Effects of tDCS on motor learning and memory formation: A consensus and critical position paper.
Clin Neurophysiol. 2017 Apr;128(4):589-603
Authors: Buch ER, Santarnecchi E, Antal A, Born J, Celnik PA, Classen J, Gerloff C, Hallett M, Hummel FC, Nitsche MA, Pascual-Leone A, Paulus WJ, Reis J, Robertson EM, Rothwell JC, Sandrini M, Schambra HM, Wassermann EM, Ziemann U, Cohen LG
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.
PMID: 28231477 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]