Cumulative benefits of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial working memory training and skill learning in rats

Colleen A. Dockery, David Liebetanz, Niels Birbaumer, Monika Malinowska, Malgorzata J. Wesierska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex, which non-invasively alters cortical activity, has been established to affect executive functions in humans. We hypothesized that changes in excitability by tDCS, found to improve cognitive functions dependent on moderate prefrontal cortex activity, would operate similarly in animals as in humans. To verify this we performed experiments using a rat behavioral model of visuospatial working memory and skill learning paired with tDCS of the frontal cortex. The effect of anodal/cathodal tDCS was examined in three sessions using the allothetic place avoidance alternation task (APAAT) and later re-examined without stimulation. Stimulation had no measurable short term effect on on-going place avoidance learning. However, in the follow-up session on day 21 the rats previously treated with cathodal tDCS showed significantly more efficient place avoidance and skill retention in comparison to the controls. This demonstrates a long-term benefit of diminished excitability by frontal tDCS when paired with training on working memory and skill learning in a novel task. The presented behavioral model provides a tool to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of how tDCS modulates neural network function to support successful behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-460
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Volume96
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

Short-Term Memory
Learning
Prefrontal Cortex
Avoidance Learning
Executive Function
Frontal Lobe
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Cognition

Keywords

  • Allothetic place avoidance alternation task
  • Anodal/cathodal tDCS
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Skill learning
  • Visuospatial working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Cumulative benefits of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial working memory training and skill learning in rats. / Dockery, Colleen A.; Liebetanz, David; Birbaumer, Niels; Malinowska, Monika; Wesierska, Malgorzata J.

In: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 96, No. 3, 10.2011, p. 452-460.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dockery, Colleen A. ; Liebetanz, David ; Birbaumer, Niels ; Malinowska, Monika ; Wesierska, Malgorzata J. / Cumulative benefits of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial working memory training and skill learning in rats. In: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2011 ; Vol. 96, No. 3. pp. 452-460.
@article{df795f826eb84492990f6e5da6e9bbe4,
title = "Cumulative benefits of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial working memory training and skill learning in rats",
abstract = "Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex, which non-invasively alters cortical activity, has been established to affect executive functions in humans. We hypothesized that changes in excitability by tDCS, found to improve cognitive functions dependent on moderate prefrontal cortex activity, would operate similarly in animals as in humans. To verify this we performed experiments using a rat behavioral model of visuospatial working memory and skill learning paired with tDCS of the frontal cortex. The effect of anodal/cathodal tDCS was examined in three sessions using the allothetic place avoidance alternation task (APAAT) and later re-examined without stimulation. Stimulation had no measurable short term effect on on-going place avoidance learning. However, in the follow-up session on day 21 the rats previously treated with cathodal tDCS showed significantly more efficient place avoidance and skill retention in comparison to the controls. This demonstrates a long-term benefit of diminished excitability by frontal tDCS when paired with training on working memory and skill learning in a novel task. The presented behavioral model provides a tool to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of how tDCS modulates neural network function to support successful behavior.",
keywords = "Allothetic place avoidance alternation task, Anodal/cathodal tDCS, Prefrontal cortex, Skill learning, Visuospatial working memory",
author = "Dockery, {Colleen A.} and David Liebetanz and Niels Birbaumer and Monika Malinowska and Wesierska, {Malgorzata J.}",
year = "2011",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.nlm.2011.06.018",
language = "English",
volume = "96",
pages = "452--460",
journal = "Neurobiology of Learning and Memory",
issn = "1074-7427",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cumulative benefits of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial working memory training and skill learning in rats

AU - Dockery, Colleen A.

AU - Liebetanz, David

AU - Birbaumer, Niels

AU - Malinowska, Monika

AU - Wesierska, Malgorzata J.

PY - 2011/10

Y1 - 2011/10

N2 - Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex, which non-invasively alters cortical activity, has been established to affect executive functions in humans. We hypothesized that changes in excitability by tDCS, found to improve cognitive functions dependent on moderate prefrontal cortex activity, would operate similarly in animals as in humans. To verify this we performed experiments using a rat behavioral model of visuospatial working memory and skill learning paired with tDCS of the frontal cortex. The effect of anodal/cathodal tDCS was examined in three sessions using the allothetic place avoidance alternation task (APAAT) and later re-examined without stimulation. Stimulation had no measurable short term effect on on-going place avoidance learning. However, in the follow-up session on day 21 the rats previously treated with cathodal tDCS showed significantly more efficient place avoidance and skill retention in comparison to the controls. This demonstrates a long-term benefit of diminished excitability by frontal tDCS when paired with training on working memory and skill learning in a novel task. The presented behavioral model provides a tool to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of how tDCS modulates neural network function to support successful behavior.

AB - Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex, which non-invasively alters cortical activity, has been established to affect executive functions in humans. We hypothesized that changes in excitability by tDCS, found to improve cognitive functions dependent on moderate prefrontal cortex activity, would operate similarly in animals as in humans. To verify this we performed experiments using a rat behavioral model of visuospatial working memory and skill learning paired with tDCS of the frontal cortex. The effect of anodal/cathodal tDCS was examined in three sessions using the allothetic place avoidance alternation task (APAAT) and later re-examined without stimulation. Stimulation had no measurable short term effect on on-going place avoidance learning. However, in the follow-up session on day 21 the rats previously treated with cathodal tDCS showed significantly more efficient place avoidance and skill retention in comparison to the controls. This demonstrates a long-term benefit of diminished excitability by frontal tDCS when paired with training on working memory and skill learning in a novel task. The presented behavioral model provides a tool to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of how tDCS modulates neural network function to support successful behavior.

KW - Allothetic place avoidance alternation task

KW - Anodal/cathodal tDCS

KW - Prefrontal cortex

KW - Skill learning

KW - Visuospatial working memory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80053592717&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80053592717&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.nlm.2011.06.018

DO - 10.1016/j.nlm.2011.06.018

M3 - Article

VL - 96

SP - 452

EP - 460

JO - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

JF - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

SN - 1074-7427

IS - 3

ER -