No tDCS Augmented Working Memory Training Benefit in Undergraduates Rewarded with Course Credit.
BACKGROUND: The goal of working memory (WM) training is to expand capacity of this executive function. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) paired with WM training is more consistent than either alone. We have reported that tDCS targeting frontal and/or parietal regions enhanced theta phase locking, reduced alpha power, and strengthened theta-gamma phase amplitude coupling.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether tDCS to frontal or parietal sites optimized WM training gains we pre-registered a tDCS-WM training study.
METHODS: 80 undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four anodal tDCS montages: frontal (F4), parietal (P4), alternating (P4-F4), and sham (P4 or F4). Participants completed 5-training sessions over one week and returned for follow-up testing after 30 days of no-contact.
RESULTS: No group showed significant improvement in trained or transfer task performance at the end of training nor at follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: This null finding marks a failure to replicate in undergraduates training benefits observed in graduate students. We argue that motivation is essential to elicit improved performance in training protocols.
PMID: 32891871 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Brain Stimul. 2020 Sep 03;:
Authors: Shires J, Carrasco C, Berryhill ME