Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenter: Rachel Smith
Mentors: Austin Moon, Jacky Au, Susanne Jaeggi
Title: Improving Memory Consolidation through Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Older Adults
The current study aims at better understanding the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and massed versus spaced practice on older adults’ memory functions. Specifically, we are testing whether tDCS enhances working memory and verbal learning by administering either active or sham stimulation during training. Training sessions are taking place either every day or every other day. Based on previous work in our lab, we hypothesized that tDCS might compensate for age-related deficits in consolidation and boost learning, especially in the every other day condition. Data collection is ongoing, but preliminary results indicate that there is much individual variability in our findings and no strong conclusions regarding the effects of tDCS can be made at this time. However, distribution of training does seem to be a factor which is consistent with our previous behavioral data showing that more spacing might be detrimental for learning in older adults.