Stimulation of the dorsolateral-prefrontal cortex improves working memory and planning

Written by Farzaneh Pouladi, Masood Bagheri, Ghasem Askarizadeh, Afsaneh Moradi on . Posted in Volume XXV, Nr 1


Farzaneh Pouladi1,2, Masood Bagheri1*, Ghasem Askarizadeh1, Afsaneh Moradi3

1Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran
2Department of Psychology, Adib mazandaran Institute of Higher Education, Mazandaran, Iran
3Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran


The present study aimed to investigate whether working memory (WM) and planning performances can be enhanced using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). A total of 30 healthy individuals were randomly assigned to two groups: active (A)-tDCS and control (S)-tDCS. Anodal stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (F3) and cathodal stimulation over the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) (FP2) were further implemented at 2 mA in the A-tDCS group, while there was no intervention in the control group. The tools used were software versions of the three-level n-back task and Tower of London (TOL) task, and for each task we measured participants’ response accuracy and response time. The results showed a significant difference between the groups in both cognitive functions, suggesting that tDCS can improve response accuracy in memory and problem-solving ability, but it is less effective in terms of improving response time on planning. Overall, findings suggest that tDCS can enhance WM and planning performances.

Keywords: transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), dorsolateral-prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), working memory (WM), planning



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