Using a new phase-locked visual feedback protocol to affirm simpler models for alpha dynamics


Alpha band oscillations are the most prominent rhythmic oscillations in EEG, which are related to various types of mental diseases, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. However, the dynamics of alpha oscillations, especially how the endogenous alpha oscillations be entrained by exogenous stimulus, are still unclear. Recently, a newly-developed phase-locked visual feedback (PLVF) protocol has shown effectiveness in modulating alpha rhythm, which provides empirical evidence for the further investigation of the neural mechanism of alpha dynamics. In this work, extensive numerical simulations based on four well-studied models were used to investigate the questions that (1) What kind of dynamic model exhibits a modulation phenomenon of PLVF? (2) What is the dynamic mechanism of PLVF for alpha modulation? (3) Which factors affect the modulation effects in PLVF? The result indicates that the dynamics of endogenous alpha oscillations are close to a simpler dynamic structure, like fixed-point attractor or limit-cycle attractor, which shows a global consistent dynamic behavior at different phases of the alpha oscillation. The further analysis explains the dynamic mechanism of PLVF for amplitude and frequency modulation of the alpha rhythm, as well as the influence of parameter settings in the modulation. All these findings provide a deeper understanding of the endogenous alpha oscillations entrained by exogenous phased locked visual stimulus and lead in turn to the refinement of a control strategy for alpha modulation, which could potentially be used in developing new neural modulation methods for cognitive enhancement and mental diseases treatment.

Gan Huang
Gan Huang

My research interests include Neural Modulation, Brain Computer Interface and Neural Prosthetics.