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Title: Effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on associative memory

Associative memory refers to remembering the association between two items, such as a face and a name. It is a crucial part of daily life, but it is also one of the first aspects of memory performance that is impacted by aging and by Alzheimer’s disease. Evidence suggests that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can improve memory performance, but few tDCS studies have investigated its impact on associative memory. In addition, no prior study of the effects of tDCS on memory performance has systematically evaluated the impact of tDCS on different types of memory assessments, such as recognition and recall tests. In this study, we measured the effects of tDCS on associative memory performance in healthy adults, using both recognition and recall tests. Participants studied face-name pairs while receiving either active (30 minutes, 2 mA) or sham (30 minutes, 0.1 mA) stimulation with the anode placed at F9 and the cathode placed on the contralateral upper arm. Participants in the active stimulation group performed significantly better on the recall test than participants in the sham group, recalling 50% more names, on average, and making fewer recall errors. However, the two groups did not differ significantly in terms of their performancemore » on the recognition memory test. This investigation provides evidence that stimulation at the time of study improves associative memory encoding, but that this memory benefit is evident only under certain retrieval conditions.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)'
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)'; Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0006-8993; PII: S000689931500579X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Brain Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1624; Journal ID: ISSN 0006-8993
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; tDCS; Associative Memory; Recall; Recognition
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1246660