- We review investigations of whether tDCS can facilitate motor skill learning and adaptation.
- We identify several caveats in the existing literature and propose solutions for addressing these.
- Open Science efforts will improve standardization, reproducibility and quality of future research.
Posts Tagged memory
[Abstract] Effects of tDCS on motor learning and memory formation: a consensus and critical position paper – Clinical Neurophysiology
Motor skills are required for activities of daily living. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied in association with motor skill learning has been investigated as a tool for enhancing training effects in health and disease. Here, we review the published literature investigating whether tDCS can facilitate the acquisition, retention or adaptation of motor skills. Work in multiple laboratories is underway to develop a mechanistic understanding of tDCS effects on different forms of learning and to optimize stimulation protocols. Efforts are required to improve reproducibility and standardization. Overall, reproducibility remains to be fully tested, effect sizes with present techniques vary over a wide range, and the basis of observed inter-individual variability in tDCS effects is incompletely understood. It is recommended that future studies explicitly state in the Methods the exploratory (hypothesis-generating) or hypothesis-driven (confirmatory) nature of the experimental designs. General research practices could be improved with prospective pre-registration of hypothesis-based investigations, more emphasis on the detailed description of methods (including all pertinent details to enable future modeling of induced current and experimental replication), and use of post-publication open data repositories. A checklist is proposed for reporting tDCS investigations in a way that can improve efforts to assess reproducibility.
[BROSHURE] Traumatic Brain Injury—What College Disability Specialists and Educators Should Know about Executive Functions
The four-page guide defines executive functions and how they are affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI), and describes the unique challenges that students with TBI face in the college environment. The guide also offers specific academic strategies that may be helpful for deficits in executive function. The guide was developed in collaboration with Chapman University.
Identifying Behavior Problems
Head injury survivors may experience a range of neuro psychological problems following a traumatic brain injury. Depending on the part of the brain affected and the severity of the injury, the result on any one individual can vary greatly. Personality changes, memory and judgement deficits, lack of impulse control, and poor concentration are all common. Behavioral changes can be stressful for families and caregivers who must learn to adapt their communication techniques, established relationships, and expectations of what the impaired person can or cannot do.In some cases extended cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation in a residential or outpatient setting will be necessary to regain certain skills. A neuropsychologist also may be helpful in assessing cognitive deficits. However, over the long term both the survivor and any involved family members will need to explore what combination of strategies work best to improve the functional and behavioral skills of the impaired individual.
Even a person who makes a “good” recovery may go through some personality changes. Family members must be careful to avoid always comparing the impaired person with the way he/she “used to be.” Personality changes are often an exaggeration of the person’s pre-injury personality in which personality traits become intensified. Some changes can be quite striking. It may be, for example, the head injury survivor used to be easy going, energetic, and thoughtful and now seems easily angered, self-absorbed, and unable to show enthusiasm for anything. Nonetheless, try not to criticize or make fun of the impaired person’s deficits. This is sure to make the person feel frustrated, angry, or embarrassed.
In the United States more than 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year and approximately two-thirds of these individuals survive and require rehabilitation. The goals of rehabilitation are to help survivors become as independent as possible and to attain the best possible quality of life. Even though rehabilitation does not “cure” the effects of stroke in that it does not reverse brain damage, rehabilitation can substantially help people achieve the best possible long-term outcome.
What is post-stroke rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation helps stroke survivors relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is damaged. For example, these skills can include coordinating leg movements in order to walk or carrying out the steps involved in any complex activity. Rehabilitation also teaches survivors new ways of performing tasks to circumvent or compen sate for any residual disabilities. Individuals may need to learn how to bathe and dress using only one hand, or how to communicate effectively when their ability to use language has been compromised. There is a strong consensus among rehabilitation experts that the most important element in any rehabilitation program is carefully directed, well-focused, repetitive practice—the same kind of practice used by all people when they learn a new skill, such as playing the piano or pitching a baseball.
[ARTICLE] Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex of Major Depression: Improving Visual Working Memory, Reducing Depressive Symptoms – Full Text PDF
Recent studies on major depression (MD) have used noninvasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to improve impaired emotion and cognition in MD. However, such experiments have yielded mixed results, specifically with respect to cognition in MD.
This study aimed to investigate whether anodal and cathodal tDCS applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would significantly improve visual working memory and reduce depressive symptoms in patients with MD.
