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Article #48127
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Carrasco-López C, Soto-León V, Céspedes V, Profice P, Strange BA, Foffani G, Oliviero A (2017) Static magnetic field stimulation over parietal cortex enhances somatosensory detection in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(14):3840-3847    
Artificially increasing alpha power by placing a powerful magnetic field over the somatosensory cortex overcomes the natural decline in detection probability of a repeated near-threshold sensory stimulus
The role of neuronal oscillations in human somatosensory perception is currently unclear. To address this, here we use noninvasive brain stimulation to artificially modulate cortical network dynamics in the context of neurophysiological and behavioral recordings. We demonstrate that transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) over the somatosensory parietal cortex increases oscillatory power specifically in the alpha range, without significantly affecting bottom-up thalamocortical inputs indexed by the early cortical component of somatosensory evoked potentials. Critically, we next show that parietal tSMS enhances the detection of near-threshold somatosensory stimuli. Interestingly, this behavioral improvement reflects a decrease of habituation to somatosensation. Our data therefore provide causal evidence that somatosensory perception depends on parietal alpha activity