Time-dependent effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on the enhancement of working memory

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The time-dependent effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on working memory was investigated by applying anodal stimulation over the left prefrontal cortex. This single-blind, sham-controlled crossover study recruited 15 healthy participants. A three-back verbal working-memory task was performed before, during, and 30 min after 1 mA anodal or sham tDCS. Anodal tDCS, compared with sham stimulation, significantly improved working-memory performance. Accuracy of response was significantly increased after 20 min of tDCS application, and was further enhanced after 30 min of stimulation. This effect was maintained for 30 min after the completion of stimulation. These results suggest that tDCS at 1 mA enhances working memory in a time-dependent manner for at least 30 min in healthy participants.

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