Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Dr. Adrian Owen

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of anodal tDCS on motor control and corticomotor excitability in healthy controls, with the long-term goal of investigating the use of anodal tDCS to improve motor function in covertly aware vegetative state patients. Experiment I investigated the effects of anodal tDCS on a motor reaction time task, and found no effect of tDCS on performance, whether or not participants trained on the task or were at rest during the stimulation. Experiment II looked at the effects of anodal tDCS paired with passive movements on corticomotor excitability, and found no significant difference in corticomotor excitability, as measured by motor evoked potentials (MEPs), between the placebo and anodal conditions. Future investigation is needed to understand if and when anodal tDCS can be used to improve motor function in this patient group.


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