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Title: No modulation of pupil size and event-related pupil response by transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS)
Author(s): Keute, MariusLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Demirezen, Mustafa
Graf, Alina
Müller, Notger GermarLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Zähle, TinoLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Issue Date: 2019
Type: Article
Language: English
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:ma9:1-1981185920-368696
Subjects: Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation
Pupil size
Event-related pupil response
Abstract: Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) bears therapeutic potential for a wide range of medical conditions. However, previous studies have found substantial interindividual variability in responsiveness to taVNS, and no reliable predictive biomarker for stimulation success has been developed so far. In this study, we investigate pupil size and event-related pupil response as candidate biomarkers. Both measures have a direct physiological link to the activity of the locus coeruleus (LC), a brainstem structure and the main source of norepinephrine in the brain. LC activation is considered one of the key mechanisms of action of taVNS, therefore, we expected a clear increase of the pupillary measures under taVNS compared to sham (placebo) stimulation, such that it could serve as a prospective predictor for individual clinical and physiological taVNS effects in future studies. We studied resting pupil size and pupillary responses to target stimuli in an auditory oddball task in 33 healthy young volunteers. We observed stronger pupil responses to target than to standard stimuli. However, and contrary to our hypothesis, neither pupil size nor the event-related pupil response nor behavioral performance were modulated by taVNS. We discuss potential explanations for this negative finding and its implications for future clinical investigation and development of taVNS.
Open Access: Open access publication
License: (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0(CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Sponsor/Funder: DFG-Publikationsfonds 2019
Journal Title: Scientific reports
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Publisher Place: [London]
Volume: 9
Issue: 2019
Original Publication: 10.1038/s41598-019-47961-4
Page Start: 1
Page End: 10
Appears in Collections:Medizinische Fakultät (OA)

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