ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (9): 2053-2066.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02053

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


张思源, 李雪冰()   

  1. 中国科学院心理研究所心理健康重点实验室, 北京 100101
    中国科学院大学, 北京 100049
  • 收稿日期:2021-10-01 出版日期:2022-09-15 发布日期:2022-07-21
  • 通讯作者: 李雪冰
  • 基金资助:

The application of different frequencies of transcranial alternating current stimulation in mental disorders

ZHANG Siyuan, LI Xuebing()   

  1. Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-10-01 Online:2022-09-15 Published:2022-07-21
  • Contact: LI Xuebing


近年来, 研究者开始将经颅交流电刺激技术应用于精神疾病领域中, 其中, 以γ、α频率最受关注。tACS作用于精神疾病的可能机制包括两个方面, 直接调节异常的大脑神经活动和间接改善患者的认知功能。首先, 使用特定频率的tACS作用目标脑区, 可以调节对应频率的神经振荡和大脑功能连接, 通过作用于疾病相关的异常大脑活动, 直接改善患者的临床症状。其次, 并不针对某种疾病特异受损的大脑活动, 而是用tACS激活与认知功能相关的大脑环路, 广泛地提高患者的注意、记忆等多种认知功能, 进而整体上缓解不良症状。目前, 使用tACS治疗精神疾病这一领域还有一些尚未解决、值得探讨的问题。tACS的作用机制研究、刺激参数和范式改进、技术升级, 可以成为心理学、脑科学以及临床医学的重点研究方向。

关键词: 经颅交流电刺激, 精神疾病, 神经振荡, 认知功能, 干预


In these years, researchers have begun to apply transcranial alternating current stimulation to the field of mental disorders. Especially, the gamma- and alpha-band frequencies are attracting the most attention.

Previous studies have found that using γ-tACS to intervene abnormal brain activity can alleviate cognitive impairment and bring emotional benefits in various mental disorders, such as improving attention and memory functions, and reducing the depressive and anxious symptoms. The α-tACS have been used to modulate abnormal alpha oscillations and brain network connections in mental disorder, which could improve abnormal perceptual processing and enhance emotion regulation function in schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, few studies have found that θ-tACS could improve cognitive functions in schizophrenia and ADHD, and 77.5 Hz, 15mA-tACS could modulate the release of neurotransmitters in MDD and chronic insomnia.

Based on these clinical trials and case reports, the underlying mechanisms of the effects of tACS on mental disorders might be directly modulating abnormal brain neural activities and indirectly improving cognitive functions of patients'. First, neuroimaging studies have shown that a specific frequency tACS targeting specific brain region could modulate the nerve oscillations of corresponding frequency and brain functional connections, which directly reducing clinical symptoms of patients. Second, instead of targeting the specific damaged brain activity in mental diseases, the tACS is used to activate neural circuits associated to cognitive functions, so as to improve the attention, memory and other cognitive functions, thus alleviating adverse symptoms indirectly.

At present, there are still some unsolved problems in theapplication of tACS in mental disorders. Firstly, the comparative analysis of the stimulation parameters and experiment paradigms is helpful to formulate standardized stimulation protocols and guide the clinical treatment. Secondly, one of the main hypotheses of tACS intervention mechanism in mental diseases is to target the abnormal brain activity of patients. Therefore, high definition tACS is an important method to improve the stimulation accuracy. In addition, the tACS intervention accompanied by EEG recording is also a concern to researchers. Compared with delayed recording, synchronous recording of EEG can better reflect the effect of tACS on brain neural activity, and this dynamic feedback is more conducive to personalized intervention protocol.

In conclusion, the tACS is expected to be a safe and effective method for diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. The mechanism of its effects, the improvement of stimulus parameters and paradigms, and the enhancement of technique upgrading may become the key direct of future study.

Key words: transcranial alternating current stimulation, psychiatric disorders, neural oscillation, cognitive function, intervention