Associative memory (AM), an ability to form and retrieve associations between information units is crucial for everyday functioning and is affected by aging as well as by different neurological conditions. It was shown that rTMS over posterior parietal cortex (PPC) can improve AM of face-word pairs. Therefore, we examined if tDCS will produce comparable effects and explore whether the effect would persist one and five days following the stimulation. Thirty-seven healthy participants took part in cross-over sham-controlled study in which they received 20 min of anodal (1.5 mA) or sham tDCS over left PPC. Following tDCS participants completed face-cued word recall and verbal fluency tasks. A randomly selected subsample (N = 18) has completed follow up memory assessments one and five days after the stimulation. Anodal tDCS facilitated AM performance in comparison to sham with the same trend persisting during the 5-day follow-up period. Additionally, participants with lower AM scores had higher relative gain following anodal tDCS. Anodal tDCS had no effect on the control task (verbal fluency). Results support the existence of a specific enhancing effect on AM produced by facilitatory neuromodulation of the PPC. The effect was more prominent in low–performers and it persisted at least 5 days post-stimulation. These findings support the robustness of tDCS effect on AM and provide a foundation for future research that could lead to its future clinical application.
- Associative memory
- Memory enhancement
- Non-invasive neuromodulation
- Posterior parietal cortex (PPC)
- Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience