August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Free
Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Improving visual working memory performance with transcranial direct current stimulation
Author Affiliations
  • Philip Tseng
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University (Taiwan)
  • Tzu-Yu Hsu
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University (Taiwan)
  • Chi-Fu Chang
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University (Taiwan)
  • Ovid Tzeng
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University (Taiwan)
  • Daisy Hung
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University (Taiwan)
  • Chi-Hung Juan
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University (Taiwan)
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 177. doi:10.1167/12.9.177
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      Philip Tseng, Tzu-Yu Hsu, Chi-Fu Chang, Ovid Tzeng, Daisy Hung, Chi-Hung Juan; Improving visual working memory performance with transcranial direct current stimulation. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):177. doi: 10.1167/12.9.177.

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      © 2015 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Visual working memory (VWM) capacity in humans is reached when individuals show an asymptotic activation level in the posterior parietal cortex, at around 3-4 items. We found that artificially increasing posterior parietal activity via positively-charged noninvasive anodal electric current, known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), can increase people’s VWM performance. This artificial improvement is more robust in low-capacity individuals who tend to remember less information. Event-related potential (ERP) comparisons between tDCS and sham conditions revealed that tDCS induced greater amplitudes in N2pc and sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), components that have been shown to reflect deployment of visual-spatial attention and maintenance of information in VWM, respectively. Together, these results suggest that VWM performance can be efficiently improved with external neural stimulation, which directly impacts the processes of visual attention and memory maintenance.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012

© 2012 ARVO
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