No effect of 2mA anodal tDCS over the M1 on performance and practice effect on Grooved Pegboard Test and Trail Making Test B
Previous studies suggest that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can facilitate motor performance and learning. In this double-blind experiment, 60 healthy human subjects (29 females) were randomized into three groups (active tDCS, sham tDCS, and no-treatment control group) in order to investigate the effect of a 20 min session of 2 mA tDCS over the motor cortex contralateral to the dominant hand on practice effect and performance on the Grooved Pegboard Test (GPT) and Trail Making Test (TMT). Performance was operationalized as the time to complete the tests before, during, and after stimulation. The practice effect was termed as the difference in time to complete the tests from pretest to post-test. Data on body mass index (BMI), head circumference, sleep status, interelectrode impedance, and caffeine and nicotine use were sampled to control for the influence of individual differences on the effect of tDCS. Adverse effects were registered using a standardized form. The results indicated no effect of tDCS on performance and practice effects on the GPT and TMT. For all groups, BMI was a predictor for a practice effect on the TMT. In the active tDCS group, high caffeine intake and low impedance predicted a practice effect on the GPT for the dominant hand. The present results suggest that impedance levels in tDCS studies should be routinely reported in future studies, as it might not only provide valuable information on the efficacy of the blinding conditions and participant discomfort, but also correlate with individual differences that are relevant to the outcome of the stimulation.
Copyright © 2015 Fagerlund et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International