Altering alpha-frequency brain oscillations with rapid analog feedback-driven neurostimulation

Alik S. Widge, Matthew Boggess, Alexander P. Rockhill, Andrew Mullen, Shivani Sheopory, Roman Loonis, Daniel K. Freeman, Earl K. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Oscillations of the brain’s local field potential (LFP) may coordinate neural ensembles and brain networks. It has been difficult to causally test this model or to translate its implications into treatments, because there are few reliable ways to alter LFP oscillations. We developed a closed-loop analog circuit to enhance brain oscillations by feeding them back into cortex through phase-locked transcranial electrical stimulation. We tested the system in a rhesus macaque with chronically implanted electrode arrays, targeting 8–15 Hz (alpha) oscillations. Ten seconds of stimulation increased alpha oscillatory power for up to 1 second after stimulation offset. In contrast, open-loop stimulation decreased alpha power. There was no effect in the neighboring 15–30 Hz (beta) LFP rhythm or on a neighboring array that did not participate in closed-loop feedback. Analog closed-loop neurostimulation might thus be a useful strategy for altering brain oscillations, both for basic research and the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0207781
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by a grant from the MIT-MGH Strategic Initiative to ASW and EKM. AM was further supported by the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities program and Paul E. Gray Fellowship. ASW acknowledges further support from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health (MH109722-01), and the Bipolar Fund at Harvard University supported by Kent & Liz Dauten. EKM acknowledges support from the MIT Picower Innovation Fund and MIT Bose Fellowship. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We thank Jacob Donoghue and Jorge Yanar for technical assistance with data collection for the saline beaker testing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Widge et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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