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Clin Neurophysiol. 2017 Apr;128(4):589-603. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2017.01.004. Epub 2017 Jan 29.

Effects of tDCS on motor learning and memory formation: A consensus and critical position paper.

Author information

1
Human Cortical Physiology and Neurorehabilitation Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
2
Berenson-Allen Center for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, Division of Cognitive Neurology, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Medical Center, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany.
4
Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
5
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, MD, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, MD, USA.
6
Department of Neurology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
7
Brain Imaging and NeuroStimulation (BINS) Laboratory, Department of Neurology University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf Martinistr, Hamburg, Germany.
8
Human Motor Control Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD, USA.
9
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Leibniz Research Center for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), Dortmund, Germany.
10
Department of Neurology, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany.
11
Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
12
UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.
13
Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, London, UK.
14
Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
15
Behavioral Neurology Unit, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
16
Department of Neurology & Stroke, and Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.
17
Human Cortical Physiology and Neurorehabilitation Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address: CohenL@ninds.nih.gov.

Abstract

Motor skills are required for activities of daily living. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied in association with motor skill learning has been investigated as a tool for enhancing training effects in health and disease. Here, we review the published literature investigating whether tDCS can facilitate the acquisition, retention or adaptation of motor skills. Work in multiple laboratories is underway to develop a mechanistic understanding of tDCS effects on different forms of learning and to optimize stimulation protocols. Efforts are required to improve reproducibility and standardization. Overall, reproducibility remains to be fully tested, effect sizes with present techniques vary over a wide range, and the basis of observed inter-individual variability in tDCS effects is incompletely understood. It is recommended that future studies explicitly state in the Methods the exploratory (hypothesis-generating) or hypothesis-driven (confirmatory) nature of the experimental designs. General research practices could be improved with prospective pre-registration of hypothesis-based investigations, more emphasis on the detailed description of methods (including all pertinent details to enable future modeling of induced current and experimental replication), and use of post-publication open data repositories. A checklist is proposed for reporting tDCS investigations in a way that can improve efforts to assess reproducibility.

KEYWORDS:

Effect-size; Guidelines; Learning; Memory; Motor; Non-invasive brain stimulation; Open Science; tDCS

PMID:
28231477
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2017.01.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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