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Can we Accelerate Learning in Healthy Subjects?

2017-02-17 13:23:21 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether we can accelerate learning and improve associative memory performance in healthy subjects, by (1) applying transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) during a verbal paired-associate learning task and by (2) optimizing the learning method with repeated retrieval practice.

Description

Associative memory refers to remembering the association between two items, such as a face and a name or a word in English and the same word in another language. It is not only important for learning, but it is also one of the first aspects of memory performance that is impacted by aging and by Alzheimer׳s disease. For decades, neuroscientists have investigated associative learning and memory and ways to accelerate and enhance associative learning and memory.

Transcranial Direct Current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive and painless electrical stimulation technique that has demonstrated to accelerate learning and improve memory in some studies. Previous research has also emphasized the importance of repeated retrieval practice as a way to accelerate learning and enhance associative memory performance. Therefore, this study we will also examine the effect of repeated retrieval practice on associative memory performance by using two versions of an associative memory task.

To investigate whether we can accelerate learning and improve associative memory using tDCS and repeated retrieval practice, we will compare the performance in a Verbal Paired-Associate memory task from 4 groups during the first visit and 1 week after. The first group will get active tDCS during a version of the verbal paired-associate learning task with repeated retrieval practice. The second group will get active tDCS during a version of the verbal paired-associate learning task without repeated retrieval practice. The third group will get sham tDCS during a version of the verbal paired-associate learning task with repeated retrieval practice and the fourth group will get Sham tDCS during a version of the verbal paired-associate learning task without repeated retrieval practice.

Study Design

Conditions

Healthy Adults

Intervention

tDCS, Verbal paired-associate learning task

Location

The University of Texas of Dallas
Richardson
Texas
United States
75080

Status

Recruiting

Source

The University of Texas at Dallas

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-02-17T13:23:21-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Learning in which the subject must respond with one word or syllable when presented with another word or syllable.

Learning to respond verbally to a verbal stimulus cue.

A MACHINE LEARNING paradigm used to make predictions about future instances based on a given set of labeled paired input-output training (sample) data.

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Process in which individuals take the initiative, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying resources for learning, choosing and implementing learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975)

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