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Title: Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Human Memory.

Training a person in a new knowledge base or skill set is extremely time consuming and costly, particularly in highly specialized domains such as the military and the intelligence community. Recent research in cognitive neuroscience has suggested that a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has the potential to revolutionize training by enabling learners to acquire new skills faster, more efficiently, and more robustly (Bullard et al., 2011). In this project, we tested the effects of tDCS on two types of memory performance that are critical for learning new skills: associative memory and working memory. Associative memory is memory for the relationship between two items or events. It forms the foundation of all episodic memories, so enhancing associative memory could provide substantial benefits to the speed and robustness of learning new information. We tested the effects of tDCS on associative memory, using a real-world associative memory task: remembering the links between faces and names. Working memory refers to the amount of information that can be held in mind and processed at one time, and it forms the basis for all higher-level cognitive processing. We investigated the degree of transfer between various working memory tasks (the N-back task as amore » measure of verbal working memory, the rotation-span task as a measure of visuospatial working memory, and Raven's progressive matrices as a measure of fluid intelligence) in order to determine if tDCS-induced facilitation of performance is task-specific or general.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States