Identifying regions in prefrontal cortex related to working memory improvement: A novel meta-analytic method using electric field modeling

Miles Wischnewski, Kathleen E. Mantell, Alexander Opitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Altering cortical activity using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to improve working memory (WM) performance. Due to large inter-experimental variability in the tDCS montage configuration and strength of induced electric fields, results have been mixed. Here, we present a novel meta-analytic method relating behavioral effect sizes to electric field strength to identify brain regions underlying largest tDCS-induced WM improvement. Simulations on 69 studies targeting left prefrontal cortex showed that tDCS electric field strength in lower dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 45/47) relates most strongly to improved WM performance. This region explained 7.8 % of variance, equaling a medium effect. A similar region was identified when correlating WM performance and electric field strength of right prefrontal tDCS studies (n = 18). Maximum electric field strength of five previously used tDCS configurations were outside of this location. We thus propose a new tDCS montage which maximizes the tDCS electric field strength in that brain region. Our findings can benefit future tDCS studies that aim to affect WM function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume130
Early online dateAug 18 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research presented here was supported by the University of Minnesota’s MnDRIVE Initiative and National Institutes of Health RF1MH117428 .

Funding Information:
Research presented here was supported by the University of Minnesota's MnDRIVE Initiative and National Institutes of HealthRF1MH117428.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Electric field modeling
  • Neuromodulation
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Working memory

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying regions in prefrontal cortex related to working memory improvement: A novel meta-analytic method using electric field modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this