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Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation

A pooled analysis on the effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation on salivary alpha-amylase as noradrenergic biomarker

Project coordinator: Manon Giraudier


There is multiple evidence pointing to a modulatory role of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) on cognitive and affective functions, which is likely mediated by activation of the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA) system. However, reliable effects of taVNS on noradrenergic biomarkers have not been demonstrated yet. Possible reasons for this lack of replicability are relatively small sample sizes and the heterogeneity of stimulation procedures used across studies.

The aim of this project is to overcome these limitations by pooling existing data across labs that examined the effects of taVNS on salivary-alpha amylase (sAA), a putative indirect marker for noradrenergic activity. 

The project was published on the Open Science Framework ( on March 2, 2021.

Effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation on cognitive processes

Project coordinator: Manon Giraudier


In this study, we apply non-invasive transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) on healthy participants to investigate its influence on cognitive processes (attention, motor learning) using peripheral-physiological and central nervous parameters. We further investigate to the extent to which stimulation parameters (such as stimulation intensity, stimulation type, and stimulation duration) influence the efficacy of taVNS in order to better characterize the mechanisms of action of taVNS.