Changing brain networks through non-invasive neuromodulation

Wing Ting To, Dirk De Ridder, John Hart, Sven Vanneste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: Non-invasive neuromodulation techniques, such as repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), have increasingly been investigated for their potential as treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Despite widespread dissemination of these techniques, the underlying therapeutic mechanisms and the ideal stimulation site for a given disorder remain unknown. Increasing evidence support the possibility of non-invasive neuromodulation affecting a brain network rather than just the local stimulation target. In this article, we present evidence in a clinical setting to support the idea that non-invasive neuromodulation changes brain networks. Method: This article addresses the idea that non-invasive neuromodulation modulates brain networks, rather than just the local stimulation target, using neuromodulation studies in tinnitus and major depression as examples. We present studies that support this hypothesis from different perspectives. Main Results/Conclusion: Studies stimulating the same brain region, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), have shown to be effective for several disorders and studies using different stimulation sites for the same disorder have shown similar results. These findings, as well as results from studies investigating brain network connectivity on both macro and micro levels, suggest that non-invasive neuromodulation affects a brain network rather than just the local stimulation site targeted. We propose that non-invasive neuromodulation should be approached from a network perspective and emphasize the therapeutic potential of this approach through the modulation of targeted brain networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 13 2018


  • Brain hubs
  • Brain networks
  • Stimulation target
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing brain networks through non-invasive neuromodulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this