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Preconditioning tDCS facilitates subsequent tDCS effect on skill acquisition in older adults


Fujiyama, H and Hinder, MR and Barzideh, A and Van de Vijver, C and Badache, AC and Manrique-C, MN and Reissig, P and Zhang, X and Levin, O and Summers, JJ and Swinnen, SP, Preconditioning tDCS facilitates subsequent tDCS effect on skill acquisition in older adults, Neurobiology of Aging, 51 pp. 31-42. ISSN 0197-4580 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.11.012


Functional motor declines that often occur with advancing age - including reduced efficacy to learn new skills - can have a substantial impact on the quality of life. Recent studies using noninvasive brain stimulation indicate that priming the corticospinal system by lowering the threshold for the induction of long-term potentiation–like plasticity before skill training may facilitate subsequent skill learning. Here, we used "priming" protocol, in which we used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applying the cathode over the primary motor cortex (M1) before the anode placed over M1 during unimanual isometric force control training (FORCEtraining). Older individuals who received tDCS with the cathode placed over M1 before tDCS with the anode placed over M1 concurrent with FORCEtraining showed greater skill improvement and corticospinal excitability increases following the tDCS/FORCEtraining protocol compared with both young and older individuals who did not receive the preceding tDCS with the cathode placed over M1. The results suggested that priming tDCS protocols may be used in clinical settings to improve motor function and thus maintain the functional independence of older adults.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:healthy aging, skill acquisition, homeostatic metaplasticity, transcranial direct current stimulation, primary motor cortex
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Motor control
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Hinder, MR (Associate Professor Mark Hinder)
UTAS Author:Reissig, P (Ms Paola Reissig)
UTAS Author:Summers, JJ (Professor Jeffery Summers)
ID Code:114216
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-02-08
Last Modified:2018-08-24

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