About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 01 December 2022

Recent studies have highlighted that stimulation of the nervous system with spatiotemporal patterns may engage the nervous system in fundamentally different ways than can be achieved with conventional single-frequency stimulation. Coordinated Reset deep brain stimulation (DBS) may affect synaptic plasticity ...

Recent studies have highlighted that stimulation of the nervous system with spatiotemporal patterns may engage the nervous system in fundamentally different ways than can be achieved with conventional single-frequency stimulation. Coordinated Reset deep brain stimulation (DBS) may affect synaptic plasticity and result in long-lasting (after stimulation is turned off) effects. Spatio-temporal paired pulse stimulation can be used to induce spike timing dependent strengthening or weakening of synaptic connections between brain regions for therapeutic purposes. Burst stimulation may enable cell-type specific targeting, as recently shown in rodent models of DBS for Parkinson’s Disease and in thalamic DBS in humans. Burst stimulation has also shown promise in spinal cord for chronic pain and vagus nerve stimulation for cardiac applications. And multiple hierarchies of temporal patterning may have their own unique effect on the nervous system as evidenced by data on intermittent theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation for the control of depression.


The above lines of work suggest that patterned stimulation has the potential to improve therapeutic outcomes of neuromodulation across a wide range of indications and stimulation modalities. With modern neuromodulation devices increasingly capable of complex stimulation patterns, it is timely to review the current state of knowledge about the responses of the nervous system to complex, patterned electrical stimulation. This Research Topic will consist of 6-10 articles that aim, collectively, to provide such a review.


The articles in this collection can be either review articles or original research articles. They should address one or more of the following broad themes.
• Responses of different neuronal and non-neuronal elements to patterned stimulation
• The effect of network dynamics on the response of the nervous system to patterned versus tonic stimulation
• Importance of spatial vs temporal patterns
• Indications and stimulation modalities where patterned deep brain stimulation is expected to be particularly efficacious
• Potential methods for rational pattern discovery including methods for empirical search through high dimensional spaces and computational models of disease states.




Dr. Bokil is an employee of and owns stock in Boston Scientific. Dr. Tass is a consultant for and receives research funding from Boston Scientific. Both are involved in research on the research topic.

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.

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