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