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Differential Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex and Prefrontal Cortex in Learning a Whole-Body Movement Task

Caesley, Harriet (2020) Differential Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex and Prefrontal Cortex in Learning a Whole-Body Movement Task. Master of Research (MRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85461) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:85461)

Language: English

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Research has investigated the use of non-invasive brain interventions, such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), to enhance motor learning and rehabilitation. Much research has shown that tDCS improves motor learning and that bilateral tDCS is more beneficial than unilateral tDCS in improving motor learning. However, past research has primarily utilised simple motor tasks in measuring motor skill learning. These are not ecologically reliable as whole-body movement is required for everyday activities. This study involved two experiments. Each experiment involved participants learning 12 Ballroom and Latin dance moves whilst undergoing tDCS. All participants underwent three sessions of tDCS, (unilateral, bilateral and sham), over three consecutive days. Participants in the first experiment (n=30) had stimulation to the primary motor cortex (PMC) and those in the second experiment (n=31) had stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In each experiment, a baseline was taken before the training sessions and two outcome measures were taken; a day after the last training session and two weeks later. In each testing session participants' dance ability was measured. Our results showed that bilateral tDCS impaired performance in both experiments. Unilateral stimulation impaired performance in the first experiment, and did not significantly improve performance any better than the sham stimulation in the second experiment. These results suggest that task complexity plays a crucial role when tDCS procedures are used to modulate motor performance and highlights possible limitations of tDCS in practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Research (MRes))
Thesis advisor: Javadi, Amir-Homayoun
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85461
Uncontrolled keywords: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, Motor Cortex, Dorsolateral Pre-frontal Cortex, Cognition, Movement
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 08:41 UTC
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 13:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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