Non-invasive temporal interference electrical stimulation of the human hippocampus

Violante IR, Alania K, CassarĂ  AM, Neufeld E, Acerbo E, Carron R, Williamson A, Kurtin DL, Rhodes E, Hampshire A, Kuster N, Boyden ES, Pascual-Leone A, Grossman N (2023) Non-invasive temporal interference electrical stimulation of the human hippocampus, Nature Neuroscience 26(11):1994-2004.

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) via implanted electrodes is used worldwide to treat patients with severe neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, its invasiveness precludes widespread clinical use and deployment in research. Temporal interference (TI) is a strategy for non-invasive steerable DBS using multiple kHz-range electric fields with a difference frequency within the range of neural activity. Here we report the validation of the non-invasive DBS concept in humans. We used electric field modeling and measurements in a human cadaver to verify that the locus of the transcranial TI stimulation can be steerably focused in the hippocampus with minimal exposure to the overlying cortex. We then used functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral experiments to show that TI stimulation can focally modulate hippocampal activity and enhance the accuracy of episodic memories in healthy humans. Our results demonstrate targeted, non-invasive electrical stimulation of deep structures in the human brain.


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