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Poster B53

Neurochemical predictors of generalized learning induced by brain stimulation and training

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Shane Ehrhardt1 (, Yohan Wards1, Reuben Rideaux2, Malgorzata Marjanska3, Jin Jin4, Martijn Cloos1, Dinesh Deelchand3, Helge Zollner5, Muhammad Saleh7, Steve Hui6, Tonima Ali2, Thomas Shaw1, Markus Barth1, Jason Mattingley1, Hannah Filmer1, Paul Dux1; 1University of Queenland, 2University of Sydney, 3University of Minnesota, 4Siemens Australia, 5John Hopkins, 6Children’s Hospital, Washington, 7University of Maryland

Methods of cognitive enhancement are most impactful when they generalise across tasks. However, the extent to which such “transfer” is possible via interventions is widely debated. In addition, the contribution of excitatory and inhibitory processes to such transfer is unknown. Here, in a large-scale neuroimaging individual differences study, we paired multitasking training and non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation; tDCS) over multiple days and assessed performance across a range of paradigms. In addition, we varied tDCS dosage (1.0 mA and 2.0 mA), electrode montage (left or right prefrontal regions), and training task (multitasking versus a control task) and assessed GABA and glutamate concentrations via ultra-high field 7T magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Generalised benefits were observed in spatial attention, indexed by visual search performance, when multitasking training was combined with 1.0 mA stimulation applied to either the left or right prefrontal cortex. This transfer effect persisted for ~30 days post-intervention. Critically, transfer benefit associated with right prefrontal tDCS was predicted by pre-training concentrations of glutamate in the prefrontal cortex. Thus, these combined stimulation and training protocols appear to be linked predominantly to excitatory brain processes.



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April 13–16  |  2024