The neuroConn DC-STIMULATOR MC is a multi-channel transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) device that has independently programmable current sources (pairs of electrodes – anode and cathode) for:
- tDCS – transcranial direct current stimulation
- tACS – transcranial alternating current stimulation
- tRNS – transcranial random noise stimulation
This flexibility allows any DC-STIMULATOR MC device to be configured for single subject, high definition stimulation (HD-tDCS). Alternatively, the system can also be configured for experiments where multiple subjects require stimulation at the same time, using standard stimulating electrodes.
The DC-STIMULATOR MC provides up to 16 freely programmable, microprocessor-controlled constant current sources using independent channels. It meets the highest safety standards thanks to multistage monitoring of the current path using hardware and software. By continuously monitoring electrode impedance it can accurately maintain the user-defined current amplitude while also detecting if there is insufficient contact with the skin. It will automatically terminate stimulation to ensure subject safety.
With the inclusion of an MRI upgrade, the DC-STIMULATOR MC can be extended for use within the MRI, allowing simultaneous multi-channel and HD-tDCS-MRI experiments to be conducted.
tDCS uses weak electric currents over a period of several minutes to change the electrical charge in the nerve cell membranes and has a direct influence on neurotransmitter channels. This serves to strengthen or diminish the excitability of the brain cells.
When anodal tDCS (positive stimulation) is delivered this causes a depolarisation of the resting membrane potential, which in turn increases neuronal excitability and allows for more spontaneous cell firing. When cathodal tDCS (negative stimulation) is delivered, this causes a hyperpolarisation of the resting membrane potential, which in turn decreases neuron excitability due to the decreased spontaneous cell firing
An advantage of tDCS as a technique is its capacity to influence cortical change after the stimulation is ended; this is dependant on the length and intensity of stimulation. The effect of stimulation increases as the duration of stimulation or the strength of the current increases.
The DC-STIMULATOR MC is not a medical device according to MDD93/42 EEC. It is a device for neuroscientific research.