Transcranial Current Stimulation in a detailed neural network model: a new addition to the VERTEX toolbox

by Frances Hutchings

16:00 (40 min) in BSTC 1.48

This talk will give an overview of transcranial current stimulation (tCS), an inexpensive technique for non-invasive neuromodulation, and introduce a model we are developing in the VERTEX Matlab toolbox to simulate tCS effects on populations of neurons. TCS has shown some efficacy in the treatment of depression, addiction and fibromyalgia, but is hampered by very variable results in scientific studies and clinical trials. If the interactions of the stimulating currents produced by tCS with neural populations were better understood then some of the variations in results may be explainable and mitigatable.

The VERTEX toolbox was created here at Newcastle for simulating large populations of neurons whilst retaining the structural and mechanical differences between different neuron types. It is able to simulate distinguishable layers of cortical tissue using experimentally derived anatomical data, and previously successfully replicated gamma oscillation patterns recorded from macaque tissue.