Thirty patients with major depression (n = 30) were randomly assigned to receive either experimental (active) or control (sham) tDCS. To measure cognitive functions, the participants underwent a series of visual memory neuropsychological tasks; and to measure depression symptoms, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Hamilton Depression Scale (HDRS) were used. The parameters of active tDCS included 2 mA for 20 min per day for 10 consecutive days, anode over the left DLPFC (F3), cathode over the right DLPFC (F4) region.
After 10 sessions of anodal and cathodal tDCS, patients showed significantly improved performance in visual working memory tasks. The same results were observed for depression symptoms. This study showed that anodal tDCS over left DLPFC, concurrently with cathodal tDCS over right DLPFC, improved cognitive impairment (specifically visual working memory), as well as reduced depressive symptoms in patients with MD. This finding provides evidence that supports effectiveness of a specific montage of tDCS to improve impaired cognition in MD, specifically in visual working memory.
The idea of playing a game to make you sharper seems like a no-brainer. That’s the thinking behind a billion-dollar industry selling brain training games and programs designed to boost cognitive ability.
But an investigation by CBC’s Marketplace reveals that brain training games such as Lumosity may not make your brain perform better in everyday life.
Brain training games, such as Lumosity, are a billion-dollar industry. Many people are worried about maintaining their brain health and want to prevent a decline in their mental abilities. (CBC)
Almost 15 per cent of Canadians over the age of 65 are affected by some kind of dementia. And many people of all ages are worried about maintaining their brain health and possibly preventing a decline in their mental abilities.
“I don’t think there’s anything to say that you can train your brain to be cognitively better in the way that we know that we can train our bodies to be physically better,” neuroscientist Adrian Owen told Marketplace co-host Tom Harrington.
- CBC Marketplace: Mind Games
- Dementia patients sold unproven ‘brainwave optimization’
To test how effective the games are at improving cognitive function, Marketplace partnered with Owen, who holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University.
The first type of memory is our very short lived and very fragile sensory store (Short Information Store, SIS). It is the afterimage when seeing something, it is the aftersound when hearing something, it stays in your mind for just a couple of seconds at the most.
A second type of our storage system is our Working Memory (WM). It used to be called Short Term Memory (STM). It lasts for only a couple of seconds to roughly a minute. It is also fragile and it can roughly store 7 ± 2 units of information, whether that is a word, a sound, numbers or images. On my page about Attention: what is it I will explain why this Working Memory actually is Attention. The description ‘Working’ refers to the fact that this is the short term storage where information is being worked on in order to store it more permanently in our Long Term Store (LTM).Very important to remember is that this WM capacity is NOT fixed: it changes every second due to our bio-dynamical brain system.
Our third type of storage is the Long Term Memory (LTM): it can last for years and its capacity seems unlimited (in reality it is nót unlimited of course). It takes hours till a couple of days to form a reliable LTM of something and that is largely a biochemical process called Long term potentiation or the Consolidation process. Usually, repeating the same information several times and having nights of sleep between repetitions is most desirable to form solid LTM.
Cognitive impairment, including deficits in memory, attention, visual perception, executive functioning, and self-awareness, is a common consequence of acquired brain injury (ABI). Subsequently, these cognitive impairments result in functional impairments in daily life activities for clients with ABI.
Rehabilitation efforts are categorized under two broad approaches: remediation and adaptation. Computer-assisted cognitive retraining (CACR) is a remediation approach using a computer platform to deliver cognitive exercises. CACR therapy can lead to improvements in memory and attention for adults with chronic ABI. However, memory and attention improvements from CACR may not carry over to functional improvements in occupational performance. Research suggested that therapy using an adaptive approach can yield functional improvements.
The purpose of this project was to design a systematic cognitive retraining curriculum, Bridge/Adapt, to bridge the gap between memory and attention-skill gains from CACR to functional improvements in occupational performance using adaptive strategies. The Bridge/Adapt curriculum incorporates the cognitive orientation of occupational performance (CO-OP) intervention approach, multicontext approach, and goal oriented attentional self-regulation training.
The curriculum includes eight modules that provide grading options so that occupational therapists can choose which difficulty level best suits the client. Clients practice adaptive strategies during simulations of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), including financial management, appointment scheduling, and grocery shopping, utilizing the three themes in Bridge/Adapt: salience, context, and hierarchy. Clients use salience to choose meaningful goals to work on at home. Context refers to clients working on goals in varying environments. Lastly, clients work on tasks that increase in complexity with the hierarchical theme.