Effects of tDCS on working memory performance in healthy participants.

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Effects of 1 mA and 2 mA transcranial direct current stimulation on working memory performance in healthy participants.

Abstract
Anodal transcranial current stimulation (tDCS) to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been shown to enhance working memory (WM) in neuropsychiatric patients. In healthy populations, however, tDCS obtains inconclusive results, mostly due to heterogeneous study and stimulation protocols. Here, we approached these issues by investigating effects of tDCS intensity on simultaneous WM performance with three cognitive loads by directly comparing findings of two double-blind, cross-over, sham-controlled experiments. TDCS was administrated to the left DLPFC at intensity of 1 mA (Experiment 1) or 2 mA (Experiment 2), while participants completed a verbal n-back paradigm (1-, 2-, 3-back). Analysis showed no overall effects of tDCS on WM, but a significant interaction with cognitive load. The present study suggests that cognitive load rather than tDCS intensity could be a decisive factor for effects on WM. Moreover, it emphasizes the need of thorough investigation on study parameters to develop more efficient stimulation protocols.

PMID: 32502908 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Conscious Cogn. 2020 Jun 02;83:102959

Authors: Papazova I, Strube W, Wienert A, Henning B, Schwippel T, Fallgatter AJ, Padberg F, Falkai P, Plewnia C, Hasan A

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