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For effective stimulation with tDCS, spatial focality of induced electrical field (EF) is one of the important factors to be considered. Recently, there have been some studies to improve the spatial focality via different types of electrodes and their new configurations: some improvements using ring electrodes were reported over the conventional pad electrodes. However, most of these studies assumed isotropic conductivities in the head. In this work, we have investigated the effect of tissue anisotropy on the spatial focality of tDCS with the 4+1 ring electrode configuration via a 3-D high-resolution finite element (FE) head model with anisotropic conductivities in the skull and white matter. By examining the profiles of the induced EF from the head models with isotropic and anisotropic conductivities respectively, we found that the spatial focality of the induced EF significantly drops and get diffused due to tissue anisotropy. Our analysis suggests that it is critical to incorporate tissue anisotropy in the stimulation of the brain via tDCS.
Date of Conference: Aug. 31 2010-Sept. 4 2010