Small effects of electric field on motor cortical excitability following anodal tDCS

Ilkka Laakso*, Keisuke Tani, Jose Gomez-Tames, Akimasa Hirata, Satoshi Tanaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The dose-response characteristics of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) remain uncertain but may be related to variability in brain electric fields due to individual anatomical factors. Here, we investigated whether the electric fields influence the responses to motor cortical tDCS. In a randomized cross-over design, 21 participants underwent 10 min of anodal tDCS with 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 mA or sham. Compared to sham, all active conditions increased the size of motor evoked potentials (MEP) normalized to the pre-tDCS baseline, irrespective of anterior or posterior magnetic test stimuli. The electric field calculated in the motor cortex of each participant had a nonlinear effect on the normalized MEP size, but its effects were small compared to those of other participant-specific factors. The findings support the efficacy of anodal tDCS in enhancing the MEP size but do not demonstrate any benefits of personalized electric field modeling in explaining tDCS response variability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108967
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Behavioral neuroscience
  • Biological sciences
  • Neuroscience
  • Techniques in neuroscience


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