Brain Neurorehabil.  2019 Mar;12(1):e8. 10.12786/bn.2019.12.e8.

Effect of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over the Motor Cortex for Cognition

  • 1Department of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2Neuroscience Center, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates cortical excitability and influences cognition. The role of the primary motor cortex (M1) in cognition is controversial. Here, we investigated the offline effects of anodal and sham tDCS over M1 on cognitive tasks that require comparable motor skills, but different levels of working memory and attention. Twenty healthy young female adults received anodal tDCS and sham tDCS to the M1 on two separate testing days in a counter balanced order. The cognitive functions outcome variables were the response time from the Attention Switching Task (AST) and Motor Screening Task (MST) tests using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery before and after the anodal/sham tDCS. Anodal tDCS significantly improved AST response times from baseline in congruent and incongruent condition and MST mean correct latency (all p < 0.05). There was a significant difference for AST tasks variable include AST Switching cost (mean, correct), AST Mean correct latency, in congruent, incongruent, blocks 3, 5 (non-switching blocks), block 7 (switching block) (p < 0.01) and MST mean latency (p < 0.05) between anodal and sham conditions. These results indicate that tDCS is a promising tool to an improvement in response time in task related attention and motor speed. However, this study warrants further research to determine the long-term effect on other cognitive functions and in different age and gender groups.


Non-invasive Brain Stimulation; Motor Cortex; Cognitive Function; Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

MeSH Terms

Mass Screening
Memory, Short-Term
Motor Cortex*
Motor Skills
Neuropsychological Tests
Reaction Time
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation*
Full Text Links
  • BN
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error