Underpinning the neurological source of executive function following cross hemispheric tDCS stimulation

Muhammad Abul Hasan, Hira Shahid, Saad Ahmed Qazi, Osama Ejaz, Muhammad Danish Mujib, Aleksandra Vuckovic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a promising technique for enhancement of executive functions in healthy as well as neurologically disturbed patients. However, the evidence regarding the neuropsychological and behavioral change with neurophysiological shifts as well as the mechanism of tDCS action as evidenced by activation of neuronal sources important for executive functions have remained unaddressed. The study thereby endeavors to (1) determine the neuropsychological, behavioral, and neurophysiological change induced with five sessions of bilateral tDCS stimulation and (2) identify putative neuronal sources related to the executive functions responsible for neuropsychological and behavioral change. For this single blinded study, a total of 40 healthy participants, randomly allocated to active (n = 19) or sham (n = 21) groups completed five sessions of 2 mA tDCS stimulation administered over Dorso-Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) (F3 as anode, F4 as cathode). Repeated measure analysis was performed on neuropsychological (Everyday Memory Questionnaire and Mindful Attention Awareness Scale), and behavioral assessment (n-Back and Stroop tests) to investigate within and between group differences. Pre and post neurophysiological (Electroencephalogram) results showed that bilateral tDCS stimulation activates cortical regions responsible for executive functions including updation (working memory) and inhibition (interference control or attention). Multiple sessions of bilateral tDCS stimulation results in a significant increase in theta, alpha, and beta-band activity in the DLPFC, cingulate and parietal cortex. This study provides evidence that tDCS can be used for performance enhancement of executive functions in able-bodied people. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
    Early online date10 Jan 2023
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2023 Elsevier B.V.


    • tDCS
    • Executive function
    • Working memory
    • Inhibition control
    • sLORETA
    • EEG
    • EMQ-R
    • MAAS


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