Neurocognitive Effects of tDCS in the Healthy Brain

  • Siobhán HartyEmail author
  • Anna-Katharine Brem
  • Roi Cohen Kadosh


This chapter provides an overview of the literature concerning the effects of tDCS on high-level cognitive functions in young healthy adults. tDCS has been found to modulate a multitude of components of cognition, but here we place a particular focus on studies that have examined working memory, attention, language, numerical cognition, general learning and memory. We additionally devote latter portions of the chapter to evaluating two other pertinent topics: the neurocognitive effects of tDCS in the healthy older brain and individual differences in the context of tDCS outcomes. Based on the studies reviewed, we conclude that tDCS holds substantial promise as a tool for exploring novel theoretical hypotheses, as well as for improving cognitive functions in both young and older healthy adults. However, the coherence of the evidence base and the translational potential of these findings is currently constrained by a number of factors, including pervasive inter-individual differences in response to tDCS, heterogeneity of tDCS protocols across studies and inadequate knowledge about the longevity of the effects.


Transcranial direct current stimulation Cognition Working memory Attention Language Memory Cognitive enhancement Numerical performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siobhán Harty
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna-Katharine Brem
    • 1
  • Roi Cohen Kadosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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