tDCS enhances 3D mental rotation ability

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Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over the posterior parietal cortex enhances three-dimensional mental rotation ability.

Prior neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have found that the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an important role in mental rotation ability. Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown the potential to enhance cognitive ability by delivering a low current to the brain cortex of interest, via electrodes on the scalp. Here, we tested whether stimulating the PPC with tDCS can improve three-dimensional mental rotation performance and narrow gender difference. The classic three-dimensional Shepard-Metzler task was measured after three stimulation conditions (right PPC, left PPC, sham stimulation). The results indicated that stimulating the right PPC induced an improvement in accuracy and response time of mental rotation relative to sham stimulation. Stimulating the left PPC caused an enhancement in the accuracy but not in the response time. Gender difference during mental rotation was diminished after stimulation. These findings indicated that the PPC regions played a causal role in mental rotation ability. tDCS could be used as a promising non-invasive method to improve mental rotation skills in individuals with lower ability and to provide an effective therapeutic tool for neurological disorder rehabilitation.

PMID: 33249055 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Neurosci Res. 2020 Nov 26;:

Authors: Zhu R, Wang Z, You X