HealthDay News — Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) may not enhance short-term memory in healthy individuals, according to a study published online in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Jing Wang, from Capital Medical University in Beijing, and colleagues assessed whether tDCS impact short-term memory (digit span and visual short-term memory), as well as the optimal timing of tDCS administration.

The researchers found that tDCS of the left DLPFC did not influence intentional digit span memory performance, regardless of whether administered before the task or during the task. 

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When administered before the task, tDCS of the DLPFC showed no effect on visual short-term memory. However, there was a trend of increased false alarms associated with tDCS of the DLPFC when administered during the task.

“Further studies are required to taking into account the baseline performance of subjects and time-dependence feature of tDCS,” the authors write.

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Wang J, Wen JB, Li XL. No effect of transcranial direct current stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on short-term memory. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2018;24:58–63.