In this study, the role of the cerebellum in a cognitive learning task using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was investigated. Using a weather prediction task, subjects had to learn the probabilistic associations between a stimulus (a combination of cards) and an outcome (sun or rain). This task is a variant of a probabilistic classification learning task, for which it has been reported that prefrontal tDCS enhances performance. Using a between-subject design, all 30 subjects learned to improve their performance with increasing accuracies and shortened response times over a series of 500 trials. Subjects also became more confident in their prediction during the experiment. However, no differences in performance and learning were observed between subjects receiving sham stimulation (n = 10) or anodal stimulation (2 mA for 20 min) over either the right cerebellum (n = 10) or the left prefrontal cortex (n = 10). This suggests that stimulating the brain with cerebellar tDCS does not readily influence probabilistic classification performances, probably due to the rather complex nature of this cognitive task.

Additional Metadata
Keywords learning, cerebellum, frontal cortex, tDCS, cognition
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-016-4800-8, hdl.handle.net/1765/104263
Journal Experimental Brain Research
Citation
Seyed Majidi, N, Verhage, M.C, Donchin, O, Holland, P.J, Frens, M.A, & van der Geest, J.N. (2016). Cerebellar tDCS does not improve performance in probabilistic classification learning. Experimental Brain Research, (235), 412–428. doi:10.1007/s00221-016-4800-8