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Does excitatory fronto-extracerebral tDCS lead to improved working memory performance?

Lally, N; Nord, CL; Walsh, V; Roiser, JP; (2013) Does excitatory fronto-extracerebral tDCS lead to improved working memory performance? F1000Res , 2 , Article 219. 10.12688/f1000research.2-219.v2. Green open access

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Abstract

Evidence suggests that excitatory transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) may improve performance on a wide variety of cognitive tasks. Due to the non-invasive and inexpensive nature of the method, harnessing its potential could be particularly useful for the treatment of neuropsychiatric illnesses involving cognitive dysfunction. However, questions remain regarding the efficacious stimulation parameters. Here, using a double-blind between-subjects design, we explored whether 1 mA excitatory (anodal) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex stimulation with a contralateral extracerebral reference electrode, leads to enhanced working memory performance across two days, relative to sham stimulation. Participants performed the 3-back, a test of working memory, at baseline, and during and immediately following stimulation on two days, separated by 24-48 hours. Active stimulation did not significantly enhance performance versus sham over the course of the experiment. However, exploratory comparisons did reveal a significant effect of stimulation group on performance during the first stimulation phase only, with active stimulation recipients performing better than sham. While these results do not support the hypothesis that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tDCS boosts working memory, they raise the possibility that its effects may be greatest during early learning stages.

Type: Article
Title: Does excitatory fronto-extracerebral tDCS lead to improved working memory performance?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.2-219.v2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.2-219.v2
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2013 Lally N et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Data associated with the article are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero "No rights reserved" data waiver (CC0 1.0 Public domain dedication).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1432468
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