Effects of Anodal High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Bilateral Sensorimotor Cortex Activation During Sequential Finger Movements: An fNIRS Study

  • Makii MuthalibEmail author
  • Pierre Besson
  • John Rothwell
  • Tomas Ward
  • Stephane Perrey
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 876)


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive electrical brain stimulation technique that can modulate cortical neuronal excitability and activity. This study utilized functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging to determine the effects of anodal high-definition (HD)-tDCS on bilateral sensorimotor cortex (SMC) activation. Before (Pre), during (Online), and after (Offline) anodal HD-tDCS (2 mA, 20 min) targeting the left SMC, eight healthy subjects performed a simple finger sequence (SFS) task with their right or left hand in an alternating blocked design (30-s rest and 30-s SFS task, repeated five times). In order to determine the level of bilateral SMC activation during the SFS task, an Oxymon MkIII fNIRS system was used to measure from the left and right SMC, changes in oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) haemoglobin concentration values. The fNIRS data suggests a finding that compared to the Pre condition both the “Online” and “Offline” anodal HD-tDCS conditions induced a significant reduction in bilateral SMC activation (i.e., smaller decrease in HHb) for a similar motor output (i.e., SFS tap rate). These findings could be related to anodal HD-tDCS inducing a greater efficiency of neuronal transmission in the bilateral SMC to perform the same SFS task.


Functional near-infrared spectroscopy tDCS Neuroplasticity Neuromodulation Sensorimotor cortex 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makii Muthalib
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pierre Besson
    • 1
  • John Rothwell
    • 2
  • Tomas Ward
    • 3
  • Stephane Perrey
    • 1
  1. 1.Movement to Health (M2H) Laboratory, EuroMov, University of MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Neurology, University College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Electronic EngineeringNational University of IrelandMaynoothIreland

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