Effects on motor learning of tACS

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Effects on motor learning of transcranial alternating current stimulation applied over the primary motor cortex and cerebellar hemisphere.

Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a non-invasive method of brain stimulation that modulates oscillatory neural activity in the cortical area under the electrodes. Gamma (γ)-tACS applied over the primary motor cortex (M1) and cerebellar hemisphere is known to improve motor performance; however, it is not yet known whether it affects motor learning. Thus, here we investigated whether γ-tACS applied over the M1 and cerebellar hemisphere affects motor learning. This study involved 30 healthy subjects (14 females, 16 males) performing a visuomotor control task (eight trials) during an administration of either γ-tACS or a sham stimulation (15 subjects per condition) over their right M1 and left cerebellar hemisphere. Each subject performed five trials after 24 h. The motor learning efficiency, motor learning retention and re-motor learning efficiency in each condition were compared. The motor learning retention in the γ-tACS condition was significantly higher than that in the sham condition (p = 0.031). Thus, subjects who were administered γ-tACS maintained their motor performance the next day better than sham-stimulated subjects. There was no significant difference between the conditions in the motor learning efficiency and those in the re-motor learning efficiency. Our results demonstrate that γ-tACS administered over the M1 and cerebellar hemisphere during a motor learning task can enhance motor learning retention.

PMID: 32402616 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

J Clin Neurosci. 2020 May 08;:

Authors: Miyaguchi S, Inukai Y, Matsumoto Y, Miyashita M, Takahashi R, Otsuru N, Onishi H