Effects of Brain Stimulation on Higher-Order Cognition

Effects of Brain Stimulation on Higher-Order Cognition

The purpose of this study is to better understand the neural correlates of higher-order cognition, both in the healthy brain and in schizophrenia, and to determine how these mechanisms are modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) at frontal and occipital scalp sites. Testing the effects of tDCS at these scalp sites on cognitive task performance will help us understand the roles of the brain regions corresponding to these sites during higher-order cognitive processing (language comprehension, cognitive control, and related attention and memory processes). Behavioral and electrophysiological (EEG) measures will be used to assess cognitive performance. The investigator's overarching hypothesis is that stimulating prefrontal circuits with tDCS can improve cognitive control performance, and ultimately performance on a range of cognitive tasks, as compared to stimulating a different cortical region (occipital cortex) or using sham stimulation. This study is solely intended as basic research in order to understand brain function in healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia. This study is not intended to diagnose, cure or treat schizophrenia or any other disease.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Device - Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

In tDCS, saline-soaked electrodes are temporary affixed to the scalp and connected to a battery-powered current generator. A weak (2 mA) constant current is then briefly applied (~20 minutes) to stimulate the targeted brain area (e.g. the DLPFC). To control for placebo effects, the study will utilize a sham stimulation protocol that consists of very brief constant stimulation (~1 minute). Subjects usually cannot discern the difference between the sham and experimental stimulation protocols due t more on

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Studies of Behavioral and Electrophysiological (EEG) Correlates of Higher-Order Cognition