Influence of layered skull modeling on the frequency sensitivity and target accuracy in simulations of transcranial current stimulation

Heng Wang, Weiqian Sun, Jianxu Zhang, Zilong Yan, Chenyu Wang, Luyao Wang, Tiantian Liu, Chunlin Li, Duanduan Chen, Funahashi Shintaro, Jinglong Wu, Tianyi Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With the development of electrical stimulation technology, especially the emergence of temporally interfering (TI) stimulation, it is necessary to discuss the influence of current frequency on stimulation intensity. Accurate skull modeling is important for transcranial current stimulation (tCS) simulation prediction because of its large role in dispersing current. In this study, we simulated different frequencies of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and TI stimulation in single-layer and layered skull model, compared the electric field via error parameters such as the relative difference measure and relative magnification factor. Pearson correlation analysis and t-test were used to measure the differences in envelope amplitude. The results showed that the intensity of electric field in the brain generated by per unit of stimulation current will increase with current frequency, and the layered skull model had a better response to frequency. An obvious pattern difference was found between the electric fields of the layered and single-layer skull individualized models. For TI stimulation, the Pearson correlation coefficient between the envelope distribution of the layered skull model and the single-layer skull was only 0.746 in the individualized model, which is clearly lower than the correlation coefficient of 0.999 determined from the spherical model. Higher carrier frequencies seemed to be easier to generate a large enough brain electric field envelope in TI stimulation. In conclusion, we recommend using layered skull models instead of single-layer skull models in tCS (particularly TI stimulation) simulation studies in order to improve the accuracy of the prediction of stimulus intensity and stimulus target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5345-5356
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • electrical stimulation
  • individualized model
  • layered skull model
  • temporally interfering stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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