Researchers from the Laboratory of Behavioural Neurodynamics at St Petersburg University have studied how different types of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the brain affect the acquisition of new words. The research outcomes have been published in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

The experiment used a between-subject design and involved 15 min of anodal or cathodal tDCS over Broca’s area, or a sham/placebo control condition. The stimulation procedure was followed by a contextual learning session, in which participants were exposed to new concrete and abstract words embedded into short five-sentence texts. А set of behavioural assessment tasks was run to assess the learning outcomes immediately after the training and with a 24-hour delay.

– tDCS over Broca’s area facilitates contextual acquisition of novel written words.
– Cathodal and anodal tDCS of Broca’s area improve recognition of new abstract words.
– Cathodal tDCS of Broca’s area improves free recall of novel concrete words.
– These effects are manifest immediately but not 24 h later after an overnight sleep.

More details about our study can be found in the original research article – Gnedykh D. et al. (2022). Broca’s area involvement in abstract and concrete word acquisition: tDCS evidence. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 192, Article 107622.

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