Stimulating forebrain communications: Slow sinusoidal electric fields over frontal cortices dynamically modulate hippocampal activity and cortico-hippocampal interplay during slow-wave states

NeuroImage
Anastasia GreenbergClayton T Dickson

Abstract

Slow-wave states are characterized by the most global physiological phenomenon in the mammalian brain, the large-amplitude slow oscillation (SO; ~1Hz) composed of alternating states of activity (ON/UP states) and silence (OFF/DOWN states) at the network and single cell levels. The SO is cortically generated and appears as a traveling wave that can propagate across the cortical surface and can invade the hippocampus. This cortical rhythm is thought to be imperative for sleep-dependent memory consolidation, potentially through increased interactions with the hippocampus. The SO is correlated with learning and its presumed enhancement via slow rhythmic electrical field stimulation improves subsequent mnemonic performance. However, the mechanism by which such field stimulation influences the dynamics of ongoing cortico-hippocampal communication is unknown. Here we show - using multi-site recordings in urethane-anesthetized rats - that sinusoidal electrical field stimulation applied to the frontal region of the cerebral cortex creates a platform for improved cortico-hippocampal communication. Moderate-intensity field stimulation entrained hippocampal slow activity (likely by way of the temporoammonic pathway) and also increased shar...Continue Reading

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