Evidence against benefits from cognitive training and tDCS

Evidence against benefits from cognitive training and transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy older adults.

Cognitive training and brain stimulation show promise for ameliorating age-related neurocognitive decline. However, evidence for this is controversial. In a Registered Report, we investigated the effects of these interventions, where 133 older adults were allocated to four groups (left prefrontal cortex anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with decision-making training, and three control groups) and trained over 5 days. They completed a task/questionnaire battery pre- and post-training, and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. COMT and BDNF Val/Met polymorphisms were also assessed. Contrary to work in younger adults, there was evidence against tDCS-induced training enhancement on the decision-making task. Moreover, there was evidence against transfer of training gains to untrained tasks or everyday function measures at any post-intervention time points. As indicated by exploratory work, individual differences may have influenced outcomes. But, overall, the current decision-making training and tDCS protocol appears unlikely to lead to benefits for older adults.

PMID: 33106629 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Nat Hum Behav. 2020 Oct 26;:

Authors: Horne KS, Filmer HL, Nott ZE, Hawi Z, Pugsley K, Mattingley JB, Dux PE




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