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J Neurophysiol. 2017 Aug 1;118(2):655-665. doi: 10.1152/jn.00896.2016. Epub 2017 Mar 15.

No consistent effect of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation on visuomotor adaptation.

Author information

1
Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences, Doctoral Training Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom; and rxj237@bham.ac.uk Royadjalali@gmail.com.
2
School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) is known to enhance adaptation to a novel visual rotation (visuomotor adaptation), and it is suggested to hold promise as a therapeutic intervention. However, it is unknown whether this effect is robust across varying task parameters. This question is crucial if ctDCS is to be used clinically, because it must have a consistent and robust effect across a relatively wide range of behaviors. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of ctDCS on visuomotor adaptation across a wide range of task parameters that were systematically varied. Therefore, 192 young healthy individuals participated in 1 of 7 visuomotor adaptation experiments in either an anodal or sham ctDCS group. Each experiment examined whether ctDCS had a positive effect on adaptation when a unique feature of the task was altered: position of the monitor, offline tDCS, use of a tool, and perturbation schedule. Although we initially replicated the previously reported positive effect of ctDCS on visuomotor adaptation, this was not maintained during a second replication study or across a large range of varying task parameters. At the very least, this may call into question the validity of using ctDCS within a clinical context where a robust and consistent effect across behavior would be required.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) is known to enhance motor adaptation and thus holds promise as a therapeutic intervention. However, understanding the reliability of ctDCS across varying task parameters is crucial. To examine this, we investigated whether ctDCS enhanced visuomotor adaptation across a range of varying task parameters. We found ctDCS to have no consistent effect on visuomotor adaptation, questioning the validity of using ctDCS within a clinical context.

KEYWORDS:

adaptation; brain stimulation; cerebellum; motor learning; tDCS

PMID:
28298304
PMCID:
PMC5539446
DOI:
10.1152/jn.00896.2016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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