The effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have been extensively investigated across several research fields. However, its effects on cognition are mixed for both neuropsychiatric and healthy samples. These heterogeneous results might be partially explained due to the variability of the tDCS electric field (EF) strength that penetrates the brain due to 1) interindividual head anatomy and 2) the tDCS parameters heterogeneity applied across studies.
In this study, we propose to perform a trial applying bilateral tDCS (anode over the left and cathode over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)) in healthy volunteers with different current intensities (placebo, 1.5mA, and 3mA) and perform a cognitive battery after tDCS session. Moreover, cardiovascular reactivity will be measured before and during the tDCS session.
Our goal is to evaluate the association between the current flow patterns in individual brain regions of interest (ROIs) induced by bilateral tDCS over the DLPFC and cognitive performance, in order to investigate potential predictors of cognitive response to tDCS. Different tDCS current intensities sessions will be applied to better evaluate the variability of the tDCS current flow patterns. Moreover, we will investigate if the cardiovascular reactivity changes are correlated with EFs strengths in specific brain regions.
The results of our trial can optimize future tDCS clinical studies by demonstrating the association between tDCS dose, EF distribution, cognitive performance, and cardiovascular reactivity.
If you want more information regarding this project, please contact me at: Lais.Razza@UGent.be.