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Brain Stimul. 2015 Jul-Aug;8(4):784-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2015.02.005. Epub 2015 Mar 14.

Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Area Promotes Implicit Motor Learning in a Golf Putting Task.

Author information

1
Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China. Electronic address: ffzhu@hku.hk.
2
Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
3
Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom.
4
Institute of Clinical Neuropsychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
5
Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
6
Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Implicit motor learning is characterized by low dependence on working memory and stable performance despite stress, fatigue, or multi-tasking. However, current paradigms for implicit motor learning are based on behavioral interventions that are often task-specific and limited when applied in practice.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) area during motor learning suppressed working memory activity and reduced explicit verbal-analytical involvement in movement control, thereby promoting implicit motor learning.

METHODS:

Twenty-seven healthy individuals practiced a golf putting task during a Training Phase while receiving either real cathodal tDCS stimulation over the left DLPFC area or sham stimulation. Their performance was assessed during a Test phase on another day. Verbal working memory capacity was assessed before and after the Training Phase, and before the Test Phase.

RESULTS:

Compared to sham stimulation, real stimulation suppressed verbal working memory activity after the Training Phase, but enhanced golf putting performance during the Training Phase and the Test Phase, especially when participants were required to multi-task.

CONCLUSION:

Cathodal tDCS over the left DLPFC may foster implicit motor learning and performance in complex real-life motor tasks that occur during sports, surgery or motor rehabilitation.

KEYWORDS:

Cathodal tDCS; Implicit motor learning; Left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Verbal working memory

PMID:
25857398
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2015.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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