Evidence against benefits from cognitive training and tDCS

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

Abstract
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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