Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 7, pp 1709–1715 | Cite as

Transcranial alternating current stimulation over the prefrontal cortex enhances episodic memory recognition

  • Tomonori NomuraEmail author
  • Akihiko Asao
  • Ayumi Kumasaka
Research Article


It remains unknown whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) affects episodic memory and the effect of gamma oscillations delivered to the left prefrontal cortex (PFC) on long-term memory retention has not been fully investigated. We examined whether tACS over the left PFC enhances recognition of episodic memory. The study enrolled 36 healthy young adult volunteers. The participants were randomly assigned to either a tACS group [n = 18; 14 females; mean age ± standard deviation (SD): 21.2 ± 0.4 years] or a sham-control group [n = 18; 14 females; mean age ± SD: 21.2 ± 0.4 years]. Participants received either tACS or sham stimulation both during the learning task that was conducted on day 1 and during a recognition task on day 2. The recognition task was also conducted on days 1 and 7, and response accuracy was measured at all three time points (days 1, 2, and 7). Patients in the tACS group were better able to retain long-term memory than those in the sham-control group. These findings suggest that tACS over the left PFC enhances recognition of episodic memory in healthy young adults.


Memory Oscillations Prefrontal cortex (PFC) Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant numbers JP17K01533. We thank all of the study volunteers for their time and patience during the experiments. We would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of RehabilitationNiigata University of Health and WelfareNiigataJapan

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