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Assessing the impact of beta stimulation on finger tapping variability: a tACS study.

Villiers, Rachael (2017) Assessing the impact of beta stimulation on finger tapping variability: a tACS study. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)


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Neural oscillations are characterised by the frequency at which they befall, and recently there has been a growing of interest in the beta band (13-30Hz). Exaggerated beta oscillations are observed in Parkinson’s disease patients, and are hypothesised to be directly linked to the motor symptoms of the disorder. Patients with Parkinson’s disease appear to have a specific impairment in movements that are internally generated (IGM). A causal relationship between enhanced beta and motor deficiencies (particularly on IGM) has yet to be established. This study looked at the effect of enhanced beta – administered via transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) – on the ability of healthy subjects to accurately tap along to a beat. Furthermore, whether this enhanced beta would have a specific impact upon tapping accuracy without the addition of an external stimulus (auditory beat). Results revealed no significant main effects of either beta stimulation or tapping with vs without a beat on tapping accuracy. There was also no significant interaction. These findings indicate the beta oscillations are not causative of motor impairment, in particular for IGM. This extends to Parkinson’s disease suggesting that pathological beta is not causative for the motor symptoms and do not have a specific impact on IGM

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