Attokaren, M. K., Jeong, N., Blanpain, L. et al. 2023. BrainWAVE: A flexible method for noninvasive stimulation of brain rhythms across species. ENeuro 10(2) ENEURO.0257-22.2022.

Rhythmic neural activity, which coordinates brain regions and neurons to achieve multiple brain functions, is impaired in many diseases. Despite the therapeutic potential of driving brain rhythms, methods to noninvasively target deep brain regions are limited. Accordingly, we recently introduced a noninvasive stimulation approach using flickering lights and sounds (“flicker”). Flicker drives rhythmic activity in deep and superficial brain regions. Gamma flicker spurs immune function, clears pathogens, and rescues memory performance in mice with amyloid pathology. Here, we present substantial improvements to this approach that is flexible, user-friendly, and generalizable across multiple experimental settings and species. We present novel open-source methods for flicker stimulation across rodents and humans. We demonstrate rapid, cross-species induction of rhythmic activity without behavioral confounds in multiple settings from electrophysiology to neuroimaging. This flicker approach provides an exceptional opportunity to discover the therapeutic effects of brain rhythms across scales and species.

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