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
Direction of TDCS current flow in human sensorimotor cortex influences behavioural learning
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Hannah R, Iacovou A, Rothwell JC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Brain Stimulation
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
© 2019 The Author(s) Background: Recent studies have shown that neurophysiological outcomes of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) are influenced by current flow in brain regions between the electrodes, and in particular the orientation of current flow relative to the cortical surface. Objective: We asked whether the directional effects of TDCS on physiological measures in the motor system would also be observed on motor behaviours. Methods: We applied TDCS during the practice of a ballistic movement task to test whether it affected learning or the retention of learning 48 h later. TDCS electrodes were oriented perpendicular to the central sulcus and two current orientations were used (posterior-anterior, TDCSPA; and anterior-posterior, TDCSAP). Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to assess whether changes in corticospinal excitability reflected any behavioural changes. Results: Directional TDCSAP impaired the retention of learning on the ballistic movement task compared to TDCSPA and a sham condition. Although TDCSPA had no effect on learning or retention, it blocked the typical increase in corticospinal excitability after a period of motor practice. Conclusions: Our results extend on previous reports of TDCS producing directionally specific changes in neurophysiological outcomes by showing that current direction through a cortical target also impacts upon behavioural outcomes. In addition, changes in corticospinal excitability after a period of motor practice are not causally linked to behavioural learning.
Publication data is maintained in RPS. Visit https://rps.ucl.ac.uk
 More search options
UCL Researchers
Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by