Effects of tacs-like electrical stimulation on on-center retinal ganglion cells: Part i

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Electrical stimulation of the human central nervous system via surface electrodes has been used for both learning enhancement and the amelioration of neurodegenerative or psychiatric disorders. However, data are sparse on how such electrical stimulation affects neural circuits at the cellular level. This study assessed the effects of tACS-like currents at 10 Hz on On-center retinal ganglion cell responsiveness, using the rabbit retina eyecup pre-paration as a model for central nervous system effects. Methods: We made extracellular recordings of light-evoked spike responses in different classes of On-center retinal ganglion cells before, during and after brief applications of 1 microampere alternating currents using single electrodes and microelectrode arrays. Results: tACS-like currents (tACS) of 1 microampere produced effects on On-center ganglion cell response profiles immediately after initiation or cessation of tACS, without driving phase-locked firing in the absence of light stimuli. tACS affected the initial transient responses to light stimulation for all cells, sustained response components (if any) more strongly for sustained cells, and the center-surround balance more strongly for transient cells. Conclusion: tACS sculpted light-evoked responses that lasted for one or more hours after cessation of current without, itself, directly inducing significant firing changes. Functionally, tACS effects could result in effects on contrast thresholds for both broad classes of cells, but because tACs differentially affects the center-surround balance of transient On-center cells, there may be greater effects on the spatial resolution and gain. The isolated retina appears to be a useful model to understand tACS actions at the neuronal level.
  • Published In

  • Eye and Brain  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28195358
  • Author List

  • Amthor FR; Strang CE
  • Start Page

  • 175
  • End Page

  • 192
  • Volume

  • 13