The Effect of Prefrontal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Attention Network Function in Healthy Volunteers

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The effect of acute transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on cortical attention networks remains unclear. We examined the effect of 20 min of 2 mA dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tDCS (bipolar balanced montage) on the efficiency of alerting, orienting and executive attention networks measured by the attention network test.

Materials and Methods

A between-subjects stratified randomized design compared active tDCS vs. sham tDCS on attention network function in healthy young adults.


Executive attention was greater following active vs. sham stimulation (d = 0.76) in the absence of effects on alerting, orienting, or global RT or error rates. Group differences were not moderated by state-mood.


Twenty minutes of active 2 mA tDCS over left DLPFC is associated with greater executive attention in healthy humans.

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