Transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) is the application of low levels of red or near-infrared (NIR) light to stimulate neural tissues.
Here, we administer tPBM in the form of NIR light (810 nm wavelength) pulsed at 40 Hz to the default mode network (DMN), and examine its effects on human neural oscillations, in a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blinded trial.
Using electroencephalography (EEG), we found that a single session of tPBM significantly increases the power of the higher oscillatory frequencies of alpha, beta and gamma and reduces the power of the slower frequencies of delta and theta in subjects in resting state.
Furthermore, the analysis of network properties using inter-regional synchrony via weighted phase lag index (wPLI) and graph theory measures, indicate the effect of tPBM on the integration and segregation of brain networks. These changes were significantly different when compared to sham stimulation.
The adjustability of the various parameters of tPBM, along with the relatively quick response observed by EEG, is optimal for the exploration of customized treatments for varying indications.
Our preliminary findings demonstrate for the first time that tPBM can be used to non-invasively modulate neural oscillations, and encourage further confirmatory clinical investigations.