Dendritic effects of tDCS insights from a morphologically realistic model neuron

Rahul Kumar Rathour, Hanoch Kaphzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces subcellular compartmental-dependent polarization, maximal in the distal portions of axons and dendrites. Using a morphologically realistic neuron model, we simulated tDCS-induced membrane polarization of the apical dendrite. Thus, we investigated the differential dendritic effects of anodal and cathodal tDCS on membrane potential polarization along the dendritic structure and its subsequent effects on dendritic membrane resistance, excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude, backpropagating action potential amplitude, input/output relations, and long-term synaptic plasticity. We further showed that the effects of anodal and cathodal tDCS on the backpropagating action potential were asymmetric, and explained this asymmetry. Additionally, we showed that the effects on input/output relations were rather weak and limited to the low-mid range of stimulation frequencies, and that synaptic plasticity effects were mostly limited to the distal portion of the dendrite. Thus, we demonstrated how tDCS modifies dendritic physiology due to the dendrite's unique morphology and composition of voltage-gated ion channels.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number109230
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2024


  • Computer modeling
  • Neuroscience
  • Sensory neuroscience

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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