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Neuropsychologia. 2010 Oct;48(12):3671-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.07.024. Epub 2010 Jul 24.

Improved proper name recall by electrical stimulation of the anterior temporal lobes.

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Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19112, USA.


People's names have an embarrassing propensity to be forgotten. This problem is exacerbated by normal aging and by some kinds of dementia. As evidence from neuroimaging and neuropsychology suggest that portions of the anterior temporal lobes play a role in proper name retrieval, we hypothesized that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a technique that modulates neural transmission, to the anterior temporal lobes would alter the retrieval of proper names. Fifteen young adults received left anodal, right anodal, or sham stimulation of the anterior temporal lobes while naming pictures of famous individuals and landmarks. Right anterior temporal lobe stimulation significantly improved naming for people but not landmarks. These findings are consistent with the notion that the anterior temporal lobes are critically involved in the retrieval of people's names.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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