Theta Entrainment to Modulate Cognitive Control of Language Functions




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Cognitive control refers to a set of functions serving to configure the cognitive system to execute difficult, novel, or complex tasks. Previous research has established a correlational relationship between cognitive control and the electroencephalography oscillatory frequency of theta localized to frontal midline regions. This study used high definition-transcranial alternating current stimulation (HD-tACS) to entrain frontal midline theta in 47 healthy young adults to see if stimulation would enhance behavioral performance during three semantically cued Go/NoGo tasks. We used a 3-treatment 3-period crossover design; participants received theta HD-tACS, sham, and an active control frequency (alpha). Results showed theta entrainment increased Go accuracy across all three semantic Go/NoGo tasks, thus, enhancing response selection. There were no differences for NoGo accuracy or reaction time. This study lays a foundation for further exploration into the use of HD-tACS to enhance cognitive control in the healthy brain and has implications for treatment of clinical populations with dysfunctional oscillatory activity.



Theta rhythm, Brain stimulation, Cognitive neuroscience, Prefrontal cortex, Parietal lobes


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