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Transcranial Electrical Stimulation to Improve Working Memory in Older Adults


This study will evaluate the hypothesis that age-related memory and cognitive changes happen when the rhythmic activity, which occurs within large-scale brain networks, disconnects and becomes inefficient. The study will test the effects of noninvasive stimulation on the brain to determine whether this can reset disconnections and improve memory and cognitive function.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
18 Years 80 Years All Yes
September 1, 2019
April 30, 2024

  • Have normal or corrected-to-normal vision and color vision

  • Pregnancy
  • Metal implants in head
  • Implanted electronic devices
  • History of neurological problems or head injury
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Claustrophobia
  • Dementia (Mini-Mental State Examination score of 24-30; Montreal Cognitive Assessment >25)
  • Depression
  • Taking any psychoactive medication

Transcranial electrical current stimulation is a painless brain treatment that directs electrical currents to stimulate specific parts of the brain. The investigators in this study are testing whether noninvasive stimulation can resynchronize the brain and stabilize or improve memory and cognitive function. Participants will undergo transcranial electrical current stimulation or sham stimulation while performing a variety of computer-based tasks that probe memory and cognitive function. Researchers will measure rhythmic brain activity through electroencephalography, which involves placing electrodes on the scalp.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
677 Beacon St. Room 308
Boston Massachusetts 02215 Recruiting Robert M. G. Reinhart, PhD
(617) 353-9481

Boston University Charles River Campus

Name Phone Email
Robert M. G. Reinhart, PhD (617) 353-9481


Improving Working Memory in Older Adults by Restoring Large-Scale Cortical Interactions