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"Modulation of GABA and resting state functional connectivity by transcranial direct current stimulation" - Bachtiar et al. 2015

Published paper

We are pleased to announce the acceptance of our latest paper to the journal eLife.

The paper is titled "Modulation of GABA and resting state functional connectivity by transcranial direct current stimulation" and the manuscript can be found online here.  Congratulations to the authors: Velicia Bachtiar, Jamie Near, Heidi Johansen-Berg and Charlotte Stagg.


We previously demonstrated that network-level functional connectivity in the human brain could be related to levels of inhibition in a major network node at baseline (Stagg et al., 2014). Here, we build upon this finding to directly investigate the effects of perturbing M1 GABA and resting state functional connectivity using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a neuromodulatory approach that has previously been demonstrated to modulate both metrics. FMRI data and GABA levels, as assessed by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, were measured before and after 20 minutes of 1mA anodal or sham tDCS. In line with previous studies, baseline GABA levels were negatively correlated with the strength of functional connectivity within the resting motor network. However, although we confirm the previously reported findings that anodal tDCS reduces GABA concentration and increases functional connectivity in the stimulated motor cortex, these changes are not correlated, suggesting they may be driven by distinct underlying mechanisms.