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PubMed | Fennsi Group And Antoniooliviero@Hotmailcom, Technical University of Madrid, FENNSI Group and and University of San Pablo - CEU
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) was recently introduced as a promising tool to modulate human cerebral excitability in a noninvasive and portable way. However, a demonstration that static magnetic fields can influence human brain activity and behavior is currently lacking, despite evidence that static magnetic fields interfere with neuronal function in animals. Here we show that transcranial application of a static magnetic field (120-200 mT at 2-3 cm from the magnet surface) over the human occiput produces a focal increase in the power of alpha oscillations in underlying cortex. Critically, this neurophysiological effect of tSMS is paralleled by slowed performance in a visual search task, selectively for the most difficult target detection trials. The typical relationship between prestimulus alpha power over posterior cortical areas and reaction time (RT) to targets during tSMS is altered such that tSMS-dependent increases in alpha power are associated with longer RTs for difficult, but not easy, target detection trials. Our results directly demonstrate that a powerful magnet placed on the scalp modulates normal brain activity and induces behavioral changes in humans.

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