UCL  IRIS
Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
Publication Detail
The physiological effects of transcranial electrical stimulation do not apply to parameters commonly used in studies of cognitive neuromodulation.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Parkin BL, Bhandari M, Glen JC, Walsh V
  • Publication date:
    06/04/2018
  • Journal:
    Neuropsychologia
  • Medium:
    Print-Electronic
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    0028-3932
  • Language:
    eng
  • Addresses:
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK; Department of Psychology, Univeristy of Westminster, UK. Electronic address: Parkinb@Westminster.ac.uk.
Abstract
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) have been claimed to produce many remarkable enhancements in perception, cognition, learning and numerous clinical conditions. The physiological basis of the claims for tDCS rests on the finding that 1 mA of unilateral anodal stimulation increases cortical excitation and 1 mA of cathodal produces inhibition. Here we show that these classic excitatory and inhibitory effects do not hold for the bilateral stimulation or 2 mA intensity conditions favoured in cognitive enhancement experiments. This is important because many, including some of the most salient claims are based on experiments using 2 mA bilateral stimulation. The claims for tRNS are also based on unilateral stimulation. Here we show that, again the classic excitatory effects of unilateral tRNS do not extend to the bilateral stimulation preferred in enhancement experiments. Further, we show that the effects of unilateral tRNS do not hold when one merely doubles the stimulation duration. We are forced to two conclusions: (i) that even if all the data on TES enhancements are true, the physiological explanations on which the claims are based are at best not established but at worst false, and (ii) that we cannot explain, scientifically at least, how so many experiments can have obtained data consistent with physiological effects that may not exist.
Publication data is maintained in RPS. Visit https://rps.ucl.ac.uk
 More search options
UCL Researchers
Author
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by