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Title: Simulation analyses of tDCS montages for the investigation of dorsal and ventral pathways
Authors: Bhattacharjee, Sagarika
Kashyap, Rajan
Rapp, Brenda
Oishi, Kenichi
Desmond, John E.
Chen, Annabel Shen-Hsing
Keywords: tDCS
Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Bhattacharjee, S., Kashyap, R., Rapp, B., Oishi, K., Desmond, J. E., & Chen, A. S.-H. (2019). Simulation analyses of tDCS montages for the investigation of dorsal and ventral pathways. Scientific Reports, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-47654-y
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: Modulating higher cognitive functions like reading with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can be challenging as reading involves regions in the dorsal and ventral cortical areas that lie in close proximity. If the two pathways are stimulated simultaneously, the function of dorsal pathway (predominantly used for graphophonological conversion) might interfere with the function of the ventral pathway (used for semantics), and vice-versa. To achieve functional specificity in tDCS for investigating the two pathways for reading, it is important to stimulate each pathway per session such that the spread of current across the cortical areas due to the two montages has minimal overlap. The present study intends to achieve this by introducing a systematic approach for tDCS analysis. We employed the COMETS2 software to simulate 10 montage configurations (5 for each pathway) for three electrode sizes: 5 × 5, 3 × 3, and 5 × 7 cm2. This diversity in montage configuration is chosen since previous studies found the position and the size of anode and cathode to play an important role. The values of the magnitude of current density (MCD) obtained from the configuration were used to calculate: (i) average MCD in each cortical lobe, (ii) number of overlapping coordinates, and (iii) cortical areas with high MCD. The measures (i) and (iii) ascertained the current spread by each montage within a cortical lobe, and (ii) verified the overlap of the spread of current between a pair of montages. The analyses show that a montage using the electrode size of 5 × 5 cm2 with the anode at CP5 and cathode at CZ, and another with anode at TP7 and cathode at nape of the neck are optimal choices for dorsal and ventral pathways, respectively. To verify, we cross-validated the results with ROAST. This systematic approach was helpful in reducing the ambiguity of montage selection prior to conducting a tDCS study.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47654-y
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Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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