We performed a randomized sham-controlled study in which 13 subjects received sham and active bilateral tDCS delivered to DLPFC (anodal left/cathodal right and anodal right/cathodal left). For sham stimulation, the electrodes were placed at the same positions as in active stimulation; however, the stimulator was turned off after 30 s of stimulation. Subjects were presented videos depicting alcohol consumption to increase alcohol craving.
Our results showed that both anodal left/cathodal right and anodal right/cathodal left significantly decreased alcohol craving compared to sham stimulation (p < 0.0001). In addition, we found that following treatment, craving could not be further increased by alcohol cues.
via Prefrontal cortex modulation using transcranial DC stimulation reduces alcohol craving: A double-blind, sham-controlled study 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.06.011 : Drug and Alcohol Dependence | ScienceDirect.com.
Results: Smoking craving was significantly increased after exposure to smoking-craving cues (p < .0001). Stimulation of both left and right DLPFC with active, but not sham, tDCS reduced craving significantly when comparing craving at baseline and after stimulation, without (p = .007) and with (p = .005) smoking-craving cues. There were no significant mood changes in any of the conditions of stimulation. Adverse events were mild and distributed equally across all treatment conditions.
Conclusions: Our findings extend the results of a previous study on the use of brain stimulation to reduce craving, showing that cortical stimulation with tDCS is beneficial for reducing cue-provoked craving, and thus support the further exploration of this technique for smoking cessation.
via J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive.
The remote associates test (RAT) is a complex verbal task with associations to both creative thought and general intelligence. RAT problems require not only lateral associations and the internal production of many words but a convergent focus on a single answer. Complex problem-solving of this sort may thus require both substantial verbal processing and strong executive function capacities. Previous studies have provided evidence that verbal task performance can be enhanced by noninvasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS modulates excitability of neural tissue depending on the polarity of the current.
via MIT Press Journals – Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience – Abstract.
Here, we examined the effects of tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on planning function by using the Tower of London task to evaluate performance during and after anodal, cathodal (1 mA, 15 min), and sham tDCS in 24 healthy volunteers. The key finding was a double dissociation of polarity and training phase: improved performance was found with cathodal tDCS applied during acquisition and early consolidation, when preceding anodal tDCS, but not in the later training session. In contrast, anodal tDCS enhanced performance when applied in the later sessions following cathodal tDCS. Our results indicate that both anodal and cathodal tDCS can improve planning performance as quantified by the Tower of London test.
via Enhancement of Planning Ability by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.
This inspired us to investigate whether the mental set effect can be reduced by non-invasive brain stimulation. 60 healthy right-handed participants were asked to take an insight problem solving task while receiving transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the anterior temporal lobes (ATL). Only 20% of participants solved an insight problem with sham stimulation (control), whereas 3 times as many participants did so (p = 0.011) with cathodal stimulation (decreased excitability) of the left ATL together with anodal stimulation (increased excitability) of the right ATL.
via PLoS ONE: Facilitate Insight by Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation.