No effects of transcranial DLPFC stimulation on implicit task sequence learning and consolidation.

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No effects of transcranial DLPFC stimulation on implicit task sequence learning and consolidation.

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 29;7(1):9649

Authors: Savic B, Cazzoli D, Müri R, Meier B

Abstract
Neurostimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) can modulate performance in cognitive tasks. In a recent study, however, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the DLPFC did not affect implicit task sequence learning and consolidation in a paradigm that involved bimanual responses. Because bimanual performance increases the coupling between homologous cortical areas of the hemispheres and left and right DLPFC were stimulated separately the null findings may have been due to the bimanual setup. The aim of the present study was to test the effect of neuro-stimulation on sequence learning in a uni-manual setup. For this purpose two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, the DLPFC was stimulated with tDCS. In Experiment 2 the DLPFC was stimulated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In both experiments, consolidation was measured 24 hours later. The results showed that sequence learning was present in all conditions and sessions, but it was not influenced by stimulation. Likewise, consolidation of sequence learning was robust across sessions, but it was not influenced by stimulation. These results replicate and extend previous findings. They indicate that established tDCS and TMS protocols on the DLPFC do not influence implicit task sequence learning and consolidation.

PMID: 28852114 [PubMed – in process]