About this Research Topic
Recently, CE (Conformité Européenne) approved, non-invasive, transcutaneous (through the skin) electrical vagus nerve (tVNS) devices have been developed. tVNS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates brain activity via bottom-up mechanisms. That is, the stimulation of the vagus nerve (with nuclei located in the brain stem) activates upstream monoaminergic nuclei and the cerebral cortex. A major advantage of tVNS is that it allows to infer a causal relation between the stimulated neurotransmitter/brain area and a related cognitive and affective function, such as emotion recognition and regulation, sensory processing, cognitive flexibility etc.
So far, invasive VNS has been used to study cognitive functioning only in patients with epilepsy and major depression. However, the present Research Topic would like to focus not on clinical populations but on healthy humans and how tVNS may be a useful tool to further investigate the neuromodulation of cognitive and affective processes by noradrenaline (NA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the two main neurotransmitters enhanced by tVNS.
To this end, we are calling for papers examining cognitive and affective consequences of tVNS. Also mechanistic approaches studying the neurobiological aspects of tVNS are welcome. Accordingly, we welcome original studies, opinion, review or theoretical papers on these aspects to enhance the current knowledge on how tVNS exerts its effect on cognitive and affective processes.
Keywords: Vagus nerve, tVNS, Cognition, Affective, Neurobiological
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.