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Keywords:

  • electroencephalography;
  • functional connectivity;
  • gamma;
  • human;
  • phase synchronization;
  • standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography

Abstract

Bifrontal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), with the anodal electrode overlying the right and the cathodal electrode overlying the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, has been shown to suppress tinnitus significantly in 30% of patients. The source localized resting-state electrical activity is recorded before and after bifrontal tDCS in patients who respond to tDCS to unravel the mechanism by which tDCS suppresses tinnitus. The present electroencephalography study (N = 12) provides support for the ability of bifrontal tDCS to suppress tinnitus intensity and tinnitus-related distress by modulation of the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal area and right primary auditory cortex in resting-state spontaneous brain activity. These findings provide direct support for tDCS having an impact not only directly on the underlying dorsolateral prefrontal cortex but also indirectly on functionally connected brain areas relevant for tinnitus distress and tinnitus intensity, respectively.