The effects of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on sustained attention

Preliminary findings

  • Nadia Botha MacEwan University


Although the cerebellum is primarily known for its role in motor coordination and motor learning, recent research indicates that it is also involved in cognitive functions such as attention. The current study used a mild brain stimulation technique – transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to further investigate the involvement of the cerebellum in sustained attention using two different sustained attention tasks. Specifically, we were interested in the effects of stimulation to the left lateral cerebellum on the sustained attention to response task (SART), in which participants (currently n=12) must respond (via button press) to the digits 1-9, but not 3, presented in a random continuous sequence on a computer screen. In addition, participants also completed the attentional blink task in which they must detect the presence of either one or two targets within a rapid serial visual presentation. For each task participants completed 3 sessions: sham (no stimulation), cathodal (-), and anodal (+) stimulation. Preliminary results for each task will be presented for this ongoing study.

Discipline: Psychology Honours

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Striemer