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Augmentation of working memory training by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
Sci Rep 2017; 7(1):876SR

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) can modulate working memory (WM) performance. However, evidence regarding the enhancement of WM training, its sustainability and transferability is ambiguous. Since WM functioning appears to be lateralized in respect to stimulus characteristics, this study examined the difference between task-congruent (spatial-right, verbal-left), task-incongruent (spatial-left, verbal-right) and sham tDCS in regards to the efficacy of WM training. In a randomized, sham-controlled experiment, 71 healthy adults trained on a spatial or verbal adaptive n-back task. After a baseline session, anodal or sham tDCS (1 mA) to the right or left dlPFC was applied during the next three training sessions. Sustainability of training gains and near-transfer (verbal or spatial 3-back task) were tested in a fourth training and a follow-up session. Compared to sham stimulation, we found a steeper learning curve when WM training was combined with task-congruent tDCS. This advantage was also present compared to task-incongruent tDCS. Moreover, these effects lasted for up to nine months and transferred to the respective untrained task. These long-lasting, transferable, task-specific effects demonstrate a behaviorally relevant and sustainable facilitation of neuroplastic processes by tDCS that could be harnessed for the treatment of disorders associated with deficient WM.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 14, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 14, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 14, 72076, Tübingen, Germany. christian.plewnia@uni-tuebingen.de.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28432349

Citation

Ruf, Steffen Philipp, et al. "Augmentation of Working Memory Training By Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)." Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, 2017, p. 876.
Ruf SP, Fallgatter AJ, Plewnia C. Augmentation of working memory training by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):876.
Ruf, S. P., Fallgatter, A. J., & Plewnia, C. (2017). Augmentation of working memory training by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Scientific Reports, 7(1), p. 876. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01055-1.
Ruf SP, Fallgatter AJ, Plewnia C. Augmentation of Working Memory Training By Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Sci Rep. 2017 04 21;7(1):876. PubMed PMID: 28432349.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Augmentation of working memory training by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). AU - Ruf,Steffen Philipp, AU - Fallgatter,Andreas J, AU - Plewnia,Christian, Y1 - 2017/04/21/ PY - 2016/07/20/received PY - 2017/03/20/accepted PY - 2017/4/23/entrez PY - 2017/4/23/pubmed PY - 2018/9/6/medline SP - 876 EP - 876 JF - Scientific reports JO - Sci Rep VL - 7 IS - 1 N2 - Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) can modulate working memory (WM) performance. However, evidence regarding the enhancement of WM training, its sustainability and transferability is ambiguous. Since WM functioning appears to be lateralized in respect to stimulus characteristics, this study examined the difference between task-congruent (spatial-right, verbal-left), task-incongruent (spatial-left, verbal-right) and sham tDCS in regards to the efficacy of WM training. In a randomized, sham-controlled experiment, 71 healthy adults trained on a spatial or verbal adaptive n-back task. After a baseline session, anodal or sham tDCS (1 mA) to the right or left dlPFC was applied during the next three training sessions. Sustainability of training gains and near-transfer (verbal or spatial 3-back task) were tested in a fourth training and a follow-up session. Compared to sham stimulation, we found a steeper learning curve when WM training was combined with task-congruent tDCS. This advantage was also present compared to task-incongruent tDCS. Moreover, these effects lasted for up to nine months and transferred to the respective untrained task. These long-lasting, transferable, task-specific effects demonstrate a behaviorally relevant and sustainable facilitation of neuroplastic processes by tDCS that could be harnessed for the treatment of disorders associated with deficient WM. SN - 2045-2322 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28432349/Augmentation_of_working_memory_training_by_transcranial_direct_current_stimulation__tDCS__ L2 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-01055-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -