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Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition by Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex.
Cereb Cortex. 2015 Nov; 25(11):4551-8.CC

Abstract

We previously speculated that depression of cerebellar excitability using cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) might release extra cognitive resources via the disinhibition of activity in prefrontal cortex. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether anodal tDCS over the prefrontal cortex could similarly improve performance when cognitive demands are high. Sixty-three right-handed participants in 3 separate groups performed the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) and the more difficult Paced Auditory Serial Subtraction Task (PASST), before and after 20 min of anodal, cathodal, or sham stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Performance was assessed in terms of the accuracy, latency, and variability of correct verbal responses. All behavioral measures significantly improved for the PASST after anodal DLPFC stimulation, but not the PASAT. There were smaller practice effects after cathodal and sham stimulation. Subjective ratings of attention and mental fatigue were unchanged by tDCS over time. We conclude that anodal stimulation over the left DLPFC can selectively improve performance on a difficult cognitive task involving arithmetic processing, verbal working memory, and attention. This result might be achieved by focally improving executive functions and/or cognitive capacity when tasks are difficult, rather than by improving levels of arousal/alertness.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25979089

Citation

Pope, Paul A., et al. "Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition By Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex." Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), vol. 25, no. 11, 2015, pp. 4551-8.
Pope PA, Brenton JW, Miall RC. Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition by Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex. Cereb Cortex. 2015;25(11):4551-8.
Pope, P. A., Brenton, J. W., & Miall, R. C. (2015). Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition by Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex. Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 25(11), 4551-8. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhv094
Pope PA, Brenton JW, Miall RC. Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition By Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex. Cereb Cortex. 2015;25(11):4551-8. PubMed PMID: 25979089.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition by Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex. AU - Pope,Paul A, AU - Brenton,Jonathan W, AU - Miall,R Chris, Y1 - 2015/05/15/ PY - 2015/5/17/entrez PY - 2015/5/17/pubmed PY - 2016/7/19/medline KW - arithmetic cognition KW - dorsolateral prefrontal cortex KW - transcranial direct current stimulation KW - working memory SP - 4551 EP - 8 JF - Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) JO - Cereb. Cortex VL - 25 IS - 11 N2 - We previously speculated that depression of cerebellar excitability using cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) might release extra cognitive resources via the disinhibition of activity in prefrontal cortex. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether anodal tDCS over the prefrontal cortex could similarly improve performance when cognitive demands are high. Sixty-three right-handed participants in 3 separate groups performed the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) and the more difficult Paced Auditory Serial Subtraction Task (PASST), before and after 20 min of anodal, cathodal, or sham stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Performance was assessed in terms of the accuracy, latency, and variability of correct verbal responses. All behavioral measures significantly improved for the PASST after anodal DLPFC stimulation, but not the PASAT. There were smaller practice effects after cathodal and sham stimulation. Subjective ratings of attention and mental fatigue were unchanged by tDCS over time. We conclude that anodal stimulation over the left DLPFC can selectively improve performance on a difficult cognitive task involving arithmetic processing, verbal working memory, and attention. This result might be achieved by focally improving executive functions and/or cognitive capacity when tasks are difficult, rather than by improving levels of arousal/alertness. SN - 1460-2199 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25979089/Task_Specific_Facilitation_of_Cognition_by_Anodal_Transcranial_Direct_Current_Stimulation_of_the_Prefrontal_Cortex_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/cercor/bhv094 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -