Precise Temporal Control of Interferential Neural Stimulation via Phase Modulation

Yasuo Terasawa, Hiroyuki Tashiro, Tokio Ueno, Jun Ohta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Noninvasive neural stimulation via temporally interferential (TI) electrical field is currently an area of interest as a noninvasive method of brain stimulation. The major limitation of TI stimulation is the difficulty of precise temporal control of the stimulation, due to the nature of the sinusoidal envelope generated by the interference. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of improving interferential stimulation by introducing precise temporal control using phase modulation. Methods: In conventional TI, a sinusoidal current is applied to two electrode pairs with slightly different frequencies, to cause interference. In this paper we describe phase modulation interference (PMI). Instead of shifting frequency, the phase of a sinusoidal wave was partially modulated, causing a transient increase or decrease of the envelope. The spatial distribution of envelope modulation amplitude by TI and PMI was visualized using both electromagnetic simulation and actual measurement using tissue phantom. Results: The measured voltage transient in the tissue phantom produce a precise, temporally controlled pulse-like envelope using PMI. The spatial distributions of the amplitude of the envelope modulation by TI and PMI did not differ significantly, and were consistent with electromagnetic simulation. Conclusion: PMI allows precise temporal control of interferential stimulation, thus increasing the practical utility of interferential stimulation. Significance: PMI improves interferential stimulation, allowing more temporally precise stimulation to neural tissue located distantly from the stimulating electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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