Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation – tDCS
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a painless non-invasive brain stimulation technique which uses low direct electrical current to transiently modify the spontaneous firing rate of neurons in a polarity-dependent way: anodal tDCS enhances excitability, whereas cathodal tDCS reduces it. The current is delivered through two electrodes placed on the head: one is positively charged and the other negatively. The technique is increasingly used in experimental and clinical settings. Several studies have shown that tDCS can influence perceptual, cognitive and behavioural functions in healthy and pathological subjects and it seems to be a valuable tool for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, such as major depression, anxiety, cerebrovascular strokes, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Our group is using tDCS for several years
Our research protocols involve both healthy participants, with the aim of studying the neural basis involved in cognitive processes such as language, emotion regulation, social exclusion, graceful aging, and neurologically impaired subjects, with the purpose of understanding if tDCS could enhance the effect of behavioural treatments. We are also using tDCS combined to other non-invasive techniques such as TMS-EEG with the aim of extending the knowledge of tDCS mechanisms of action and its plasticity effects on the brain.