Investigating changes in motor activation after tDCS

Tilsley, Penelope (2018). Investigating changes in motor activation after tDCS. University of Birmingham. M.Sc.

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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a stimulation modality commonly used in motor rehabilitation research, however there is still debate surrounding the neural effects, even in healthy participants. This study thus looked to assess whether tDCS over the primary motor cortex (M1) had any significant effects on the brain motor areas in healthy right-handed participants. Within a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner, a motor task, comprised move and rest blocks, was performed baseline and post stimulation. Anodal, cathodal or sham tDCS (1mA - 20 minutes) were performed on the left M1 in a within subject design (3 separate sessions per participant). Region of Interest (ROI) group baseline analysis for the contrast move>rest found the task activated all motor ROIs [p value <0.05, Family wise error (FWE) corrected]. The contrast baseline<post revealed a significant increase in brain activity in the stimulated M1 [p value <0.001, uncorrected] for cathodal stimulation, and a significant increase in brain activity in the stimulated M1 [p value <0.001, uncorrected] and ipsilateral SMA [p value <0.05, FWE corrected]. No significant changes in activity were found for sham stimulation or the contrast baseline<post. Interactional analysis of all tDCS polarities across the baseline<post contrast found significant brain activity changes in the Cerebellum Areas 4, 5 and 6 [p value <0.05, FWE corrected]. This study therefore indicates that tDCS has widespread effects on the motor network, with anodal tDCS increasing brain activity in certain motor areas as predicted.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Sc.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Sc.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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