Experimental Brain Research

, 215:135 | Cite as

Excitability changes induced in the human auditory cortex by transcranial direct current stimulation: direct electrophysiological evidence

  • Tino ZaehleEmail author
  • Manuela Beretta
  • Lutz Jäncke
  • Christoph S. Herrmann
  • Pascale Sandmann
Research Article


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can systematically modify behavior by inducing changes in the underlying brain function. Objective electrophysiological evidence for tDCS-induced excitability changes has been demonstrated for the visual and somatosensory cortex, while evidence for excitability changes in the auditory cortex is lacking. In the present study, we applied tDCS over the left temporal as well as the left temporo-parietal cortex and investigated tDCS-induced effects on auditory evoked potentials after anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation. Results show that anodal and cathodal tDCS can modify auditory cortex reactivity. Moreover, auditory evoked potentials were differentially modulated as a function of site of stimulation. While anodal tDCS over the temporal cortex increased auditory P50 amplitudes, cathodal tDCS over the temporo-parietal cortex induced larger N1 amplitudes. The results directly demonstrate excitability changes in the auditory cortex induced by active tDCS over the temporal and temporo-parietal cortex and might contribute to the understanding of mechanisms involved in the successful treatment of auditory disorders like tinnitus via tDCS.


tDCS TES AEP EEG Auditory cortex 



This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB/TR31-TPA9) (TZ, CSH) and the Swiss National Foundation (PBZHP3-128462) (PS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tino Zaehle
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Manuela Beretta
    • 3
  • Lutz Jäncke
    • 3
  • Christoph S. Herrmann
    • 4
  • Pascale Sandmann
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyOtto v. Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)MagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Psychology, Division of NeuropsychologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, Experimental Psychology LabCarl von Ossietzky University of OldenburgOldenburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Psychology, Neuropsychology LabCarl von Ossietzky University of OldenburgOldenburgGermany

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