Title: Underlying Mechanisms of Cerebellar tDCSAbstractCommon symptoms reported with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders include poormotor coordination, a deficiency also manifested in cerebellar injuries. Conversely, cerebellarinjury patients often suffer from cognitive deficits, including impaired timing, attention, memoryand language. Interestingly, changes in cerebellar anatomy are among the most reliableindicators of autism. Therefore, interventions targeting the cerebellum are emerging as analternative strategy to treat cognitive disorders. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) ofthe cerebellum, an easy-to-apply, noninvasive, and safe intervention, has seen a surge ofclinical reports in recent years suggesting that it improves motor learning, cognitive andemotional processes. However, few animal studies have investigated the electrophysiologicalmechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of tDCS on the cerebellar function. The primaryobjective of the current proposal is to generate the animal experimental data essential to identifythe synaptic, cellular, and network level mechanisms by which tDCS impacts the cerebellarfunction. Classical trace conditioning of the eyeblink response will be used as a model cognitivetask that requires coordination of the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex. The neuralmechanisms of how cerebellar tDCS modulates the trace eyeblink conditioning will beinvestigated in behaving animals. The fundamental knowledge gained through this investigationcan be extrapolated to other cognitive and psychiatric disorders that involve the cerebellum andtheir treatment with tDCS.
|Effective start/end date||1/1/18 → 12/31/19|
- National Institutes of Health