15. min, 1.5. mA, anodal rIFG; cathodal lOFC) stimulation conditions in a single-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. Following tDCS session, resting EEG recordings were collected during 15. min. Results: Analysis showed a significant and selective diminution of the power of theta band. The theta diminution was observed in the rIFG area (represented the anode electrode), and was not found in the lOFC area (represented the cathode electrode). A significant effect was observed only in the theta but not in other bands. Conclusions: These results are the first demonstration of modulating oscillatory activity as measured by EEG with tDCS over rIFG in general, and documenting theta band reduction with this montage in particular. Significance: Our results may explain the improvement in behavioral inhibition reported in our previous work, and although this study was conducted with healthy subjects, the findings suggest that tDCS may also modulate electrophysiological changes among ADHD patients, where decreasing theta activity is the target of neuro-feedback methods aimed to improve cognitive control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-984
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by Grant No. 100/10 from the Israel Science Foundation . M. Lavidor is also supported by an ERC start-up grant.


  • ADHD
  • Behavioral inhibition
  • Cognitive control
  • EEG
  • Electroencephalography
  • RIFG
  • Response inhibition
  • TDCS
  • Theta


Dive into the research topics of 'Modulating oscillatory brain activity correlates of behavioral inhibition using transcranial direct current stimulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this